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Preparing a New Home for Seniors – an Interior Designer’s Guide

Bathroom, Bedroom, Decorating, Downsizing, Interior Design, Interior Designer, Kitchen, Living Room, Property Enhancements, Real Estate, Redesign, Renovations

 Preparing a New Home for Seniors - an Interior Designer’s Guide. Finally….help is on the way!

Seniors and Downsizing

These days it’s not always us baby boomers that are thinking about downsizing.  Many of our parents, relatives, “Senior” friends and client’s are also facing the same reality of moving from their larger homes to smaller, easier to manage homes.   And most often – they need our help.

Whether downsizing into a retirement complex, an assisted living complex or simply a smaller home or apartment because their current home is just too unwieldy, the transition can be a daunting one.   The process can be stressful for everyone involved…the Senior as well as the family member or friends assisting them with the move.

Not only must they pack, store, donate, sell many of their own possessions in order to “fit” into the smaller home….but they must consider the details of preparing the new home in a manner that accommodates them in terms of safety, practicality and interior decor.  Details such as:

  • Can they navigate through the new home with a wheelchair, walker or cane…..what about visitors that require walking aids?
  • How will they open the doors, drawers, closets if their hands have limited mobility?
  • Can they get in and out of their favourite chair or even their own bed on their own?
  • If they are visually impaired, will they be able to easily distinguish the edge of the countertop?

In hiring a professional Interior Designer, you’ll not only receive invaluable downsizing and de-cluttering advice, but you’ll benefit from expert knowledge in space planning and furniture ergonomics with a focus on providing the perfect blend of safety, practicality and pleasing design that “feels like home”.

Here are some tips to keep in mind when preparing a new home for a Senior:

1.    Sturdy, ergonomic furniture.

  • consider higher seats  for ease of use (toilets too)
  • firmer seats
  • upholstered backs for comfort
  • sturdy arms to assist with getting in and out of the chair


2.    Comfort flooring

  • non-slip flooring in kitchen, bathrooms, laundry
  • low pile carpeting in living room and bedroom – easier on the feet and cushions falls

3.    Door, drawers and kitchen faucets

  • lever handles are easier to grasp than knobs

4.    Wider aisles

  • ensure that the furniture layout can allow a  wheelchair or walker 36″ to pass or turn around.  
  • don’t need any walking aids?  Consider wider aisles for any visiting guests that do.

5.    Kitchen, bathroom and laundry countertops

  • Safety First!
  • ensure that countertops are darker than the floors to easily distinguish the edge of the counter. 

And don’t forget to make it feel like home!   Colour, patterns, textures mixed with memorabilia and ‘favourite things’ are guaranteed to transform the house into a HOME.

Want more details or looking for some professional Interior Design assistance?  

Call Accentuate Home Staging Design Group at 604-328-6479 to learn how we can help Seniors transition into their home with dignity, ease and style!

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