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Great Decor Ideas to Turn Your Senior Apartment into a Home

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An older adult woman smiling and putting flowers in a vase.

During a transition to senior living, personalizing your living space can be a beautiful form of self-expression. Yet, choosing decor can have unique challenges for older adults—particularly for those embarking on a new phase in independent living communities.

Here are just a few ideas to help older adults and their families turn a new apartment into a home:

  • Tailor the space to suit your needs
  • Pay attention to color choice and lighting
  • Consider safety and accessibility
  • Reduce clutter with storage and organization
  • Add personal touches

There isn’t a right or wrong way to make an apartment into your home because it’s a very personal choice. And in many instances, an older adult doesn’t have to try this alone. Family and friends can help make it happen—as well as friendly staff and acquaintances in your new community.

How to Choose the Right Decor for Older Adults

A senior living apartment is a blank canvas ready for your creativity. As you embark on this creative venture, remember decor can be more than a pretty vase or nice painting—although those decorations can also be part of the adventure.

Tailor the Space to Suit Your Needs

Conscious selection of furniture can dramatically influence the comfort and functionality of your living space. Investing in senior-friendly pieces, such as adjustable beds and lift chairs, can promote comfort without sacrificing style. 

Where you put furniture is as important as the furniture you pick. Arranging furniture in thoughtful layouts can promote better mobility and minimize obstacles, helping ensure day-to-day activities flow seamlessly within a home.

When considering the layout:

  • Aim for a balance of open space and accessibility.
  • Use multi-purpose furniture to maximize space, such as a bed frame with built-in drawers or a coffee table with a lift top for storage.
  • Keep pathways clear to prevent tripping hazards.

Pay Attention to Color Choice & Lighting

Colors and lighting can set the mood of a space, turning a room from drab to delightful in an instant. Older adults can often benefit from a well-lit environment and colors that promote tranquility and a sense of peace. Warm tones like earthy browns, calming blues, and inviting peachy hues can create a cozy atmosphere, while a mix of natural and artificial lighting can create a balance of functionality and ambiance.

Go beyond your walls when thinking about color. You can add color in the form of bright pictures, tapestries, and other accent pieces that complement the various lighting options in your space.

Here are a few practical lighting tips:

  • Use adjustable lighting that caters to varying needs throughout the day.
  • Place floor lamps near your favorite reading spots to help prevent eye strain.
  • Consider motion-sensitive lights for increased safety—they can automatically light your way during the night.

Consider Accessibility & Safety

Safety and aesthetics can coexist. Thoughtful considerations in home decor can enhance both aspects of senior life. Handrails and grab bars don’t need to look clinical—some are available that can blend seamlessly with your decor. 

Here are a few strategies for creating an accessible and safe home:

  • Coordinate grab bars and handrails with existing fixtures or opt for designs that add a decorative element.
  • Choose flooring and floor coverings that are non-slip and easy to clean, such as textured hardwood or cork.
  • Use contrasting colors to highlight changes in floor level or the placement of different objects for those with visual impairments.

Reduce Clutter with Organization & Storage

Clutter can make even the most inviting space feel overwhelming. Implementing smart storage solutions is the key to maintaining a serene environment. 

By investing in accessible and innovative storage units, you can keep your space organized—so that there’s a place for everything and everything is in its place.

Here are a few of our organization and storage tips:

  • Vertical storage systems can make use of wall space and prevent the need for excessive bending or reaching.
  • Neutral-colored, lidded baskets placed throughout your home can help you store magazines, blankets, and other items that can sometimes detract from a space when left out.
  • Labeling drawers and storage containers can make it easier to sort and find items.

Add Personal Touches

A home truly becomes a reflection of yourself when it bears the unique elements of a personal journey. Surround yourself with cherished photographs, heirlooms, and memories to create an environment that encapsulates the rich tapestry of your life. Showcase hobbies and interests through themed rooms or simple decor touches, infusing every corner with who you are.

Incorporate personal items like:

  • A shadow box display of military medals, sports memorabilia, or family mementos that celebrate your history.
  • A designated space for crafting, art, or whatever ignites your passion—perhaps with a cozy reading nook or a well-lit worktable.
  • Indoor plants to help bring the serenity of nature inside.
A group of older adults sitting in a semicircle in a common area, drinking tea or coffee and laughing

Get Started with Your Decor Plans Today

Even if you’re still in the beginning stages of transitioning into senior living, that doesn’t mean you can’t start planning how you’ll make your new apartment feel like home. Start by calling our team at The Villages at the River Club to book a community tour. We’re happy to show you the quality of life you can expect as a resident in our community and how you can make our home your home.

Written by Lisa Klasen

“It gives me pleasure to help our residents live a life of independence, love, and joy here in our community.”

Lisa has lived in Clarksville for over 10 years and is originally from the Nashville area. She went to college at Central Michigan University, where she graduated with a liberal arts degree (psychology major).

Lisa has an eclectic work background and started her career in the human resources/training/development arena for several service-oriented companies such as Hyatt Hotels and The Forum Group (Senior Living Communities). Later in her career, she switched to real estate sales for local custom home builders for about 15 years in Indiana and Tennessee. Recently, Lisa has worked as a sales and marketing director for a local independent living community, a skilled nursing facility, and an assisted living/memory care facility.

She lives with her 4 “boys”: 2 dogs and 2 cats. She still holds her real estate license and also does professional photography during her time away from The Villages. She hopes to use her photography skills to market our beautiful building and wonderful family of residents and staff here. She looks forward to getting to know everyone!

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