Interior design made ‘simple’

Editor’s note: For many years,
Long-Term Living has featured the field’s best interior design—in print at least. Below you’ll find our newly launched and regularly occurring Web column, Simple Solutions, authored by an expert in design. We also invite you to send in any of your own creative suggestions for updating long-term care interiors. Did we mention to keep it simple?

Tip: Jazz up the communal space

Does your community need a visual lift but you can’t afford a major overhaul? Maybe it’s time to think simple. This week, let’s talk about re-accessorizing.

Re-accessorizing can do wonders for a senior living community’s décor. Take a walk and gather all the accessories you can find. Dust off the ones in the display cabinets, recover the ones hidden in the drawers of china cabinets, and don’t forget about the ones tucked away inside chests and console tables. Once you’ve collected your existing accessories, spread them out on the floor in order to get a good view of your inventory.

First, dispose of all broken or damaged items and the ones that look dated—and be sure to toss any potpourri that is over three months old. Next, clean everything with soap and water and be sure to wipe away any water spots. Make a list of all the bowls and containers that can be filled with decorative “fillers—colored balls, glass beads, scented/dried potpourri. Then take a trip to the nearest craft store and purchase a few new bags of colorful and interesting fillers.

Now it’s time to get creative. Fill the bowls and containers with the new filler items and keep what’s left over to refresh in a few months. Borrow a luggage cart or 3-shelf cart from housekeeping. Fill up the cart with all the accessories it can hold and go to work. Begin on the floor that is the most important for marketing/sales because you will find yourself pulling the “better” accessories first and you don’t want to end up with leftovers on the most marketable floor. Then place accessories back on the occasional tables, consoles, and chests. Mix up the items and don’t put them back on the same tables and chests. Also try not to re-display the accessories that were together before.

When the cart gets low go back and replenish it again with the remaining accessories. That’s all there is to it!

Alicia Jones is the Owner and President of West End Interiors, LLC, in Nashville, Tennessee. The firm's primary focus is senior living and hospitality design. She has worked with many architectural firms, general contractors, and developers across the country and has developed an extensive database of resources.

Send in your own 'simple solutions' to Kevin Kolus, Associate Editor/Online Editor.

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