Hollister UK
Image default
Home and Garden

4 Principles of Interior Design to Apply to Your Care Home


Interior design for care homes is quite different from the one for other commercial or residential spaces. However, the basic interior design principles are the same for any type of space. The difference stems from the way they are applied.


Let’s take a quick look at the main interior design principles and how they should be applied to care homes.


(image credits)



  1. Embrace the Empty Space


Proper management of space is the core value of good interior design. You typically want to maximise your space and make the most of it.


For example, in the case of a shopping mall, you want to make sure you can create as many commercial spaces as possible. At first glance, in the case of a care home, you may be tempted to use the space to the fullest so you can create as many rooms as possible.


But, even if you have enough space for two extra rooms, you need to consider the common areas as well. Your care home will most likely host people with limited mobility or with cognitive impairments.


They need wide areas to get around and to avoid accidents. To reduce your ambulance callouts, make sure that:


  • There is enough access room in the common spaces, corridors, individual rooms, staircases, and elevators for residents who use walking aids or wheelchairs. They need to be able to move around comfortably. If they need to wiggle their way into the elevator with their mobility aids, then the elevator is not wide enough.

  • Your residents can move around comfortably in the common spaces, even when they are crowded.

  • When the common areas are crowded, each of your residents can still have their own seat and they don’t feel closed in.

  • Your corridors can be easily accessed by people with mobility aids or by emergency respondents carrying stretchers.

  • Your bathrooms have enough room for hoists and handling aids.


You may not need all these things at the same time. But enough empty space ensures the safety and well-being of your residents so maximise it as much as possible.


  1. Let the Light In


As we age, our eyesight deteriorates progressively. Your residents need more light to read and even to pick out certain objects around them.


Whether it’s natural or artificial, the lighting in a care home has to be at a consistent level. To ensure consistency, you need to carefully balance your doors and windows.


Where natural light is insufficient, artificial lighting can help. But it’s not enough to install as many lighting fixtures as possible and hope for the best. Here are some things to consider when planning your care home lighting:


  • You need fixtures to enhance visibility, but also for atmosphere purposes. You can create a more pleasant atmosphere using lamps and spotlights.

  • Instead of a few strong fixtures, opt for more low-intensity fixtures. This will reduce glare and improve comfort without sacrificing visibility.

  • Opt for white light in functional spaces, like the dining room.

  • Choose warm lights in the bedrooms.


  1. Choose Your Colours Carefully


Colours are the main ingredient of your care home’s personality and the first thing potential residents and their families notice. While it may be tempting to opt for soothing beige and gray tones, remember that they are ill-suited for residents with neurodegenerative conditions.


Such residents need bolder colours and contrasting tones to help them remember their surroundings and differentiate between the different spaces in your care home easier.


Contrasting patterns enhance safety too. For example, if a chair blends too much with the wall against which it is set, the risk of falling increases.


Moreover, you can always choose colours that improve your residents’ moods. Blue is a calming colour, so it’s ideal for the bedrooms, while yellow is perfect for a common space because it enhances creativity and cheer.


  1. Create Dementia-Friendly Patters


As mentioned above, contrasting patterns will help your cognitively-impaired residents a lot. But there is more that you can do with patterns:


  • Add more patterns to larger rooms.

  • Stick to fewer patterns in smaller rooms because they can be overwhelming.

  • Avoid stripes in the areas where your dementia patients spend time — they can be interpreted as barriers, which can unsettle your residents.

  • Add texture to help jolt residents’ memory. You can play with textures on your furniture and on your soft furnishings like curtains or carpets.


Wrapping Things Up


Not sure how to integrate all these principles into your care home’s interior design? You can always consult a specialist.


It can be overwhelming to create a space that’s functional, easy to clean and disinfect, and homelike at the same time. But with the help of furniture and soft furnishings that are specifically designed with your residents’ needs in mind, you can create the atmosphere and functionality they need.