A Renewed Focus on Senior Living
In the last decade – and especially last year in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic – society’s focus on wellness has intensified. It’s a hot-button issue that extends across a variety of design segments, from corporate workspaces to healthcare. Senior living, in particular, has embraced wellness in facility design, supporting a larger movement to address shifting expectations and mindsets toward aging, while also keeping residents safe, happy and thriving.Here are four ways we are seeing carpet, in particular, play a role in the changing look and feel of senior living environments.
Bridging Hospitality and Senior Living
Borrowing from the “home away from home” aesthetic that has served the hospitality industry well, senior living facilities are focusing on reducing environmental stressors and shifting away from clinical/healthcare-oriented designs in favor of more familiar and comfortable settings for residents. Ultimately, the goal is to create interiors that make people feel like they’re truly home. We are even seeing designs that resemble resorts and spas, elevating the sense of luxury within the facility and its surroundings. Carpet and LVT can contribute to the sophistication of senior living spaces without sacrificing performance. At Bentley, we’re committed to using Type 6,6 nylon, which provides the luxe look and feel that designers and end-users want, coupled with the durability that facilities need.
Did you know that as we age, the lens of our eye yellows from years of exposure to ultraviolet light? This affects color perception and can make it difficult to see differences in shades of blues, greens and purples. Bentley’s design and color experts keep this, and other segment-specific issues, top of mind when perfecting color lines. For example, our Meiso Collection incorporates color theory, bringing both the art and science of color into the palettes to ensure the carpet works in a variety of settings, including senior living. The colors are not your typical neutrals that you might find in older healthcare facilities; instead, they range from rich tones to warmer hues, which are trending again across many segments, and especially in senior living.
Blending Soft and Hard Surfaces
Mixing carpet and LVT is also on the rise in senior living. We recently visited a senior living facility where hard surfaces were used in the corridor areas and carpet in the residents’ units. In part, it’s a maintenance preference; the more highly trafficked common spaces require cleaning and sanitizing multiple times daily, particularly with increased COVID health and safety guidelines. LVT allows for this more easily than carpet, which typically requires a hot water extraction unit. LVT designs have developed more becoming sophisticated, realistic wood grains and organic textures. This allows designers create a more seamless and pleasing aesthetic while pairing both carpet broadloom and tile.
Bringing the Outside In
As this pandemic continues, senior living facilities are getting creative as they try to find more effective and safer ways for families and friends to visit their loved ones. At a recent site visit we observed, a beautiful newly renovated courtyard which had been updated with glass dividers, allowing residents to see and spend time with their visitors all while keeping a safe and protected distance. It’s an innovative approach to wellness, and a unique take on the outside-in design philosophy.
Carpet patterns can infuse nature into interior design, creating a modern, organic connection with the outdoors. Bentley’s Meiso, inspired by Japan’s Sagano Bamboo Forest, a collection of three complementary patterns, is a perfect example. Root is a non-defined pattern that mimics elements of gravel and cobblestone walking paths. This refined product is the ideal scale for residents’ private rooms. Roam, an artistic linear pattern, reimagines the bamboo stalks that line the forest, perfect for quiet reflection in common areas, libraries or sitting rooms. Ponder, the larger-scale pattern, captures the forest canopy in a sophisticated botanical that is perfect for grand spaces like lobbies, dining rooms or even a ballroom. Each pattern is designed to evoke peacefulness and fluid design aesthetic.
Redesigning the Future of Senior Living
Although the extreme, ongoing health crisis has clearly been a challenge for the industry. It has placed senior living and other healthcare facilities under the microscope. We believe it is an opportunity to accelerate the redesign of facilities with wellness in mind and provide an atmosphere that this generation deserves.