We were very pleased to be asked to join the expert panel for the SBID Healthcare Design conversation, #SBIDHealth, on twitter recently. Discussion included whether care homes should look like hotels, the importance of light reflectance value (LRV) for people with visual impairment, choice of floor and wallcoverings and the use of artworks for care homes.
Jen Bernard, managing director of Bernard Interiors said: “Our belief is that a care home should primarily be a ‘home’, as opposed to somewhere you just want to stay for a night. We look to creating a timeless and classic interior which is age appropriate and very comfortable. It’s about light, finishes, texture, colour, familiarity and scale. As soon as someone walks into a care home they should feel at ease, warm and relaxed. The design and specification must also be compliant with all the regulations for this sector, and consideration given at design stage to technical issues such as LRV. Well chosen artwork in dementia friendly spaces can aid with way finding and reminiscence.
“We talk to operational staff about their needs as well and what helps them to work most effectively. This is often to do with space planning, which is where projects including the interior designer from the outset can be more successful than those which ‘bolt on’ interior design after the build. Investing in relevant, durable materials which will stand the test of time is also important.”