Bernard Interiors welcomes growth in the later living market

As the luxury senior-living market continues to grow, award-winning interior design studio, Bernard Interiors, notes a significant increase in demand, a shift in requirements for the over-65’s market, and a strong pipeline of projects with its partners, including Audley Villages, Retirement Villages Group, Hadrian Healthcare and Angela Swift Developments.

By 2030, 21.8% of the UK population will be over 65 and over. This growing demographic is currently driving the market for people who are seeking a comfortable and sophisticated retirement, with a strong willingness to invest in the maximum enjoyment of their later years. In 2023, Kevin Beirne, director of retirement at Octopus Real Estate, emphasised the profound impact of aging on the global economy, stating:

“Aging will be probably the single biggest macro-economic influence on not just us, but
the rest of the developed world over the next 25 years.”

Additionally, in its 2023/2024 Seniors Housing Annual Review, Knight Frank said:

“The seniors cohort is the wealthiest cohort with in excess of 1.5 trillion pounds of un-
mortgaged housing equity locked up in family houses with under-utilised bedrooms.
In the next 30 years, this wealth will be released through seniors’ investment in their
housing, services, and health and/or inheritance tax/estate planning.”

Notable investments in recent years highlight the want to be a part of this burgeoning market. In 2021, Natwest and L&G announced a joint investment of £500 million in later living. Then, in 2023, Natwest reiterated its interest in the market, by allocating £75 million to Adlington Retirement Living with Homes England. In early 2024, Cheyne Capital Real Estate provided a loan of £143 million to Riverstone, a retirement living developer, for its latest project in London.

The pace at which the later living market is gaining momentum has led to the development of numerous retirement villages across the country, also known as integrated retirement communities (IRCs). Knight Frank’s ‘Seniors Housing Development Update 2023’, found that IRC schemes are now the dominant form of later living housing delivery in the UK. Bernard Interiors is a company at the forefront of the evolving market of later living, working with leading IRC providers such as Audley Group and Retirement Villages Group (RVG).

Since its conception in 2008, the studio has successfully designed and installed a range of interiors that remain at the forefront of the sector. These developments service the growing market, with a focus on improving the lives of residents and owners, and include ample amenities such as spas, gyms, cinema rooms, à la carte restaurants, and bars.

Bernard Interiors’ projects also incorporate curated cultural nods to the local community, resulting in spaces filled with antique artwork and signposts to history. Bespoke furniture is another integral part of the studio’s design schemes, catering to ease of mobility and supporting the independence of residents and owners, without compromising the quality of their surroundings.

Founder and Managing Director of Bernard Interiors, Jen Bernard commented:

“We are a company that cares about every detail, resulting in positive change for the way
people live. Over the past decade, we have built a reputation for delivering inspiring
interiors for the later living sector, where comfort, safety, and adaptability do not come at
the expense of design.

“The market has responded positively to the development of first-rate later living villages,
and retirees are now eager to invest in accommodation that simultaneously provides a
beautiful home and encourages their integration into a safe, modern, and comfortable

“The premium nature of the interiors we create not only demonstrates how our design
services can add huge value, but it also highlights to investors that they’re likely to receive a
significant return on investment should they put their resources into creating appealing
spaces for later living.

“It truly is a flourishing market that should not be underestimated.”

Over the coming years, the later living sector is expected to continue its expansion.

It was recommended in 2023 that the Government provide 50,000 units of new seniors housing each year by Cushman & Wakefield and the British Property Federation in their joint report, ‘Housing for an Ageing Population’. This suggests that retirement living will become only more prevalent in society, as we rebuild our environment to support our aging population.

The latest research in the field informs Bernard Interiors’ work and the company continues to put it into practice. This commitment ensures that the studio consistently delivers innovative services to its clients and maintains its cutting-edge reputation.

The company and its passionate team are excited to continue transforming the face of
retirement living in the UK and worldwide.

Our style is born from our clients vision and our skills realise our clients’ business aspirations or dream lifestyle.


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Photography © Neale Smith / Kristen McCluskie