NEW FOREST CARE-HOME – DINING & ACTIVITIES ROOM WITH KITCHENETTE & SNUG
To modernise a large space to be used for various activities alongside dining requirements. To be bright and welcoming for residents, their families and staff. Space needs to be adaptable with the ability for movement of disability aids, wheelchairs, etc. A secondary lounging area separate to the main lounge to be included with access to kitchen items to be self sufficient for drinks and refreshments.
INSPIRATION & DESIGN
All aspects needed changing from floor to ceiling. The room could be quite dark but around midday the sun would flow through and was to bright and often too hot for residents. Motorised roller blinds were installed at the high windows to enable easy operation alongside an air conditioning unit to moderate temperatures. Ground floor windows included FR black-out curtains and roman blinds in a modern Panaz fabric to stop light reflection on the Television for cinema afternoons.
Flooring was replaced with a non-slip Country Oak effect modular click system for texture, clean lines and ease of maintenance for staff. A textured wallpaper applied to two walls with all other areas painted in a matching shade. Half of the existing beech furniture was re-useable and the seating simply required re-cushioning & re-upholstery with new easy clean, anti-microbial fabric. Many existing seats had standard chair legs or ski’s.
Corresponding tables were found and chairs with housekeeping wheels, for ease of movement, were purchased to increase numbers for when the home had full residency. A variety of fabrics in various textures and patterns from Iliv & Panaz broke up the previous solid block of colours, calming the room down. Two colour mood boards were provided to staff and clients and the light blue and yellow (which is supposed to aid digestion) option was chosen.
The room already had numerous ceiling fix pendants installed but they were small with bare bulbs visible. These were replaced with Elstead LED Pendants and semi-flush ceiling fix lights – the base of which are diffused. These made the room much brighter but importantly created a focal statement around the room.
A small kitchenette was installed so that relatives and residents can make a cup of coffee and relax in the snug area if they didn’t want to be involved in other activities.
The comfy chairs surround a faux fireplace with cut logs and faux candles for some ambience to try to make it feel like a home. Small side tables can be easily moved into place when required.
During the design period I asked the staff to talk with the residents about their memories of TV, holidays, childhood etc. All the answers supplied enabled me to locate black and white images to create a memory wall of pictures, all hung at a height suitable for wheelchair users. This will hopefully become a discussion topic as well as decorative.
Frames are fixed to the wall for ease of cleaning, but easy to remove to change pictures when required.
The room now feels more like a restaurant for residents to dine in but with the ease of mobility to create a space for activities. Most importantly I just hope everyone enjoys the new clean, bright design.