Care sector interior design is highly rewarding, however the battle between aesthetics and functionality can be very challenging.
Care sector interior design is one of the services we offer at Mood Interiors. Helping to fulfil the lives of looked after children & adults through design is really satisfying. This sector comes with its challenges, as do all projects, but crucially this involves the balance of design with functionality. The designers at Mood have over 15 years of expertise in Residential Care Home design, and have the knowledge around colour therapy, patterns, textures and space planning to ensure the needs of the clients are always maintained prior to any scheme being put together.
I thought that I would share my own experience with you all, since I am in the process of designing a home for young people with behavioural needs for Progress Care Solutions. The government promise below really resonates with me, because as well as providing learning opportunities, I feel young people should all have a home where they feel safe, happy and inspired, which can contribute to their development into adult life.
When designing for children in care, I like to get the colour chart out first! After putting together three-four draft schemes – I sat down with each young person and put their room in their hands. It is often best to have some
pre-designed ideas to present to each young person, not to patronise their capability but to steer them in a direction which is financially and functionally suitable for the care-home. I mean, I have had some fantastic ideas from these enthusiastic children from; all pink; floors- walls- fabrics to painted goal posts on the walls!
However, designing in this environment is a continuous balance of homely environments whilst adhering to regulations of the sector. As with most commercial interiors, the soft furnishings all need to be inherently fire retardant, strong furniture and where appropriate fabrics needs to be waterproof and washable.
This is why I love using Scion fabrics and wallpapers. I am yet to come across designs which
comply with regulations but still look fun and youthful (NOTE some very exciting news to come on this- watch this space!).
Combining these fabrics with coral, blue, yellow or green walls create bedrooms suitable for all genders, ages and needs.
Research undertaken by the University of Strathclyde which examined the attitudes to a range of design interventions in four residential care homes for children in South Lanarkshire suggests that colour provoked the most response from both young people and the staff in the homes, and that young people indicated a desire to be involved in the initial consultation of the design. Click for full report
Well, this is exactly what we achieved in this redesign – after all why does obeying the rules need to mean dull institutional interiors. By adding colour and pattern to stimulate these young people, we made this space their home.