10 Interesting Things You Need to Know About Aged Care Interior Design

10 Interesting Things You Need to Know About Aged Care Interior Design

When you first think of aged care homes, perhaps Interior Design doesn’t immediately spring to mind.

But the melodic weave between beautiful spaces and aged care safety requirements doesn’t happen on its own. That’s where aged care interior design comes in. It’s the difference between clinical-feeling ‘facilities’ and welcoming, homely retreats.

Aged Care Design: Insights from the Designers

We’ve received our fair share of design questions over the past 25 years. So we thought it was time to share key insights into the aged care interior design space.

Here are our top picks for important things to know before embarking on your aged care interior design project.

1. Wayfinding and signage

Aged care spaces require clear navigational markers to comfort and guide residents.

For example, those living with dementia experience impaired spatial learning and memories which can become distressing. In a qualitative study by Bournemouth University, All the Corridors Look the Same,’ it’s noted that signage plays a significant factor in supportive orientation – and aids to remedy confusion.

As seen in our Dudley Foord House project with Anglicare, signage styles can also offer a familiar, comforting feel. Markers that complement spaces while serving an important purpose gets two ticks from us.

Signage – Dudley Foord House

2. Design elements for support and independence

Selecting the right fixtures, fittings and finishing touches within aged care facilities is key. An experienced and creative interior designer will always consider user-friendly aspects of the finalised project.

Some examples of carer and resident-supportive design features are:

  • Shorter distances between resident transfer areas
  • Secure, discrete medication cabinets
  • User-friendly door handles and taps

3. Lighting

The stark, white-wash lighting of hospices have no place in aged care interior design today.

Yes, older eyes require different levels of lighting and lighting conditions. But we wholeheartedly believe that responsive interior environments are best used to enhance quality of life and make for positive human experiences within spaces.

That’s why integrating homely light fittings with ergonomically-precise lighting levels help to create functional yet appealing spaces within aged care homes.

Lighting – Bankstown City Aged Care

4. Flooring thresholds

In aged care homes, flooring requires close attention to detail. Safety requirements must be met, but we also see style as important.

It’s the finer details, like ensuring carpets aren’t too thick for impaired walking. And that slip-resistant flooring, joins and materials are the perfect fit for the specific area.

5. Colour contrast for ease of visibility

Perception alterations in aged care residents means deliberate colour contrast is of great importance in the interior design space. A thoughtful balance between aesthetics and practicality.

Carefully chosen colours for contrast successfully work to:

  • Emphasise clear, comfortable visibility
  • Assist wayfinding
  • Offer emotive sensations

At Gilmore Interior Design, our concepts are deeply inspired by the residents living at the aged care homes. Because of this, it is important to develop a look and feel that gives a high-spirited, positive ambiance.

Colour Contrast – The Village by Scalabrini

6. Aesthetics and spaces

Throughout the design process, and especially in the aged care field, it’s important to have clear distinctions between:

  • Spacious common areas
  • Smaller retreat areas
  • Socialisation precincts
  • Family areas for privacy
  • Warm dining areas

Introducing flow and aesthetic differentiators between spaces works to create a warm and welcoming atmosphere.

7. Intergeneration Design and Community Access

Intergenerational aspects are areas where residents can connect with visitors, no matter their age.

Further, lifestyle facilities provide a healthy, accommodating environment available to the whole neighbourhood. By integrating facilities available to the public within aged care homes, a new feel of community spirit flourishes.

A good example of the two combining is Narrabeen’s New Anzac Village. This included a wildlife centre, cafe and childcare facility to connect visitors, residents and the public.

Community Spaces – New Anzac Narrabeen

8. Acoustics

It’s a good idea to engage an interior designer early on in any new project since acoustics rely heavily on structural elements. For aged care, reduced noise allows residents to enjoy a more harmonious home environment.

Your interior designer will execute acoustics in one of three ways:

  • Absorb
  • Block
  • Cover

At Gilmore Interior Design, we team creativity with exceptional design elements for seamless acoustic management integration.

9. Physiologically considered furniture

Stylish furniture looks good. But stylish, physiologically considered furniture is better. Aged care interior design requires an expert touch to seamlessly combine style and functionality.

To begin with, some key areas to consider are:

  • Ensuring furniture positions knees below hips
  • Rounded corners on furnishings for safety
  • Flat arms on chairs so residents can push off easily
  • Foam density for support and transfers with ease

10. Homely Design

Inviting, homely designs create a more enriching, comfortable and familiar environment for aged care residents. Combining the functionality of clinical aged care facilities with the style and aesthetics of luxe retreats, is key for an enjoyable aged care community.


With over 25 years in the industry, at Gilmore Interior Design we believe in the power of excellence. Within the aged care space of interior design, we’re committed to creativity, backed by real-world problem solving.

Contact our team to discuss all your aged care interior design needs today.



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