RSL LifeCare Badcoe House

RSL LifeCare Badcoe House

Newcastle, NSW

“We were inspired to create an aged care facility that offered the ambience of a contemporary hotel and put its residents at ease.”

Gilmore Interior Design believes that disability-compliant design never has to be synonymous with a clinical environment. We followed this principle in our full-scope design service for RSL LifeCare and their Badcoe House centre in Newcastle’s West.

It was important that the space supported ageing in place, including older people living with dementia. Accordingly, we utilised a variety of design details to assist with way-finding and promote overall wellbeing. Accordingly, our concept struck the balance between a relaxed sophistication and the optimum functionality and flow required by its residents. 

Gilmore Interior Design was drawn to the surrounds of the Newcastle CBD as the basis for our design. A palette of soft greys, terracottas, ochres and greens was used throughout the facility, creating an earthy, coastal charm. The custom-designed carpet was the pièce de résistance throughout the resident lounge and corridors. With a combination of steel blue and tan, the organic pattern felt like a fusion of ocean and sand throughout the common areas. This was complemented by the feature open screen at the facility entry. Rendered in alternating ash and slate-grey timbers, it’s an orientation tool that marks the transition from the reception to the resident lounge positioned beyond it.

This clever use of colour is carried through into the teal upholstered armchairs and the natural walnut timber of the dining room floors, reminiscent of Newcastle’s weathered boardwalks. We incorporated a collection of large potted indoor plants to add accents of greenery and curated artworks that lent a relaxed elegance to the living and common areas. A combination of vibrant, oak-framed artworks added a punch of colour, which was perfectly balanced by black and white historical photographs. They paid homage to Newcastle’s cityscape throughout the past century; offering a point of visual interest and nostalgia for Badcoe House’s local residents, visitors and staff.

Lighting was another key design detail across the different areas of the facility. A modern-style chandelier in bright chrome was chosen for the lobby. This prominent sculptural element encouraged people to look up into the void, thereby accentuating the height of the reception and instantly creating a sense of spaciousness. Drum pendants and timber-look battens featured in the ceilings of the lounge and dining areas, defining and providing warmth to the space.

As with any facility catering to older people, supportively orienting residents within the space was a key priority. We incorporated wayfinding devices, including a range of individually designed, panelled resident doors that were painted in high-contrast and vibrant colours. Colour contrast was also used in the ensuite bathrooms, with glass mosaic tiles defining the location of the W.C and complementing the non-slip, stone-look tiles. The two large lounge and dining areas also provided plentiful room for socialising, with no risk of residents being confronted by a crowded, over-stimulating space.

Gilmore Interior Design was able to take ownership over the entire design process, from initial concept development and design to construction documentation. We worked closely with the RSL LifeCare team, including providing the pricing of proposed materials early in the process to help them understand fit-out costs and managing the selection and installation of furniture, upholstery fabrics and framed artworks. Not only did the client feel empowered throughout key parts of the process, they were thrilled with the final result.

Completion Date

January 2020


RSL LifeCare


EJE Architects


Hansen and Yuncken

Project Managers

TSA Management

Other Suppliers

LifeCare Furniture


Alexander McIntyre


Aged Care Design

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