Sunrise Senior living Suite makeover

Many of you might remember the makeover for Sunrise Senior Living I did last year where the lovely Fran won a suite redesign by us.  It was one of my favorite projects ever. It was just so rewarding because I truly think it made her life happier and thats all you can really want/expect out of your job, right?

At Sunrise Senior Living they invite anyone who lives there to turn their space into their home by really doing anything to it (yes, including wallpaper!). You can paint, bring in your own furniture (even pianos and pets) and really make it yours. If they insisted on generic design I wouldn’t have partnered with them, but they wanted to highlight the fact that you can make your room or suite totally you by doing whatever you want to it. In fact a couple of words about Sunrise in general: they are a nationwide community for seniors that is dedicated to providing personal care for each senior, while maintaining dignity and independence. Also they have a lot of happy hours, movies, even a beauty salon where they can get pampered. In fact if you wanted to you could pack your day full of activities that they provide – to help them stay and feel young. I’ve now been to five Sunrise locations and have been impressed with all of them. The one in LA that I visited felt like SUCH a party – everyone knew each other really well, and was having so much fun together.

OK, back to the makeover:

There is kinda nothing more satisfying than someone winning a free makeover they are just so grateful and happy which makes our job so much more satisfying – it’s a win/win for everyone involved.

So I’d like to introduce you to Dominic and Helen; two incredibly sweet and deserving seniors.

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Their son nominated them to win the makeover (there were over a hundred entries) and they were chosen. Dominic was a POW in WWII for 19 months and he is one of the happiest, most jovial people i’ve ever met. Nineteen months, folks. That is a lot of time – he deserves 25 makeovers.

They call him ‘The Mayor ‘at Sunrise because he’s just so social and funny – not to mention a massive flirt. He’s a ladies man, but man, he loves Helen soooooo much. They’ve been together for 67 years and are clearly still in love. So sweet. Again, I will say (and I said it last year) that the Sunrise communities are awesome – its like fun college dorms for seniors – but with way more amenities. There are so many happy hours, activities, field trips to bars/museums, musical events, dances, etc … plus a lot of really personal care (everyone has their own care giver that knows them VERY WELL) and physical/medical help when they need. Oh and the food is strangely good and super healthy. Every time I’m in one I just think: I’ve got to start saving or getting insurance for this, because its such a lovely place to live.

Anyway, their suite, however, was lacking. Their lovely son purchased all the furniture the week before they moved in and he’s not exactly a decorator (which is why he entered them into the contest). It was functional but just not very pretty or personal. Here’s the before:

Bedroom Makeover

Fairly generic and just not a place you are PSYCHED to hang out. Luckily none of these pieces were sentimental to them so they said we could replace all of them …. EXCEPT the recliners. They said that if we found recliners that were as comfortable (and within our small budget) that they would be open to it, but ultimately comfort for them was more important than style and while obviously that is a design challenge, I totally agreed. I wasn’t going to be that jerk that was like ‘here are your new minimalist club chairs’ that were hard and uncomfy. Its like giving a family with three little kids a white silk rug. These guys were indeed the most comfortable chairs in the world so I couldn’t really compete with that.

Bedroom makeover

The headboard/side tables/lamps were all just fine but stylistically not really saying anything about who they are. Plus, frankly, they were kinda bumming me out.

Bedroom makeover

Before I got started on this redesign I came up with a bunch of tips  and product pics for designing for seniors. They have different needs and as they age we want to make sure that their physical weaknesses are addressed first and foremost so that they can live their life as comfortably as possible with as few frustrations as possible. So below is the general moodboard/design tips I came up for designing for any seniors (It’s not Helen and Dominic’s design plan – stay tuned for that).

Moodboard

1. Ivory sconce | 2. Side table | 3. Upholstered headboard | 4. Tufted ottoman | 5. Blue/green | 6. Bronzed beige | 7. Tufted sofa | 8. Drop leaf dining table | 9. Desk | 10. Table Lamp | 11. White sconce | 12. Storage boxes | 13. Ferns | 14. Floating wall shelf | 15. Quilt set | 16. Rounded nightstand | 17. Tufted ottoman

1. Ivory sconce A retractable sconce like this by your nightstand frees up surface area and the position of it is flexible so you can move it around to make sure that your reading needs are met. I love this one for reading, but if its the only lighting that you have near the bed then make sure you get a fabric shade as metal shades have only directional light – great for reading but not for ambience.

2. Side table.  This side table is both a stool for extra seating and a surface for setting drinks – we love how multifunctional pieces like this can be. Plus, its round so it doesn’t have any sharp corner so hips and shins are most likely free from harm.

3. Upholstered headboard.  I love how warm and simple a headboard like this is. Its much more inviting to get into and more comfortable for reading in bed.

4. Tufted ottoman  Comfortable, inviting, traditional and yet updated. And I love how this one again, has extra storage.

5. This soft blue/green provides a calming energy.

6. This bronzed beige color brings warmth into the space without being too muted.

7. Tufted sofaA small-scale sofa like this is perfect for a cozy home and it’s big back offers a lot of comfort and support.

8. Drop leaf dining table A drop leaf table can be against the wall like a console or buffet when guests aren’t over and then when you are ready to entertain you simply pull it out and viola – room for 4!

9. Desk This desk is small-scale and could act like a buffet, sofa table or desk – yet is so simple that it can work with many styles.

10. Touch Table Lamp A touch table lamp is so extremely convenient so there is no middle of the night searching for switches or fumbling around. You just reach out and its on.

11. White sconce The sconce is chic and modern and has an easy switch that can be reached while laying down.

12. Storage boxes hides all the unsightly items and is a good way to store photos and cards.  These are good because they have a handle on the front for easy access.

13. Ferns are an easy plant to maintain and provides a sculptural but soft energy to the room.

14. Floating wall shelf A shelf like this (especially in the longer 45 – 60” lengths) is great to place art or family photos on. Instead of hanging and rehanging them on the wall you just hang the shelf once and rotate pictures, add to them and create a collection of family memories so easily.

15. Quilt set Go for a pretty texture for your bedding. This can be mixed with a pattern or another solid and the texture provides warmth and easy differentiation between the bedding layers.

16. Rounded nightstand I love the warmth of the nightstand and of course how it provides storage that can be hidden away. Its traditional without feeling too rickety and antique.

17. Tufted ottoman Any time you can combine storage into a piece of furniture do it! This ottoman is great to keep blankets or magazines close and within reach.

So using those tips and ideas I came up with their mood board:

 

Moodboard

Lets talk about their particular needs and wants:

1. Dominic wanted a mini-bar – somewhere he could entertain his friends in his room because he’s such a social dude.

2 They wanted something fun to play music off of (that music box does records, cd’s as well as ipod or iphone). They both LOVE to dance which you’ll see down there later.

3. They wanted to keep their recliners as they are super comfortable and easy to get in and out of. A design challenge for sure, but I was up for it.

4. He loves to garden so we needed to bring that in somehow.

5. Helen wanted light blue/green as the dominant color.

6. They didn’t have any personal items – so we needed to bring in some family photos to help it feel more personal.

The above mood board was our first one, with teal/aqua being the dominant color, gray to ground it and help it feel more masculine, woods to warm it up and ochre/mustard as its accent color. I liked it but it wasn’t feeling very fresh.

Moodboard

This one I liked more, (we switched out ochre for coral) but it looked WAY too much like the color palette from last year, so we needed to mix it up a bit.

Instead of the coral we brought in some navy and it started feeling much better.

Moodboard 05 700

We had about two weeks to prep which sounds like a lot but when you are installing in Ohio and shopping online for furniture it becomes hard to find pieces that are available (to ship and be delivered in time), what you need and what you want. So it was a mad rush to get everything either made or ordered and shipped out in time. Ginny and Brady headed out there two days early to do a lot of the accessory shopping and project manage the wallpaper/paint situation, and I came out the day before to style it all up. I wasn’t able to meet Helen and Dominic in person before so it was so fun to be able to chat with them because they were just so grateful and excited.

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We gave them sneak peeks here and there and they had approval over the wallpaper and the color palette, but otherwise it was all a surprise which makes the reveal that much more fun:

Bedroom Makeover

They LOVED IT. Gosh, I love a good reveal. They were so surprised, totally speechless and just full of joy. That’s not the best pic of Dominic right there, he looks terrified, but trust me that he reacted (which is why I’m laughing so hard). To see the whole thing in action (and hear more about them and their story) check out this video of the project.

Bedroom Design

Such a happier space, indeed. We chose this floral wallpaper because we wanted to speak to their love of gardening – plus it’s just so happy and traditional, but in an updated way. It was tricky finding the mix of what feels/looks fresh and fun, and what is their style – which  is more traditional and safe. This wallpaper felt like a good compromise – I loved how simple it was (with just two colors  and birds/flowers) but it still felt approachable to them.

Bird Wallpaper

I wanted to wallpaper the entire room but Dominic said that he thought that would be confusing and maybe he was right. So we decided to match the color of the wallpaper to get the right paint color for the other three walls.

Bedroom Makeover

We switched out the dresser with this vintage one that we found in Columbus that had way more character and worked with the tones of the nightstands. We added some photos of their family, a plant for life (the caretakers will take care of the plants) and a simple curvy lamp to balance out all the squares.

Products: WallpaperHeadboard | Sconces | Shams | Sweater blanket | Pillows | White bedding

Bedroom Design

That mini-bar was perfect for them because it had rounded edges (again, good for not bumping hips/shins) and then yeah, it was filled with scotch, gin, tequila and margarita mix (Helen loves margaritas). We added the two knobs to make it easier to open up (and did it in a contrast color to make it easy to see).

Products: Side tableEtched bowl (used as plant pot) | Lamp + Lamp shade | Striped jewellery box | Bar | Knobs | blue pot | White pot | Record/CD player | Mugs

Terrarium

The plug-in lights were great for freeing up surface space plus you don’t need to have junction boxes installed. We used a simple white conduit cover to cover the chord (super cheap, from any hardware store) and is a great solution for a rental or a space that might be more temporary.

We made three terrariums, filled with plants, because Dominic loves gardening so we wanted to bring in some miniature gardens.  He was so excited to take care of the terrariums himself and I assured him that they are probably going to need some help as I had no idea what I was doing when I planted them together.

Products: Blue frame | Blue vase | Lantern (used as terrarium)

Bedroom Makeover

Cute nightstand

The nightstands were from Crate and Barrel and  i liked them because the wood warmed up the space, they provided storage and they were approachably modern.

Products: Wood nightstand | Sheet set

Bedroom makeover

Products: Cream lamp + Drum lamp shade | Blue dot frame | Wood photo frame | Gold pot | Brass frame mirror | Books | Dresser- vintage

Nightstand

Products: Geo lantern (used as terrarium) | Marble box | Striped jewellery box | Plug-in light dimmer 

Bedroom Design

The plug-in dimmer thing is one of my favorite inventions. You plug your lamp (or sconce) into the end of it and then plug it into the wall and you can control your lamp/sconce from that – dim it down, turn off/on, etc. It seems like not that much further to reach, but if you have physical weaknesses it can be a stretch (literally) to reach up there, and just not necessary when an option like this exists. They are super cheap and so helpful.

Bedroom

Those recliners had to stay and I actually don’t totally mind them for Dominic and Helen. I searched and searched and searched to find some recliners that could replace them and every time I thought I nailed it, I asked myself ‘Are these going to be as comfortable for Dominic and Helen as what they already have’ and the answer was, ‘no way’. Sure, I found some that were $1500 each and they looked slightly better, but that was almost the entire budget so obviously that wouldn’t make sense, plus they weren’t that much better. So we happily left those bad boys in there.

Products: Trunk  1. Ivory sconce | 2. Side table | 3. Upholstered headboard | 4. Tufted ottoman | 5. Blue/green | 6. Bronzed beige | 7. Tufted sofa | 8. Drop leaf dining table | 9. Desk | 10. Table Lamp | 11. White sconce | 12. Storage boxes | 13. Ferns | 14. Floating wall shelf | 15. Quilt set | 16. Rounded nightstand | 17. Tufted ottoman

Meanwhile after the reveal we turned on Frank Sinatra and had a dance party, naturally.

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He insisted on swinging me around white intensely and kept telling me that my hips were too stiff and that I needed to loosen up a bit, so he ditched me for Helen pretty quick.

good b-roll.Still005

I get pretty sentimental about this job because I think that the elderly are dismissed a lot in our society – way more here than in so many other countries. Ironically I never really knew my grandparents very well, (my  mom side had passed before I was born and my dad’s parents weren’t totally involved because he suffered from pretty severe PTSD from WWII his entire life) but to me, and especially now that I’m a mom, they deserve soooo much more respect than they are given. I just keep thinking that is going to be me one day, if I’m lucky, and needless to say, I hope that my life is as full of love and life as it is now, so any way that we can help make seniors lives a little more fun is a very good thing.

I now insist that you go and hug a senior.

Sunrise is having their “Tour of Homes,” starting June 1 – 7, which means when you stop by you can take a tour of the community and check out actual resident suites so you can see how they live and what they do with their space. Plus, you get a design guide by yours truly that will help you design with seniors in mind. There’s a lot to learn, but I did the research for you.

*This post and project is in partnership with Sunrise Senior Living – a nationwide community dedicated to championing the quality of life for all seniors. 

  1. Jenna

    I just love this! I work in advertising primarily with senior living communities and I think this is just wonderful. I agree that our seniors are largely dismissed and have so much knowledge, advice and expertise to share. I love hearing their stories – they are so willing to share and so kind. What a fun job this must have been!

  2. Kim

    Thank you Emily. Many of us are in the life transition phase where we need to find a good living situation for our parent(s). Not an easy process. As you mentioned, it is so important to create an inviting living space incorporating familiar pieces. Also important is working within a tight budget. You’ve done it again with your usual grace and flair. Thanks to you and to Sunrise for recognizing the needs of seniors for a warm and wonderful living space.

  3. Diane

    Pretty darned awesome! They look so happy and as though they really appreciate the transformation.

  4. Sarah

    I love this! Seniors are indeed dismissed too quickly in our society and so many homes are dreary and dingy. Thank you for making this happen for two very deserving people!

  5. Katie

    This is so awesome. It brought tears to my eyes. You are such a great designer and have the best tips!! Thank you!

  6. Lori

    This is a beautiful makeover for a beautiful couple! They remind me of my great aunt and uncle (who are sadly now passed), right up to the 19 months in a POW camp, so this post made me tear up and smile at the same time.

  7. Erin

    I love this! They sound like such a great couple, and good to know that Sunrise is such a good option.

  8. Deb

    What a thoughtful and subtle makeover for such a wonderful couple! Love the wallpaper, the little blue and white accents, and that bar is terrific. I predict many dance parties and happy hours in their new space! Indeed, seniors are often neglected and relegated to dingy, uninspiring places, and what a joy to see what you are bringing to deserving folks, Emily. Thank you! (Am on my way to hug a senior now…..)

  9. Love this post! I used to be the activity planner for a retirement home and we had the best time! I felt like I had 100 new grandparents. I love that you’re partnering with these awesome ‘successful agers’, ha! The space looks great and Dominic and Helen look so happy. I’m sure this really was a rewarding job

  10. What an inspiring and wonderful design makeover, Emily! Just reading this post brightened my day. Not only do I have some great tips for senior interior design, but I also can apply these tips to my own subscribers – vacation rental owners. People of all ages benefit by having dimmers, great reading lights, space saving sconces and rounded corners! Thank you so much for all your insight. As always, keep up your amazing work!

  11. I LOVE that you do this. What a great project!

  12. Melissa

    Emily, I love that you do this. Look at the joy in their faces, how wonderful.

  13. Emily, wow! What an undertaking and how incredibly gratifying for you and the residents. I am truly impressed and thrilled to have seen the photos.
    You should be very proud. You did such a beautiful thing.
    Love following your blog, by the way!
    Have a great week!
    Warmly, Jamie Herzlinger

  14. Suz

    Love that wallpaper and the entire space. How cute are those two?

  15. Andrea

    You’ve got soul, Ms. Emily!! Thank you for bringing joy to this lovely couple. And, by the way, for starting each of my mornings off with something fun to read and beautiful to look at.

  16. Maria

    I love that you kept the recliners! Sometimes it’s just better to choose function over style. BTW, can you come over and decorate all of the surfaces in my home? You make every table top/dresser top look so great.

  17. I love it! And tying the color of the recliners in to the rest of the room with the blanket and headboard was genius. I shall find a senior to hug immediately!

  18. Meg

    Love this! You should be so proud for making these two lovely people so happy with your amazing work!

  19. Loribeth

    I would have loved to be able to do something like this for my grandmother while she was in assisted living. Those are awesome tips, and I’m sure I will be using them with my other grandparents in the future!

  20. Sarah

    What a fabulous transformation and seeing the smiles on their faces brought a tear to my eye. What a great job you did!!

  21. Karla

    Aww, thank you, Emily for doing these senior living makeovers! I’m not a senior, nor do I need to design for one at the moment, but the joy this brings makes me a happy camper.

    You know, I think you gave valuable advice in here for all generations. Incorporating those existing chairs was a tough job, but actually much more pleasing to see than another mid-century armchair. And really, why do we ever really settle for things that are uncomfortable? It’s like wearing heels that look pretty, but give you blisters — what’s the point?! Good for you!

  22. Kim

    Absolutely love that you are using your talents to bring happiness to other people. Our seniors truly deserve our respect – thank you!

  23. Melanie

    This post made me tear up a bit. What a beautiful design make-over!! Thank you for loving on these two. I am sure you have changed their lives…even if just a little.

  24. You did a lovely job and this made me a little teary eyed too! Thanks for sharing!

  25. Sunnie

    I lit up when I read that it was a senior living makeover. They make me SO HAPPY!

  26. Jolene

    I LOVE these projects!! I hope that you keep this as an annual to-do, because it is awesome. This seems like such a fun couple – dance parties in their room with a mini-bar?? Hilarious!! And kudos to Sunrise Living for making this a focus of their vision for individualized living for seniors.

  27. Carrie

    Wow, you were like 15 minutes from me! As my parents are aging (though many years from needing this), I’m glad to know there are facilities like this so close to me. Great job with the redesign (I would expect no less!)

  28. ellen

    I just want to say that I’m sad that you no longer seem to be doing motherhood posts.

  29. Sam

    This is such an amazing project! Very sweet. I love that you focused on both beauty and function.

  30. Beth

    How beautiful! I love that you do this for people, so cool. I looooove that wall color–what is the paint brand/color?

  31. Charell

    I loved last year’s senior makeover and this one didn’t disappoint either! The look on her face when she got to see the room is great. Really lovely.

  32. Yolanda

    Just wanted to let you know Dominic and Helen love their room. Thank you! Having worked there for 13 years I love seeing our seniors so happy! You and your team were wonderful.

  33. Elisabeth

    This room is fantastic! I was so excited when I read the title of this post because I remembered last year’s senior makeover, and this room is just as happy and vibrant. Love that you kept the chairs :)

  34. NancyO

    This is amazing! I’m so sick of watching renovations of middle class families whose bathrooms aren’t big enough or their backyard doesn’t a firepit or whatever.

    I LOVE LOVE LOVE seeing happiness in the elderly. So many people dread going to a senior living community for many reason but one for their starkness and the fact that it’s not home-y. Thank you for doing a remodel like this for such a deserving population.

  35. Mallory

    Gah so cute! Everybody in this post is so adorable.

  36. Kate

    Very nicely done Emily. Thoughtful and functional, yet beautiful. I think design is sorely missing in a lot of these senior facilities, but you really did a nice job with your tips for seniors design. Nice partnership. Well done!

  37. Joy

    So cool! What a delightful post.

  38. Rae

    Thank you so much for sharing this with us! Your post last year about the Sunrise makeover was my very favorite of all of your posts. This one was just as moving and the design was just as inspiring – functional and beautiful.

  39. Emily

    Love this, and am so impressed that you really managed to make those recliners feel like they work in the space – the color palette you picked integrates them so well, and the pillows help. And love your discussion of the thought about functionality that went into each piece. Great post!!

  40. Sarah

    This is wonderful. Keep making the world a better place em hendo.

  41. Last year’s Sunrise makeover was wonderful and you’ve done it again with this one. Happy tears were shed as I watched the video. It also gives me hope that I can find a way to incorporate my husbands ‘not entirely ugly by I don’t really like it anyway’ grey recliner into our home. Having just moved my grandmother this week from the house she lived in for 30 years and belonged to her parents before her, it was a wonderful reminder of the dramatic impact that a person’s surroundings can make. Her unit is inoffensively neutral and she has brought many of her lovely things to make it her own. Can’t wait to see it transformed into her home once we are finished unpacking and hanging her beautiful collection of art.

  42. They are so adorable! I want to hang out with them and dance the night away in their cozy and fun little nest! Happy Nesting…wishing you many more dances together.

  43. tammyCA

    Awesome! I love your seniors makeovers! I feel more in tune with that generation than my own…I always say I should’ve been born 40 yrs earlier and I have a strong admiration (& a sense of connection) for those who served, especially in WWII. I’m always reading memoirs/books by those who were in or affected by that horrifying war…it is truly mindboggling what they endured.
    I also didn’t have grandparents growing up so I’ve always missed that.

  44. Nancy

    Such a happier place. So good of you to improve their living situation. Been there with my folks and those places all need some new life pumped into those spaces! Congratulations on a great job. xo Nancy

  45. J

    I love this! What a wonderful thing for you to do! I agree wholeheartedly with you that seniors are so often dismissed in our society. Shame on us. I used to volunteer at a nursing home and while it was a good facility, it broke my heart to see many seniors who had been put there by their relatives and more or less abandoned. They had so much less hope than those in the same facility whose loved ones visited them regularly and looked after them. These two look adorable, good for them!

  46. Kat

    This made me so so so happy!!! Thank you Emily for your beautiful work and beautiful words. I enjoyed everything about this and although I’m nowhere near the age to live in a senior retirement place, I felt the goodness of this place. That couple is amazing and so deserving of this! I want to hang out with seniors now :) thank you again!!

  47. Ann Ruggles

    Emily, you have such a good heat! And I love that you did this project on a small budget.

  48. Ann Ruggles

    heart :)

  49. Julie

    What a lovely project, couple and post. Reading this really made my day (even if I might have gone a teeny bit teary). My mum and sister both work in hospice care and have incredible connections with seniors and I just am in awe. Way to go Emily and mega thanks.

  50. AL

    Can I just say every time you post one of these I tear up a bit. And I’m kind of a bad b. I really appreciate you taking the time to bring some joy into senior citizen’s lives, they really deserve it. Snaps for you Emily!

  51. Alice

    Lovely project! Makes me want to be old enough to live there!

  52. Anh

    This is so great! It makes me want to thank and hug YOU as well as a senior (I’m sorry, is that too weird??). I love love love that you put their comfort first and kept those recliners. You totally made them work after all!! So many thoughtful details, everything turned out just wonderful!

  53. Maggie

    As much as I think your baby is adorable, posts like this one are why your blog is in my feedly. Thank you for a sincere and heartwarming story, for working with the needs and wants of the people living in the space, and for creating a wonderful warm livable place on a reasonable budget, that anyone might like to live in. Sponsored or not, I hope to see more posts like this!

  54. oh my gosh I love this story so much. Amazing work Emily!

  55. Erin

    These out of all of your posts are my absolute most favourite. Charlie will look back on these in years to come and say my mum is my superhero. I hope you feel extremely proud as you truly deserve to be. PS I think you have found a niche in the blog world that I dont see anywhere and I follow close to 40 blogs. Designing for seniors. I swear if you broke some of this down into individual posts featuring the tips for deisgning for seniors they could become a well referenced bible and be sold as a book to those faced with decorating for seniors. The not so obvious things like different coloured knobs, rounded functional furniture and the genious lighting solution are priceless for saving money when decorating a space for our much loved seniors particularly when a lot of the time money is tight and needs to go a long way.

  56. I remember doing a project on universal design in school and it was completely intriguing. It was like a puzzle to see how many of the problems of old age you could help with design. Thanks for the educational post. I’m going to link out to it this Friday.

  57. this is incredible and what a great makeover! My husband and I get pretty worked up about the treatment of seniors and the options out there, especially as we have worked through “placing” both of his grandmothers in care facilities over the last couple of years. I hate that terminology too..”placing”. I recently went on a rant about senior living facilities and needed an option where you could make it feel like home and keep your dog! I really had no idea that Sunrise allowed that and am officially going to start saving now!! Please tell Joan London to can it with her “Home for Mom” commercials and keep promoting facilities like this! Thanks, Emily!

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  59. Laetitia

    I am a french speech therapist ( forgive my english ) and i read your blog every friday during my lunch break. For work, I meet a lot of seniors who live in highly depressing places and finally end depressed too …. So thank you for this post !!

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  61. Monica

    Love it!!

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  63. Yael Ernst

    That’s a beautiful post! I love it, thank you. :)

  64. Crys

    This is the sweetest thing. I like to think in my old age, I’d still deserve a well designed space! Here is to getting old in style :)

  65. Simone

    What a wonderful makeover, they look so happy! Totally curious, where did the pillows in the second to last moodboard come from? Love them!

  66. Beautiful! Nice home interior designing and interior furnishing!

  67. Kathryn

    Emily, it warms my heart that you brought such color and warmth to this adorable couple’s life! My father turned 90 last year (I am 30; do the math, he’s badass), and was also a POW in WWII. I’m so grateful that he is still in my life and was able to meet my daughter, his first grandchild in January and enjoy time with her, when so many have passed. This “greatest generation” is often a forgotten one that deserves much more respect than they receive. In our busy lives, we tend to forget the lessons and stories these folks have and focus too heavily on technology and innovation of younger generations. I can only hope there is someone like you to bring some spunk into my life when I reach this stage!

  68. Sarah

    This is my first blog comment ever. I have loved your blog, pins, and tv stuff a ton. You make the most livable, beautiful spaces. But this…this is the most wonderful thing I’ve seen. I wish you had the time to start a senior living revolution (borrowing from Jamie Oliver a bit here). What an inspiring post. Thank you so much!

  69. mary

    make a nursing home room pretty just by making a slip cover for the head and foot of the bed, a scarf for the nightstand , family pics on the wall, a small lamp from their home and a pretty throw on the recliner. easy and makes them feel homey even when they must share a room. all of the staff commented how pretty her room was and the lamp doesn’t provide such harsh light all of the time.

  70. mary

    oh yes, and her daughter put up removable wallpaper border around the top of the wall . It looked so nice and not so clinical and didn’t add any “moving things out of the way” for the staff. If the blankets had to be washed, the head and foot board covers remained in place. so easy

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  72. Carolyn

    This was a wonderful story. When we had to move my mother to a nursing home, I chose one that let us bring in our own furniture. I recreated her bedroom as best I could. I tried to be over there every day with; new books, movies, etc. And for every holiday she had special decorations. And I always brought her fresh flowers each week. Finally, she had a nice window with a great tree and my hubby made her a birdhouse and hung a feeder. Nursing homes are not the cheeriest places but if you need one, find one that lets you be creative. Emily you are the best!

  73. Alice Lindsey

    I have admired your work since you were on HGTV and your work that I’ve seen, but this is so loving and happy. I ‘ve had the privilege of helping my friend’ mother
    with her home when husband died, when her 2nd husband died, she bought a condo; moved her into assisted living and another assisted living unit that closer to her daughter (my friend). I have a degree in design, but helping her has been so
    rewarding. Looking at the pictures of you interacting with this couple, it very apparent that they loved what you did. Emily, you are the best. loved seeing your blog with your baby and husband. Keep up your good work.

  74. Great job…so happy, fresh and functional! Seems I am always designing around a giant leather recliner (the husband’s)…you did a magnificent job.

  75. Laura G.

    This warms my heart! I’m sure the changes made have made everyday so much brighter for these two!

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