Feels like home…

Freda Gunton Lodge

Too often in social care our interior design choices are based on our desire to please everybody. Those choices come in the form of magnolia paint and inoffensive art, the kind you find in every chain hotel across the land.

The problem with this risk averse stance is that care homes that want nothing more than to look like home, just end up looking institutional.

Amanda, our Director, decided to fight back after a chance meeting with local designer Lucy Tiffney. Amanda wanted Lucy to work her magic on a reception room at Freda Gunton Lodge.

After a brief meeting, off Lucy went; three months later and the week arrived. On Monday, her decorator Nic Sayer arrived and he made quick work of the ancient embossed wallpaper, dado rail and magnolia paint. Smoothing out cracks and scars from wheelchair and walking frames. Once the prep work was done, on with the painting and a pastel pink appeared on the woodwork. Bright patterned wallpaper of Lucy’s own design went up accompanied by muttering from staff and residents varying from excitement to questions of whether it was ‘going to just be on one wall’.

On the Friday Lucy reappeared and went to work, cushions and furniture tested in multiple positions. Residents and staff ever more intrigued. The doors opened and all I could think of was ‘home’.

It may be “bright”, it may be “busy”, but suddenly ten square feet of Freda Gunton Lodge, forgot that it was in social care and became a home, a home where people sit and talk, a home where people make memories and share time with family and suddenly it struck me; whilst it may not be everyone’s ‘cup of tea’, as you walk towards the main entrance of Freda Gunton Lodge, you now can’t help but have a smile on your face and whether or not you would design your own room to look like that, it certainly works for us.