If you’re planning on downsizing your home and moving to an over 55s community in retirement, furnishing and decorating can be a challenge. You’ll be dealing with a smaller space, which means there may be some tough choices on what you can and can’t keep. Plus, it’s essential that you set your new home up so that it is comfortable and meets your changing needs as you age.
The good news is, with a few small adjustments and smart furniture choices, your home will be ideal for your retirement and will look great too. Follow these simple decorating tips to create a lifestyle village home that is safe, comfortable and a joy to live in.
Maximise space and minimise injury risk with the right layout
With smart furniture choices and placement, your smaller space can look and feel larger than it is. It’s a good idea to draw up a floor plan and use it to work out where your furniture will fit best. Be sure to include windows, doors and power outlets on your plan as you’ll need to work around them.
If you’re keeping your existing furniture, measure it all so you can work out how it will fit best. If you’re buying anything new, take your floor plan shopping with you and use it as a guide. When deciding on the best layout, make sure you keep traffic paths between rooms and doorways clear. Don’t try and squeeze too much in – not only will it feel cluttered and overcrowded, you’ll also increase the risk of injury from collisions and falls.
Choose furniture that fits your home and your changing needs
Well-chosen furniture makes a huge difference to your safety and comfort. It’s a good idea to avoid glass and sharp corners – go for rounded and curved pieces. With less room to move, the chances of knocks and bumps is high, so if you have existing furniture with sharp edges, protect yourself from injury by using plastic corner shields.
When choosing your couch, avoid deep, soft cushions as these can be hard work to get in and out of in your later years. Look for something with high back cushions and a supportive high-density filling. Don’t be afraid to try a few out until you find the right level of comfort. Save space by replacing a large coffee table with compact nesting tables or a firm ottoman, which has the added bonus of doubling as a footrest. In the bedroom, downsizing from a queen bed to a double bed can buy you some valuable extra space too.
Use the right amount of light to lift your spirits and keep you safe
Lighting has a huge impact on the mood of a home, and it can also affect your well-being. As we get older, we become more sensitive to glare and need three times as much light to perceive true colours than we did in our younger years. To avoid eye strain and to boost your mood, aim for a good combination of natural and artificial light – but don’t use fluorescent as the flickering can be unsettling.
Use sheer curtains to let the light in through the day, and if needed, boost your existing interior lighting with thoughtfully placed lamps. It’s also important to include a light source within reach of your bed, so you can safely navigate to the kitchen or bathroom through the night if you need.
Final word on decorating for retirement
Losing space when you downsize can make life easier as you age. Downsizing provides the perfect opportunity to start fresh with furniture and a layout that will suit your needs throughout your retirement. Plus, with less space to clean, you’ll have more time to relax.
When you plan your layout well and choose your furniture wisely, your lifestyle village home will not only look great, it will also be a happy and safe haven for many years to come.
Over to you
Do you have a decorating tip to share with retirees who are downsizing? We’d love to hear it!
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