We recently undertook a very different type of styling job that we’re thrilled to share with you: fitting out a display suite in Palm Lake Care’s brand new ‘Memory Lanes’ development in their Bethania property, specifically designed for aged residents living with dementia.
A short lead time, tight budget and set of unique requirements made this project an adrenaline-pumping one at that! But with a truly rewarding outcome we’d yet to experience with our regular property styling work; putting worried families who are preparing to place an aged relative into care at ease (even if just a little) with a welcoming and homely display apartment.
Unlike most of our styling work, the Palm Lake display suite came with a pretty specific brief: our client requested a relaxing retreat suitable for an older couple using certain existing pieces of furniture. We were asked not to style in a way that was too cohesive or ‘decorated’, and to incorporate plenty of details that were suited to that age bracket (cut crystal, blue and white china, a family photo gallery and florals immediately jumped to mind!). The room had to evoke a sense of calm and spaciousness, as well as incorporate a few multi-purpose areas, and be filled with ‘collections’ and knick-knacks just like the suites of real residents – thanks to the thrift stores we visited for seriously delivering on that front!
We also had to take a few restrictions into account: no tripping hazards (which included rugs! Nooo!), bedding that worked with the existing motorised twin singles and absolutely no mirrors in the living areas… We were a little stumped by that last point, but were very quickly educated about one of the harsh realities for people living with dementia; many elderly living with dementia feel as if they are still a certain age, often around 40-50. So if they’re caught unaware looking back at the reflection of an old person in a mirror it can be extremely traumatic for them.
In three days of madness, we managed to bring together a serene scheme that blends classic pieces with fresh touches. All in all, a wonderful experience, with a finished product that we truly hope reflects the thoughtfulness, passion and care of the Palm Lake team themselves. It was an absolute pleasure to work with such pros!
Images: Rezolution Photography