Fran Ferguson, an 81 year-old resident at Sunrise on Connecticut Avenue in Washington D.C. won an apartment-makeover by top designers at HGTV. The apartment makeover was the prize in the Suite Style essay writing contest for Sunrise Senior Living residents, which Ferguson won by writing about the importance of resilience. The HGTV designers worked closely with Ferguson, talking to her about her tastes and preferences to help create the perfect apartment for her. For example, Ferguson’s favorite color, Turquoise, is featured prominently throughout the living space. You can see more of Fran’s redesigned apartment as well as an interview with her in this video from an NBC’s local affiliate in Washington.
To get an inside look at the creation of a Fran’s dream-apartment visit Sunrise’s Designing for Seniors page. You can view mood boards created by design star designer Emily Ferguson, see the floor plan of Fran’s apartment, and more info about the Suite Style contest.
Assisted Living Residents Don’t Need Expert Designers to Create Sweet Suites
But the Suite Style contest is about much more than making over one woman’s apartment. It is a poignant reminder that assisted living apartments are truly homes. Optimistic seniors like 81 year-old Fran Ferguson don’t look at moving to a senior community as leaving their homes. Instead they understand that they are simply moving to a new home. But it’s not really a home until your make it a home. The Suite Style campaign is a great reminder to senior community residents that they are almost always welcome to make their apartment truly their own by painting and decorating according to their own tastes.
This is important because residents are much more likely to be content in their new homes when they surrounded by the comforting and familiar — favorite pieces of furniture, family photos, and a color scheme built on the resident’s preferences. Even prehistoric people of 30,000 years ago expended great effort to personalize and adorn their cave-homes, decorating them extensively with charcoal sketches of animals, complex patterns, and other art. Making our homes unique and special appears to be an innate human trait and a form of self expression, so it’s fortunate that assisted living communities allow residents to fulfill this need.
The Suite Style promotion inspires residents and their families to get creative and make living spaces that are as beautiful, comfortable, and personal as possible. After all, you don’t need an HGTV designer to makeover your parent’s assisted living apartment, you just need a plan, some paint, and some friends to help out. Of course, you’ll want to check with the community’s administrator before beginning work, but nine times out of ten they will be more than happy work with you to make personalize you or your loved one’s apartment.