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How to select art for senior living communities

Long gone are the days of “old people homes”. The modern senior living communities are just that- modern.

They’re outfitted with all of the luxuries and style that boutique hotels and contemporary multi-family housing provides their clientele. While senior residents have a few more years to their name, they still want to live in beautiful environments, and a big part of that is the art.

Below is our list of five types of art to consider adding to a senior living community to create more impact, and bring senior living design from dated to delightful!

Local Love

Whether it’s a local artist, or a black and white gallery wall of vintage photos of the surrounding area, create a personal attachment to what’s being displayed. By introducing art that either reminds residents of the local scenery, or connects them with members of the community is more engaging.

High Contrast

Communities with members that have “aging eyes” introduce some new design challenges. As our vision begins to worsen, colors and scenes can become muddled. Select art that has high contrast with shapes and colors so the image is more distinguishable. Art with high contrast is also creates more impact in a space.

Pick a Theme

Selecting art for amenity spaces such as Theater or Game rooms, should be fun and playful. Those spaces are designed to be engaging with the community. By selecting art that’s on theme with the activities in the space brings more community involvement.

Break the Mold

Think outside of the “box” or rather “frame”. Introducing pieces of art that are tactile creates unique visual interest by breaking the repetition of framed art. It also provides opportunities to let residents interact with the art, and by default interact more within their community.


In communities with memory care neighborhoods, it’s important to introduce art that helps seniors locate themselves in the space. Giving someone directions that include “the dining room is just past the floral wall mural” creates a memorable story, versus saying “take a right at the blue wall”. Creating impactful moments that help distinguish one space from another will help alleviate anxiety and confusion that is common with memory care patients.

Each community requires it’s own thought and design style based on the population living there. So it’s important to create environments that are beautiful and engaging. We’ve found one of the easiest ways to achieve this is through the art selection.

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