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Senior Living Apartments: Decorating a One-Bedroom

You do not need lots of rooms and square footage to have an enviably beautiful, and totally comfortable, home. What many seniors making the move to one-bedroom senior living apartment in retirement communities are realizing is just how true it is. It seems that the more rooms we have, the less likely we are to put the effort into making them the stylish havens they could be. When a home is more manageable, we can focus on maximizing every square foot, so we feel great in our space.

Whether you are getting ready to downsize to a one-bedroom apartment from a larger home, or are already moved in, we have a few simple genius tips for everyone and every budget. The secret is knowing just what to do and how to do it. Read on because the secret is out!

Tips for Decorating Your Senior Living Apartment

Multi-Purpose is the Key

You do not need a separate room for all the things you love and need to do. You just need smart furniture that works harder for you. Closed drop leaf tables are the perfect size for everyday meals and open to two- or three-times the size when company is expected. A sofa table that can fold out can also be a functional desk when needed. And ottomans with storage are the perfect place for blankets, pillows, and linens—or your favorite board games and puzzles.

Color Your World

There are no wrong colors. Your favorite colors should be part of a home that reflects you. To do color right, you simply need to do the math. Use the 70/20/10 rule.  Seventy percent of your color scheme should be the color you want to be predominant in your design. Twenty percent should be an accent color, and ten percent is reserved for a bold pop of color, so your senior living apartment does not feel flat and lifeless. That delicious ten percent pop of color is small but mighty. If you have always wanted a pink velvet couch, go for it. It would look stunning against a room made up of seventy percent cream and 20 percent toast.

Stay in the Family and Layer

When you want to make a space feel larger, go monochromatic and create visual interest and depth with sumptuous texture. You can have fun playing in a small color range. Start with sand walls with white trim, add a brown wicker chair with cream cushions. Set a side table featuring any color metal next to the chair. Then toss a faux fur throw in rich caramels on the chair, and you have a seating area that is a work of art.

Green Makes any Space More Airy

Plants have a way of making any room they grace feel like the outdoors. But be advised, a little goes a long way. One lovely tree in a decorative pot can bring life to a room. A lush terrarium on the coffee table or bookshelf does the trick as well but with less maintenance. And, if you do not have a green thumb at all, do not fret. Today there are fabulous faux plants that can fool even the most discerning eye.

Light Up Your Life

When it comes to lighting any room, more is more. Smaller spaces look and feel a whole lot bigger when flooded with light. Not only that, but according to a UCLA study, being in natural light improves your mood and increases happiness. You can take maximum advantage of natural light with mirrors strategically placed. For instance, hang a mirror on the wall opposite a window to reflect the light already coming in. And mirrors are not the only way to make the most of natural light. For instance, choose backsplash tiles and accent pieces that are reflective instead of dull.

When natural light is not streaming in, you will also need other light sources. The rule-of-thumb is to have at least three light sources in every room, from the kitchen to the bedroom. These light sources can also serve as focal points. You do not need to choose small fixtures just because a space is not cavernous. Designers say larger fixtures can make a space feel larger.

Smaller Spaces Do Not Require Tiny Furniture

You don’t need to go out and buy small, uncomfortable furniture because you chose to live in a smaller home. The key is to choose furniture with varying heights and depths to give a room within a smaller senior living apartment dimension. You can mix some sleek pieces with larger, comfy pieces. They will complement each other and give your room visual interest.

Use the Square Footage Above Your Head

Bringing the eye up by raising curtain rods and artwork makes a room feel more spacious. Create a gallery wall with your favorite photos or paintings. Start by hanging the first pieces at eye level. Then go up from there. When hanging curtains, place the rods at the top of the window, or better yet, almost to the ceiling. Not only will it make the room feel taller and larger, but it will also make your windows feel bigger too.

The Golden Ratio

The golden ratio of 60/40 is what makes the difference between a room feeling cluttered and a room feeling decorated. The ratio suggests that in every room, and in every vignette within it, there should be forty percent negative space. That means you can fill up sixty percent with the décor you love, but the rest is reserved to make the room feel more inviting.  For example, if you are styling bookshelves, do not over fill them, only fill them sixty percent. Same goes for the pillows and throw on your couch. Leave forty percent of the couch for you and guests to sit on.

Room to Move

Another way for any room to feel larger is to make sure the pieces you do have are not so close together that the room feels cluttered. For instance, a coffee table should be at least fourteen to eighteen inches away from a couch. A hutch should be at least thirty-six inches away from a dining table. And the distance a TV should be from a couch is 1.5 times the diagonal measurement of the TV screen. Also, consider any family or friends who might need more room to maneuver comfortably around.

Make a Statement

You do not have to have a super-sized room to support a statement piece. An oversized painting, a large sculpture, or a big, overstuffed ottoman can all live in a small space—just not together. One out-of-proportion piece draws the eye and allows you to appreciate it all the more. So, show some whimsey and have some fun with a statement piece.

Your Home, Your Style

All the style tips aside, your senior living apartment should reflect you and your personal charm. After all, that is what makes you unique. And rules are made to be broken. So, if you want lots of bold color and pattern and multiple accent pieces, go for it. If you have collections that you love that tell a story, show them off. What is most important is that you feel good in your home.

If you are considering downsizing into a one-bedroom senior living apartment in a retirement community like The Manhattan, coming soon to St. Pete, Florida, simply tell them what your vision is, and you can work together to design an apartment home that reflects you and feels fabulous.

If you would like to learn more about living large in a smaller space, call The Manhattan at 717-291-7600 and a member of our sales team would be happy to tell you about our small and large spaces. Discover the maintenance free, amenity-rich lifestyle at The Manhattan.