At Uplands Place, Great Cambourne; Hawkesbury Place, Stow-on-the-Wold; and Thorneycroft, Tettenhall, Edward Thomas Interiors was appointed to re-imagine all communal areas and receptions to cater for shifting priorities after the pandemic.
“One of the most significant repercussions from life in lockdown, across all age groups, was the loss of connectivity, but this was especially prevalent in retirement communities where many shared facilities such as lounges and dining areas were forced into closure,” explained Steve Hird, Director at Edward Thomas Interiors. “Our brief was to reinvent these spaces with a hotel-style ambience to help reactivate social interaction and a sense of belonging.
“Beginning with the idea that any shared room is an extension of someone’s personal living space, we immediately sought to create that hygge sense of warmth, wellness and comfort, somewhere to enjoy spending time. We also wanted to modernise, adding new functionality and layouts to ensure these spaces were truly multi-purpose. So, for instance in all three schemes we commissioned bespoke joinery and installed an honesty bar, complete with bar stools, panelling and cosy cluster seating to make a focal point for meeting or having visitors. We also added a range of furniture – armchairs, sofas, benches and banquettes which can easily be reconfigured to suit different activities,” said Steve.
Edward Thomas Interiors’ designs also took inspiration from the surrounding areas and the outdoors. At Stow-on-the-Wold, the market town’s heritage is reflected in the choice of colours and fabrics, indicative of a hunting lodge. While at Tettenhall and Cambourne, a bold combination of botanical print fabrics, wallpaper and artwork bring in elements of nature.
Cheryl Bissett, Divisional Sales and Marketing Director (Midlands) at McCarthy Stone commented: “As one the UK’s leading retirement living developers, we always strive to be innovative or set trends so we were really eager to unveil these new designs for our communal spaces. The response from the first three developments has been exceptional. Existing residents have been so obviously excited to start using the rooms as well as telling their friends and family about them, and similarly we’ve welcomed many new purchasers, who’ve been really drawn to the thoughtful and vibrant designs – they’re a real talking point.”