Sure, everyone may be reading “Fifty Shades of Grey,” but its title should certainly not be taken as an inspiration for interior design!
In fact, with the “graying” of the US population, attention to color palette and other interior design features is becoming more important, not only for aesthetic reasons, but for health reasons as well.
A research study conducted at the Smith-Kettlewell Eye Research Institute found that, as they age, even people who have “good visual acuity” often are “rendered effectively visually impaired” in the presence of low and changing light levels, low contrast and glare (Brabyn, et al., 2001).
Using this information as a guideline, The American Society of Interior Designers (ASID) offers suggestions for designers to keep in mind when working with Boomer clients:
Increase Levels of Light
Studies show that seniors require as much as three times more light than younger individuals to be able to perceive the shape and fine details of objects, due to changes in the size, shape and responsiveness of the pupil of the eye. Guidelines include providing greater illumination or task lighting in high risk areas such as stairs, or in areas where attention to fine details is important, such as kitchens, bathrooms and reading or craft areas.
Physical changes in the eye also tend to increase glare as we age, making bright, sparkling lights a distraction or even a hazard. Designers are encouraged to incorporate fixtures that use shades, and to avoid exposed lamps or use opaque glass to diffuse light. Natural light is the preferred source, but designers also are encouraged to use light-filtering window treatments, glare-filtering films on uncovered windows, and to include non-reflective surfaces or matte finishes to minimize glare.
As we age, our ability to perceive blue, green and violet decreases and we are able to see yellow, orange and red more easily than other colors. When creating a color palette for a Boomer household, designers are encouraged to use “highly saturated colors,” provide high levels of contrast and to avoid monochromatic color schemes.
Each Windsong active retirement community was designed with Boomers in mind, with home designs that maximize accessibility, minimize hassles and provide opportunities to enjoy an active lifestyle without sacrificing style or luxury. Windsong homes offer attractive ranch floor plans amenable to nearly every interior style imaginable, with ample natural light and a plethora of ambient and task lighting options.
Welcome home to Windsong – Where Life’s A Breeze!