Having the experience of designing interiors for more than 50 Active Adult communities, we have learned some fundamental lessons about these developments and want to share them with you.

1. Amenity and common areas are of high importance to Active Adult residents, and they use them daily.

When designing for Active Adult communities, spaces must be flexible and adaptable to a wide variety of uses. While there’s typically no designated Activities Director in these communities but they do host various events that require spaces to easily accommodate them.

Spaces that emphasize physical and mental wellbeing  such as fitness, group exercise, creative arts, and multipurpose spaces are becoming increasingly important and are accounting for more square footage in buildings.

2. Plan for the sale and future repurposing of the community.

While Active Adult communities are not designed for providing care, they could be sold and transitioned to a care community. We have seen several Active Adult assets sell to be repurposed to Independent Living, Assisted Living, and Memory Care.

This has a significant impact on the infrastructure and also in how the spaces are laid out during the schematic design phase. Also, staffing of a care community involves more people than that of Active Adult. The more flex spaces that can convert to staffing later will help with any sell for a different use.

3. The aesthetic of Active Adult communities plays a significant role in the lives and attitudes of the residents – make it look like a place for “old people” and you’ve lost your customers.

The whole idea behind the Active Adult segment is providing a place for seniors who are young at heart and free from life’s daily grind. They are living according to their aspirations and being “old” doesn’t play into that.

The interiors of these communities must reflect how the residents feel about themselves. They want clean, energetic, and comfortable spaces where they can gather with friends or enjoy reading a book. They don’t want antiques because they don’t think of themselves as antiques – they may be elderly, but they’re active. The Interior Design of the community has play to that mindset and we’ve accomplished that in more than 50 Active Adult communities.

Contact Claire To Learn About Our Turn-Key Services for Your Active Adult Development

Claire Richards, RID

Multifamily, Student Housing, Hospitality