Sunrise-HGTV Partnership Explores New Senior Living Design


Sunrise Senior Living is taking design cues again this year from the design experts at home design network HGTV.

From storage solutions to greenery and ambient lighting, the senior living giant teamed up with HGTV designer Emily Henderson to redesign the studio unit of Helen and Dominic Raimondo, who reside in Sunrise of Gahanna, Ohio, and were the winners of Sunrise’s annual design contest awarding the winners with a complete redesign of their Sunrise unit.


Among the design features Henderson relied upon in the redesign were furniture pieces that double as storage, the use of greenery, contrasting colors and patterns and new lighting fixtures to improve the ambiance of the residence.

Not only are the Raimondos benefiting from their redesigned unit, but Sunrise design chief Andrea Owensby says the entire Sunrise family of communities is taking inspiration from the change.

“When [residents] see a well designed room, they enjoy the impact,” Owensby says. “We’re definitely anticipating this year will have a similar outcome as they are able to see the vision because winners are open and have shared [the design]… we will likely be seeing a lot more requests for accents.”


The design features a wallpapered accent wall, several plant features, pops of color in throw pillows and other small accents as well as wall sconces that are touch-activated.

HGTV’s Henderson also aimed to mix different textures, materials and shapes to make the space feel more cozy and incorporate storage pieces that double as furniture such as a storage ottoman at the food of the bed.

Sunrise will take cues from the competition in its use of senior-friendly features and several inexpensive options utilized by the HGTV team that anyone can incorporate with relative ease and low cost, Owensby says.

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“There are very good cost-effective ways to incorporate some of those tips into individuals into their homes,” she says. “The painting of the wall is relatively inexpensive depending on what color they choose and is doable in quick time. Dimmer switches are excellent for seniors. They have remote options so the resident doesn’t have to be next to the lamp or sconce. Another option is a touchable dimmer if the resident doesn’t have the agility to turn off switches.”

The HGTV redesign is an annual event that represents part of a larger Sunrise effort to address interior design as both a selling point and an opportunity for new and existing residents.

“When family members come in and are shopping around, the Sunrise website has a lot of information about how to downsize,” Owensby says, noting the company distribute’s Emily’s tips to current and prospective residents. “Many struggle with this because they’re going from a house to a smaller space. We send out Emily’s tips and share that not just within our company but also for the website and made available to family members and friends.”

Written by Elizabeth Ecker

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