Senior Living Residents Create Unique Home Interiors

Senior living communities offer seniors the chance to customize their spaces based on their interior home design tastes.

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    Individuality. It’s at the heart of today’s senior living communities. Fellow residents are excited to learn what makes their neighbors unique, and staff are ready to help new residents live out their particular goals. In many communities, that concept extends to individual residents’ homes. communities are enriched by individuals who express the unique aesthetic they have built over the years. See how some residents have personalized their apartments and cottages to suit their lives and their sense of style.

  • Jack and Sally Samuelson

    The Builders

    Intricate wooden beams, mosaic wall paneling and tiered crown moldings are just a few of the architectural details that Jack and Sally Samuelson, ages 89 and 88, added to their Royal Oaks cottage. Inspired by Craftsman-style bungalows from the San Gabriel Valley, the couple reworked their home to place an emphasis on detailed handiwork, stained glass windows and graceful sculptures.

  • living room with glass doors

    The Minimalist

    Joann Allen's expansive glass slider doors open onto a patio that overlooks lush vegetation. A resident of Regents Point, situated near William R. Mason Regional Park. Allen, 75, calls her home “my villa by the park.” She uses a Murphy bed to maximize her home’s square footage. One benefit of the increased floor space: It makes it even easier to admire Allen’s contemporary Asian art collection. She says each piece brings in the “peaceful and tranquil colors of the sea.”

  • John and Ann Todd

    The Traditionalists

    Ann Todd's painted family portraits hang alongside other oil paintings in gold frames in the White Sands La Jolla residence she shares with her husband, John, 85. The Todds incorporated shades of red and mahogany furniture to add warmth to their space. “We love the apartment, and it fits our needs beautifully,” says Ann, 88.

  • John and June Fee

    The Modernists

    John and June Fee, ages 91 and 87, had lived in a 3,000-square-foot home before moving into their new, smaller home at Royal Oaks. Yet they were able to make the space feel like home. “We tried to replicate some of the feel of the contemporary house we lived in,” June says. The Fees stuck with clean lines and neutral colors to suit their modern taste. They incorporated crystal art sculptures, glass and mirrors to add to the aesthetic and convey an illusion of space.

  • Yu-Lan and Gunar Freiberg

    The Collectors

    Yu-Lan and Gunar Freiberg, ages 79 and 78, have filled their Royal Oaks apartment with furnishings, souvenirs and tokens from around the world: hand-carved black teak furniture, art deco pieces, an heirloom sterling silver tea set, an antique wooden Chinese lantern that Gunar turned into a chandelier, a box of cloth embroidery dolls from Yu-Lan’s childhood and so on. “It’s a collection of our past,” Yu-Lan says. 

  • Barbara Simpson

    The Comfort Seeker

    For Regents Point resident Barbara Simpson, 89, it’s the color palate that establishes the tone and feel of a room, whether it’s soft terra-cotta and rich brown hardwood in the living room or turquoise and sky blue in her bedroom. She enlisted Jacqueline Olmstead, an interior designer, to arrange the elements of space into a comfortable home, resplendent with blooming plants and bird prints.

  • brightly colored living room

    The Free Spirit

    White Sands La Jolla resident Mary Dersam, 79, describes her home as “whimsical.” From her wall of crosses to the handmade dolls she found while in South Africa, Dersam takes an unexpected, creative and clever approach to style. “The assortment of treasures here comes from everywhere, and I celebrate them. It gives me joy,” says Dersam. “I don’t know why I’m much more affected by color and design, but I just am.”

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