Sunrise Senior Living and HGTV's Emily Henderson Partner to Offer Design Tips for Seniors

Sunrise Senior Living Shares Furnishings and Design Strategies that Reflect Individual Style and Promote Independence

Feb 13, 2012, 09:30 ET from Sunrise Senior Living

MCLEAN, Va., Feb. 13, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Sunrise Senior Living (NYSE: SRZ) announced today a new partnership with HGTV Designer and Host Emily Henderson. Celebrated for her ability to make spaces feel homelike, Emily Henderson will serve as interior design expert and spokesperson for Sunrise Senior Living's campaign to help seniors and their families design spaces that address the changes caused by aging, as well as support the transition from a larger home to apartment-style living.  

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"A Sunrise principle of service is to celebrate the individuality of every resident and that is exactly what I try to do as a designer," said Emily Henderson.  "When someone walks into your room, it should feel like you."

Since its founding, Sunrise has focused on championing quality of life by creating a homelike environment for seniors where their dignity is preserved and they can remain as independent as possible. With the help of Emily Henderson, Sunrise continues this tradition, encouraging seniors to design their Sunrise suites in ways that reflect their interests and personal histories.

"For 30 years, Sunrise has worked to provide a comfortable and supportive environment for our residents that they can call home," said Laura McDuffie, head of Operations for Sunrise. "Emily's design tips help seniors create warm, inviting and functional spaces that truly reflect their personality and tastes. We are delighted to work with Emily on this project so that seniors everywhere have a home in which they can lead enriched and meaningful lives."

Design Tips

Emily shares her advice for seniors and their families with the following 10 design tips:

  • Ensure Major Pieces of Furniture Are Functional:  Sofas are arguably the most important piece of furniture, so they need to be functional and stylish. First rule: be sure not to choose sofas and chairs that are super low and deep. Yes, we may think of these as comfy and cozy, but they can easily swallow you up and be hard to get in and out of. Also, think of sturdy, well-proportioned upholstered arms, so they are something one can really lean on - nothing too flimsy. 
  • Select a Contrasting Wall Color: Choosing wall colors can be the single most important element in a room. A bad wall color can make or break a room. Here's the key: it's important that the wall color has a distinct contrast in color than that of the floor color. And since vision yellows with age, its best to choose a warm toned color.
  • Look for a Multi-purpose Dining Table: I recommend a dining table with shelves for extra storage space and drop-leaf sides that provide flexibility.
  • Personalize Wall Art: Frame large photos of you and your family – this is what will make your new home truly your own. For a more modern and conservative look, get all the same color frame and arrange in a grid. A "Gallery in a Box" product is the easiest way to create this look.
  • Add Safety Rails: Disguise a handrail by making it into a chair rail. Paint the top half of your wall a darker color than the bottom half and install the handrail in the middle.
  • Create Storage Solutions: Storage can be disguised as a chic piece of furniture, such as an ottoman.  Add a tray on top and make it a coffee table or use it for extra storage. These pieces can solve so many issues while still looking good.
  • Use Convenient, Practical Lighting: Sconces near the bed free up nightstand space and help avoid late night fumbling for the switch. Stick with paper or fabric shades to avoid harsh direct light and keep the sconce below the eye-line when lying down.
  • Keep Accessories Simple and Meaningful: Incorporate a soft blanket on a sofa, or fill pretty baskets with favorite mementos.
  • Incorporate Round Furniture in Your Room: It keeps the layout open and the room void of sharp corners. Avoid rectangular glass top tables as they can cause injuries.
  • Outfit Your Bed with an Upholstered Headboard: Keep it soft for easy reading and sleeping. To keep the cost down, upholster the bed yourself and only purchase a headboard with a simple platform or metal bed frame.

For more information on these tips, recommended products and other information from Sunrise's design team, visit

To see these design tips in action, visit a Sunrise Senior Living community during the Sunrise Tour of Homes from March 18 – 24. Visitors will be able to tour actual resident suites as well as pick up a complimentary copy of Sunrise's Comforts of Home Design Guide. For more information about the Tour of Homes and to find a participating community near you, visit

About Sunrise Senior Living

Sunrise Senior Living, a McLean, Va.-based company, employs approximately 31,700 people. As of September 30, 2011, Sunrise operated 311 communities located in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom, with a unit capacity of approximately 30,700 units. Sunrise offers a full range of personalized senior living services, including independent living, assisted living, care for individuals with Alzheimer's and other forms of memory loss, as well as nursing and rehabilitative services. Sunrise's senior living services are delivered by staff trained to encourage the independence, preserve the dignity, enable freedom of choice and protect the privacy of residents. To learn more about Sunrise, please visit

Contact: Sara Abriatis Corporate Communications (703) 744-1829


SOURCE Sunrise Senior Living