“Today’s later living generation is increasingly discerning, and those looking to move into retirement want somewhere that meets their exacting demands,” says Tracy who designed a number of the interiors at Castle View retirement village.
Castle View offers 64 contemporary one, two-and-three-bed apartments with the largest rooftop apartment providing over 1,000 sq ft of light-filled living space.
Facilities include a spectacular Sky Lounge and roof deck offering views of Windsor Castle, and there is also a restaurant, two bars, lounges, and a tranquil library.
What is today’s older property purchaser looking for in a new home?
“Moving to a new home and downsizing is a huge decision, but with thoughtful design and careful configuration, a retirement apartment can offer plenty of living space, particularly if the use of that space is carefully considered,” says Tracy.
Keep it light, bright and neutral
“Natural daylight is so important, a light and airy space being so much more inviting, helping you feel energised and uplifted by promoting a sense of wellbeing. There is nothing better than seeing the sun streaming through the window when having your breakfast or morning cuppa, so I always advise using light colours for walls, décor, furniture and mirrors to reflect light and create a sense of space.”
“Some people relish a fresh start with completely new furniture, while others prefer to hang on to favourite items, at least until they have lived in their new home for a while, and then make considered changes once they know what they need.
“Smaller items can fit in well, while older furniture may be rather dark. Alternatively, these could be upcycled by spraying or painting them a lighter colour to give the best of both worlds, a treasured item but with a fresh new look.
“Beds are usually standard sizes, so they can be accommodated more easily and it is often good to start off in a bed that you are familiar with. Storage beds are useful if you are thinking of buying a new bed.
Today’s later living generation is increasingly discerning
“Large sofas and chairs can make a room look small, so consider what you really need and maybe buy new from the outset.
“Always remember that new sofas and armchairs can take from 8-12 weeks to be delivered so it is worth planning early to ensure you have something to sit on when you move in!
“Choose tables, sofas and chairs with simple curved edges so you can’t hurt yourself on the corners, and make sure chairs and sofas are the right height and pass the ‘sit down, get up’ test − getting up from a chair can become increasingly onerous as we get older.
“Some dining chairs can be exceptionally heavy, particularly if made of oak, so look for lighter chairs that are easier to move, and come in all sorts of materials and colours.
“Keeping your new home uncluttered helps to create the impression of space, so storage cupboards are vital. Castle View apartments are well equipped with built-in wardrobes and bathroom cupboards, while the laundry cupboards are designed so that the washing machines and tumble dryers are raised up which make them easier to load/unload.
Carpets and curtains
Modern apartments such as those at Castle View have been designed to maximise natural daylight thanks to large windows, so to ensure privacy without blocking out too much light, neutral-toned voiles made from soft light sheer fabric are better than curtains in living areas.
Curtains can sometimes look a bit heavy too, particularly with smaller windows, and Roman blinds are a great way to ensure that they do not cover too much of the window and block out the natural light.
Give careful consideration to the carpeting too.
Some deep pile carpets can be more onerous for somebody with limited mobility whereas smoother flooring can be kinder to joints. While mats and rugs look nice they can become trip hazards.
Other things to think about
“A spacious apartment with plenty of room to move around is vital, so avoid filling it with furniture. If you have mobility issues opt for an apartment that is on one level, while ensuring there is a good lift if you are going to live on upper floors.
“Being less mobile does not mean that your home has to be any the less stylish. Good interior design can incorporate all you need to make things a little easier and help you to thoroughly enjoy your new home.”
Homes at Castle View are priced from £375,000 to £975,000.