When it comes to designing and furnishing care homes, making good use of space is essential.
Bedrooms, bathrooms and communal areas often require specialist equipment to support resident care. But it’s also important to create environments where residents can feel comfortable and relax. There’s lots to fit in without making the room feel cluttered and crowded!
Choosing furniture can be especially tricky if you’re short on space, but it doesn’t have to be. By following some simple design tips, you can find the right furniture to maximise space in a creative and stylish way. Here’s our guide to space-saving furniture for care homes.
Multi-purpose furniture is versatile and can be used in different ways. It’s a great way to save space because instead of buying two pieces of furniture you can get one piece that does two jobs!
Motor homes and caravans are a classic example where multi-purpose furniture is highly effective. There often isn’t enough space for separate living and sleeping areas. Instead, they are designed with sofas that fold down into a bed, transforming the living room into a bedroom at night.
You can take the same idea and use it to save space in a care home setting. Although we wouldn’t recommend offering your residents sofa beds…
Let’s take a look at some more practical multi-purpose furniture ideas for care homes:
Bedhead units with storage space
Installing a bedhead unit on the empty wall space above the bed provides extra storage without taking up any additional floor space!
We make bespoke bedheads for each room, so you can have total control over the style and finish as well as incorporating storage solutions that will suit individual resident’s needs. This has the added benefit that you can make the bedhead an attractive feature that completes the room’s design as well as a practical space-saver!
Here are some examples of features we’ve incorporated into bedhead units for care homes:
- Reading lights and mood lighting
- Shelves for resident’s personal items
- Electric points
- Fridges for personal medication e.g. insulin
- Medical gases and call systems
- Foldaway fixed hoist systems
For care homes where staff are required to stay overnight, or policies are in place allowing relatives to stay with residents, it can be difficult to ensure there are enough places for people to sleep comfortably.
Attendant couches offer an ideal solution. Most of the time, it looks like a standard armchair. However, the seat is actually made from a built-in foam mattress and the bottom section pulls out to transform it from a chair to a bed!
They have double-castor wheels so you can easily move them around the care home wherever they are needed.
Bedside cabinet & overbed table
A bedside cabinet gives care home residents somewhere to store personal items they need to keep close by when in bed e.g. reading glasses.
If a resident spends a lot of time in bed, they will also need an overbed table so they have a convenient surface to read or eat from whilst still sitting comfortably in bed.
Having two pieces of furniture next to the bed at all times can take up a lot of space. This can make the room feel overcrowded and could also be a trip hazard for the resident and care staff.
One solution is to choose a bedside cabinet that can also function as an overbed table.
For residents that need a larger overbed table, it may be better to choose a bedside cabinet and overbed table that are designed to work together to save space rather than just one piece of multi-purpose furniture.
We can provide customised overbed tables with a split top that fold down to fit perfectly in the space next to the bedside cabinet when not in use.
Another common problem care homes have is finding furniture that properly fits the room. This is especially true if you have rooms that aren’t a standard square/rectangular shape.
If the furniture doesn’t fit the room well, you end up with lots of wasted space. Wardrobes end up positioned further forward because they don’t quite fit in an alcove or the staff office ends up with only four desks because the fifth wouldn’t quite fit.
The wrong furniture really can limit what you can do with the space you have.
One way to avoid this issue is to choose bespoke fitted furniture which is custom made to work with the shape and size of your room.
Whether you need a wardrobe that fits around a sloped ceiling or a large desk that works with the L-shaped design of your reception area, our design team will be more than happy to help.
Specialist space-saving furniture
As well as bespoke furniture, you can also order furniture that has been specially designed to save space.
This can be a good option if you are working to a tight deadline and are redecorating multiple rooms with a similar layout that need consistent furniture. Ready-made furniture can be delivered faster than bespoke pieces.
The downside is you have less control than with bespoke furniture. However, if your requirements aren’t too specific then you should still be able to find something that works for you!
Popular space-saving furniture for care homes includes:
- Narrow dressing tables
- Modular seating for communal areas
- Nested side tables
- Coffee tables and footstools with built-in storage
Check out our furniture inspiration gallery for more ideas.
Turn your design ideas into space-saving solutions
If you have a specific idea in mind or want some more recommendations, please get in touch! We can source furniture from across Europe or design and build a piece ourselves, so you get something that perfectly fits your space and meets your needs.