Decorating your village unit to make it feel like the family home 9



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When you make the move from the family home to a downsized retirement village, one of the most difficult things to do is decorate and furnish your new house. What do you take? What do you leave? What will fit in with the new apartment design? What colour scheme do you go with?

At the end of the day, there is no right or wrong way to decorate and furnish your new place. It all comes down to what is right for you and what works best. Some people want a fresh start whereas others want to bring with them the special memories of their old home. Things like the room space, furniture size, colours and styling are all important. So here are some tips and tricks to help you turn your new house into a home.



When it comes to choosing the furniture for your new home, the big question is what do you take and what do you buy new? The most important thing to remember is to choose the pieces that are the right size for the new space. If you have a sofa that you have had for years, it isn’t worth taking with you unless it is the right size for the room and likewise for the dining room table. Keeping your furniture functional is the most important thing. Cluttered homes are difficult and that becomes a safety concern as we age too, so keep the sizing appropriate for the space.



When good family friends moved into their retirement home, they made a blanket decision to choose one type of furniture finishing and keep all colours neutral. This meant that the apartment always looked uniform and wasn’t too mismatched. They actually chose the furniture finishing in a dark wood as it matched some of their existing pieces. To brighten it and put some life into it, they chose finishings like cushions, throws, rugs and paintings in bright colours. This stopped it from feeling too utilitarian and they can easily update the colours seasonally or annually by simply changing those few things.



Living in a large family home, means we collect trinkets, décor, decorations and pretty things from all sorts of places. Some are gifts, some are purchases, some are family heirlooms that are inherited and some are things that you still have no clue where they originated. The biggest thing when selecting what décor to take and what to actually use is to choose the ones that have value – sentimental and monetary. Small things won’t change the feel or the mood of the room but they will instead add character and give visitors interesting talking points. Sentimental items will brig with them special memories and this is always important.


Old or new?

Bringing your old belongings into your new unit will help to make it a home. Pieces with sentimental value, memories and special connections will help to make the move less daunting. It is often a difficult thing to say goodbye to the family home because we feel like we are saying goodbye to our memories too. But, by keeping pieces with value we can keep the memories and the connection – the important thing. Conversely, some people are looking for a fresh start and don’t always want to have the memories stay with them. You can give yourself a great new start by doing everything new – just make sure you have the budget for it!


By mixing old and new, you can have a beautiful, functional home that is filled with your own personality and if you choose, the memories of your old home. You just have to choose the approach that is best for you!


Tell us, what makes a house a home? How have you decorated your retirement village unit to make it feel like a home? Share your thoughts in the comments below…


This article is sponsored by Aveo retirement villages.  For more information on your lifestyle options take a look at the Aveo website or call 13 28 36. Please note this article was written independently by the Starts at 60 team as it provides insights to, what we feel is, valuable and relevant content for our community.

Starts at 60 Writers

The Starts at 60 writers team seek out interesting topics and write them especially for you.

  1. Exactly Jen, the only thing that is wrong is spoiling your downsized home by over furnishing. My husband was trying to work out how he could squeeze two lounge suites into our smaller home, NOT HAPPENING!

  2. We did not rush out and purchase new furniture as I wanted my husband to ease into our new life, just chose the pieces we really liked. As time goes by we will make changes but it will be as we want or need. We have a very cosy nest, not cluttered, and we are happy. My tip? Get as big a balcony as you can if you were a gardener.

  3. Down sized, I got my all my furniture from the fam. home that fitted in, and it looks cosy. Some of the furniture are no longer available in the shops, unless you got to a 2nd hand one. But all the memories are there, wonderful.

  4. it’s the people that make a home. I took most of my furniture with me & bought upgraded a couple of pieces over the years. All sorted now, there is nothing I need.

  5. I will take my existing furniture, eclectic style of art deco/french provencal xxx

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