Get to know the faces behind the names at Warner Design Associates! We love to go beyond the business phone calls, meetings, and installs so you can learn more about the fantastic individuals you’re working with and why they’re proud to be working in the senior living interior design industry.

This month we’re sharing about our interior designer, Jenny Zhang. Check out her interview below!

How long have you been working with Warner Design Associates? 

About 1.5 years.

What do you enjoy about working with senior living communities, including independent living, assisted living, memory care, skilled nursing, CCRC and hospice communities?

I enjoy working on renovating or building new communities that are tailored for seniors, while still trying to push the boundaries on design. It’s a unique challenge. It’s exciting to see how the industry and the residents are responding to all these design changes and innovations

What is the senior living design trend that you predict for 2019?

Unique amenity spaces. Some might say that unique amenities have been popping up in the past few years, but I’m looking forward to seeing it go beyond the now expected amenities like bistros. I think we’ll start seeing more exciting offerings like private wine cellars, pet care, gardening clubs, children’s play areas, and more. (And I believe these will be very welcomed by the residents!

What are some of the biggest changes you have seen in the senior living commercial design industry throughout your career?

The shift away from the standard colors, materials, furniture and amenities. The industry is becoming more luxurious and design focused. It’s more open to colors, lush material, and unique and customer decoration than ever

What is the best way for designers in this industry to stay on top of the trends?

The best way is to step away from the desk and computer. Going out to tradeshows, visiting new places, and enjoying new activities. All these experiences will shape and inspire design. 

How do you learn and understand the unique desires of each community, and create relevant interior designs?

The best way to initially understand the needs of each community is through the operator’s engagement. This is important during the programming and design. My goal is to encourage the operator’s involvement, understand the space, the residents, and the activities provided by the operations team, and make informed design decisions based on that information and continued communication.

What’s your favorite interior design “find” lately?

Bedrosians Antique Tile collection! These are creative porcelain tiles that look like rich wood parquet flooring.

What has been one of your best career memories/proudest moment?

My first design, which was an elevator in a luxury condo. When I went to check out the elevator for the first time, a resident who rode the elevator with me complimented its new design. That moment reminded me that even though it was a small project, good design makes a difference.

What do you normally do on the weekends?   

I enjoy spending time with my husband and my 2-year-old son on the weekend – even if it’s just doing simple activities like hiking, going to the farmer’s market, or just being our silly selves.