Choosing a skilled nursing facility or nursing home for the ones you love may be overwhelming at times. There are so many options and considerations to take into account especially depending on the length of care and the services needed for the resident, and interior design in a Skilled Nursing Facility or Nursing Home is one thing to keep in mind.

First, what is the difference between the two? A Skilled Nursing Facility is typically covered under Medicare, a Nursing Home is not certified or regulated by the government. Nursing homes are often run through charitable organizations and are more commonly broken out into specific levels of care including assisted living, memory care, hospice, and rehabilitation.

Regardless, the interior design of a Skilled Nursing Facility or Nursing Home can greatly impact the resident’s mood and healing process and is important to take into account.

Here are a few important interior design trends to look for in a Skilled Nursing Facility:

Natural Light

Natural light is an essential element of a skilled nursing facility and most senior living environments. It’s important to have natural light throughout the facility because residents may not able to receive the benefits from it on their own. For the resident, it can help improve Vitamin D production, their emotional and mental states, and comfort throughout the environment. Recent studies also show that exposure to natural light throughout the day helps regulate the circadian rhythms and contribute to regular sleep pattern.  For the facility itself, maximizing daylight can also create a more efficient building with reduced operating costs and emissions over time.


Technology is an emerging trend in most senior living facilities and especially Skilled Nursing Facilities. Operationally, technology can be used to help improve administrative processes, create electronic storage and retrieval of patient data, and improve communication and connectivity throughout the facility. For the resident, technology can also be an important aspect of their care and rehabilitation process. Today more smartphones and computers are helping to keep track of patient medications and progress.

Medical Centers

Skilled Nursing Facilities offer a variety of specialty medical services depending on the type of care you are looking for. Some treatment centers even offer advanced technologies such as Wii gaming systems to encourage movement, Vital Stim, and E-stim. We recommend asking the center what types of rehabilitation equipment they have accessible for occupants. In addition, we suggest touring the facility to see if the design includes additional medical care amenities that can aid in recovery including a therapy gym, fitness center, or rehab room.

Private vs. Semi-Private Rooms

Depending on the length of care or treatment, we suggest reviewing the room options available to ensure the resident is comfortable. Some facilities offer private and semi-private rooms. Semi-private rooms typically include a large room, a shared bathroom, and a shared bedroom.

At Warner Design Associates, we incorporate each of these elements into the interior design for  Skilled Nursing Facilities and Nursing Homes so that both long term residents and short term occupants have the best in design, comfort and functionality. View examples in our portfolio.