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I strongly believe that there is a fundamental interaction between our well-being and the places in which we spend our time. We often talk about this in the context of our homes, but in this case it was a 'home from home' for the members of Elizabeth House, a day centre for older adults in Cookham, Berkshire.

The trustees wanted to upgrade the Day Room so that the members not only had a beautiful space to spend their time but were also encouraged to be more independent in how they shared conversation, games, music and activities.

This was all about the interaction between design and well-being.

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The wallpaper and lighting bring a little glamour to the room.

Everybody included in the conversation

Many members were nervous of change so the key was for me to listen to how they wanted to ‘feel’ in the space. This is an important place for them and we all worked together to enhance their positive feelings and energy so that they feel uplifted and valued every time they walk in.

Now the room is not only more elegant, it facilitates interaction, conversation and play.

The books, music and games used to be tucked away in inaccessible alcove cupboards. These cupboards were removed to create a more sociable seating plan. The books and games are now housed in a bespoke audio-visual unit, which also stops the room from seeming long.

The members may not be as mobile as they once were but they have lived interesting and expansive lives. The (subtle) travel theme stimulates memories and conversation and the glass lighting adds a bit of glamour and energy.


The new seating is lighter and much more comfortable. A bespoke shelving and AV storage unit means everyone can get to books and music easily.

Sarah spent a lot of time with the members and listened to their ideas.The result was a 5 star room for the 21st century that still had a warm and cosy feel to it.

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