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Karndean Designflooring partners with Inspired Villages to promote wellbeing in Elderswell retirement development

Speed, safety and wellbeing are key when installing floorcoverings in care settings.

PROMOTING independence and wellbeing in later life, Karndean Designflooring, which describes itself as the UK’s market leader in vinyl flooring has partnered with retirement living specialist Inspired Villages to provide what it says is a high-quality experience and ‘the ideal solution for a healthy retirement’.

Elderswell in Bedfordshire, the latest development in Inspired Villages’ portfolio which opened in November 2022 and will include 156 homes, demonstrates how an inclusive approach and a comfortable environment with a premium finish can transform the retirement experience.

Designed for independent living and following design principles for hospitality venues rather than more clinical settings, Elderswell’s new Village Centre delivers on the philosophy that quality of life should flourish as we get older with a focus on community and an active lifestyle.

Specifying Karndean flooring throughout the Village Centre as well as in the kitchens of each residential unit provides what’s described as an authentic natural look and homely atmosphere but also reportedly meets the technical specifications of a demanding commercial setting.

Fleur Carson, commercial sales director at Karndean Designflooring, explained: ‘A concept that’s still in its infancy here in the UK, retirement villages offer a home-from-home experience that focuses on lifestyle rather than care, where older people can enjoy the best years of their lives.

‘Materials that are attractive yet easy to maintain are key to providing desirable living spaces that are suitable for the needs of older residents. Each of our flooring designs has been inspired by samples of natural wood and stone from around the world. An authentic representation of each material is then combined with the latest technology to develop a high-quality luxury vinyl flooring with the versatility to create imaginative interiors.’

Sonia Parol, design director at Inspired Villages, said: ‘Our objective is to build vibrant communities with the facilities that actively retired people want, such as restaurants, bars, wellbeing facilities such as gym, studio and swimming pool and hairdressers. These facilities are also open to the general public and this creates strong inclusive links to the local community.

‘We understand the mental health benefits our residents gain from being involved and engaged in their community. This is why we design and deliver villages that offer our residents many opportunities for engagement in cultural and physical activities, ensuring the pursuit of their hobbies and passions.

Set in the scenic Bedfordshire countryside, Elderswell is a rural retreat with convenient access to the local towns. When it came to the interior, Manchester-based design consultant SpaceInvader was inspired by the development’s natural locality to create a timelessly elegant space with an organic style and earthy colour palette.

True to its ethos of quality and practicality, Inspired Villages stipulates a consistent approach to interior design whereby 80% of its specifications are standardized and 20% contextual with furniture, art and other elements that reflect each unique locality.

Fleur Carson said: ‘In commercial projects such as these it is important that materials can meet requirements for standardisation to support easy installation and help meet deadlines but also offer the versatility designers need to create spaces that are welcoming and inspiring. Our flooring ranges provide just this: a reliable quality and specification as well as a wide choice of authentic wood and stone designs that can be used to create bespoke interiors.’

Karndean continues: ‘In the Village Centre restaurant, a honey oak design flooring has been used to introduce natural textures and warm tones to the soft colour palette of grey, beige and green. Choosing Golden Brushed Oak herringbone from the Van Gogh dual format range, an attractive European oak design with a delicate balance of long straight grain and beautiful ‘flowery’ grain, has resulted in a floor that oozes authentic charm and adds interest with a sense of movement.

In the wellbeing facilities, Bleached Tasmanian Oak from the Karndean LooseLay Longboard range brings a clean contemporary feel appropriate to its active setting. The design’s loose lay format, which features an enhanced acoustic layer, comes with all the practical benefits of Karndean flooring but also serves to reduce noise transfer by 13dB.’

It adds: ‘Held in place with a combination of weight and Karndean’s K-Wave grip backing, ongoing maintenance and repairs are straight forward as damaged planks can be simply lifted and replaced.’

Sonia Parol concludes: ‘We use Karndean flooring across all our new villages. While each village has its own unique character and features different flooring designs, we know that Karndean will give us the variety of style and finish we’re looking for alongside standardised technical specifications, durability and low maintenance.’
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