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How to Use Small Things to Decorate a Nursing Home Room

Family members or friends create a cozy environment for their loved one when they use small things to decorate a nursing home room. Combining special mementos with a bright and charming décor is inexpensive and easy to do.

Although most individuals probably experience some trauma because of a move from their homes to a residential care facility, being surrounded by happy reminders of family, friends and special milestones in life makes the adjustment less stressful.

Learn how to use elements such as wall hangings, photographs, and customized bedding to create an inviting ambience.

Wall Decor

Add a dash of color: Jazz up the standard bland nursing home room walls with decorative items such as framed artwork to create visual interest and appeal.

Choose paintings or photographs that the resident will enjoy such as pictures of flowers, bright-colored prints or works by their favorite artist, and encourage the person to take part in choosing these items.

Use wall hangings: Tapestries and wall décor with inspirational messages are always appreciated. Tailor the choices to the person's interests, hobbies or religious preferences.

Many individuals prefer wall hangings or posters imprinted with verses about grandparents, families, love or humor.

Use a statement making wall hanging as a centerpiece, surround it with framed pieces that pick up and echo the theme of the wall hanging, and you can turn a boring wall into a work of art.

Try Themes Like These:

Animal lovers: Hang some wall art or pictures of cats, dogs, birds or other animals.

Sports fans: Hang banners or photos of a favorite NFL team logo or incorporate the team colors into the room décor.

Collectors or hobbyists: If the person is a collector but had to leave their precious collection behind when they moved into the nursing home, try to find pictures, statuettes or other objects related to the collection and use those for room decorations.

For instance, a lighthouse collector might enjoy a small framed print of one of Thomas Kinkade's lighthouse paintings. You can also take picture of their collectibles and have the pictures framed for display.

Stick it on, take it off: Removable, repositionable wall art is a great decorating option, and it's fast and easy to apply. As a bonus, you can peel it off and change the décor in an instant if the person gets bored or wants a change.

"Refrigerator art": Remember to include drawings from all the adolescent relatives. Most individuals love to receive artwork made by their grandchildren or other young relatives. These personalized drawings can cheer up a resident who is adjusting to his or her new smaller surroundings.

Family Mementos and Decorative Items

Decorating a resident's room in a nursing home need not be costly or burdensome. For instance, remind patients of friends and family in a loving way by surrounding them with items such as these:

Favorite photos: Ask the person to select a few of his or her favorite family pictures to display in frames on a bedside table or desk. Include group photos of happy events like birthday parties, weddings and baby showers to help the individual feel connected to family and friends. Use frames of different sizes and heights to add depth and interest to the grouping.

Albums and organizers: Store loose pictures in attractive photo albums or photo organizer boxes that can be kept in close proximity to the resident. If space permits, a revolving photo holder is a nice touch because it is double sided to hold up to 24 photos and makes a unique, space saving way to store and share memories.

While the newer digital photo storage units such as digital picture frames are nice and can hold lots and lots of photos, keep in mind that many of these individuals will be unwilling or unable to learn how to use them properly.

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Memorabilia: Include any mementos of special occasions. For instance, if the individual had a long and successful career as a salesperson, he or she might want to display one or two special trophies or achievement rewards.

Memorabilia of special birthdays, wedding anniversaries or other milestone life events are all good items to consider using in the nursing home room décor. It only takes a few special touches like these to help the person feel connected to his or her past and happy memories.

Throw a housewarming party: Invite friends and family, and then use the gifts to decorate. Give the individual items such as potpourri jars, vases of fabric flowers, fragrance dispensers, flameless (LED) candles or figurines. This not only gets the room decorated in a hurry, but it goes along way towards helping individuals settle into and feel comfortable in their new homes.

Window Treatments and Bedding

Make a residential facility bedroom appear as "home-like"as possible by incorporating some or all of these window treatments and bedding suggestions:

Window wall art: Get creative and use window treatments like the one in the image shown here, which features a reproduction of one of the best-known scenes from Thomas Kinkade, the "Painter of Light." These panels are easy care because you can take them down, machine wash them and bring them right back to the room.

They are a generous 72 x 84 inches and should fit nicely in most nursing home bedrooms. Imagine how gazing on such a peaceful scene would lift a person's spirits!

Bed linens: Use colorful sheets and a comforter in a pattern that the resident favors. Let them participate as much as they care to in the selection process of bedding. Make sure that the sheets, the bed cover, and the pillows are comfortable and durable as well as visually appealing. Decorative pillows are always a nice touch, if you just want to add a little charm to the room without redoing all the bedding.

Window treatments: Opt for light-colored window treatments to allow plenty of light into the room while the resident is awake. Pick colors that compliment the bedding pattern and theme.

Personalized color schemes: If the resident has a favorite color or wishes to decorate the room in a similar color to his or her former bedroom, select bedding and window treatments accordingly.

Decorating a resident's room in a nursing home with comforting and cheerful items can help to ease the transition from home to a nursing home or assisted living facility. Family members have many options available for using small things to decorate a nursing home room at low cost to provide a peaceful, homey atmosphere for the resident.

How Would You Use Small Things to Decorate a Nursing Home Room?

While these are some of the ways that I've used to decorate these smaller spaces, they are by no means the only viable ways. I'd love to hear some new ideas and techniques from others. Please use the comment section below to share your favorite tips on how to make a nursing room home look cheerful and homey.

© 2012 Donna Cosmato

Share Your Experiences Decorating Nursing Home Rooms

Merrily on September 17, 2016:

My mom has Parkinson's with memory problems so we had a pillow printed with a picture of my dad her husband for her bed. She had slept with him for years and this way she can still sleep with him. And it helps her remember.

Donna Cosmato (author) from USA on June 06, 2012:

Thank you for the votes and the kind words, articlesocean.

Saira Sheikh from London, United Kingdom on June 06, 2012:

Great ideas for decoration, i love rooms decorations, i have them all around my TV lounge, candles and vase are my favorite decoration pieces. Great hub! loved the ideas. Voted up and interesting.

Donna Cosmato (author) from USA on April 03, 2012:

I'm glad you were able to get some inspiration from this hub, Leslie! Making our loved ones feel more comfortable in any environment is so important to their overall well-being, isn't it? Thanks for the lovely comment and your ongoing support of my writing.

Movie Master from United Kingdom on April 03, 2012:

Some lovely useful tips here Donna, my dad is in a nursing home now and we are always looking for ideas to brighten up his room.

thank you and voted up.

Donna Cosmato (author) from USA on February 03, 2012:

I'm glad you enjoyed this hub, RTalloni. It is hard to get a patient to accept any changes; thanks for pointing that out:)

RTalloni on February 03, 2012:

THese are really nice ideas to keep in mind. The environment needs seasonal changes but its not always easy to convince the patient that it's a good thing! Thanks for sharing a variety of small things that can be used to decorate a nursing home room.

Donna Cosmato (author) from USA on January 29, 2012:

Thanks so much for commenting on this hub, Dee42! My hat's off to you because you perform a much needed service for those in the nursing homes. I do love the new flameless candles myself as I'm getting a little forgetful, so for our family, they are much safer:)

Donna Cosmato (author) from USA on January 29, 2012:

Hey, Rhonda, thanks for stopping by and sharing your input on this hub! I think the fish idea is awesome! If the nursing home would not let the person have live fish, then you could always use one of those faux aquariums that are so popular!

While I hope I don't have to use that tip or the one about the hobby/crafts any time in the near future, I've added them to my ideas folder just in case:)

Donna Cosmato (author) from USA on January 29, 2012:

Thanks for SHARING, J. S. Matthew! I really appreciate your time in reading, commenting, and passing this information on to others.

Dee42 from Beautiful Arkansas on January 29, 2012:

I am a Nurse Assistant in Arkansas and you are so right!! Loved your ideas, very unique and special. Gosh, I even might try some of that stuff in my house.Loved that Flameless Candle thingy...the old hippy is coming out. LOL

poetvix from Gone from Texas but still in the south. Surrounded by God's country. on January 29, 2012:

I love this! Assisted living centers and care centers can be so depressing. I think the personal touches help keep the client grounded and connected. There is not much I would suggest that could be added. Perhaps two things, if the center would allow. Many have their own rules about what is/is not allowed. First, perhaps a small fish tank. It gives the resident something to take care of and can be very soothing. Further, it's always changing visually as the fish move about. Secondly, some kind of easy to do hobby supplies such as latch work, modeling or what have you. Such places can get boring and something to do is always a good thing. It can help maintain motor skill functioning as well.

JS Matthew from Massachusetts, USA on January 29, 2012:

Moving into a nursing home can be very stressful for the person moving as well as the family members around them. You have offered some excellent tips for making the transition a little easier. Very well done! Voting up and SHARING!


Donna Cosmato (author) from USA on January 24, 2012:

Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this hub, Millionaire Tips! It really is the little things in life that make such a huge difference, isn't it?

Shasta Matova from USA on January 22, 2012:

These are all great ideas Donna. Moving is stressful to anyplace, and I am sure that moving to a nursing home could add more stress especially if the move wasn't initiated by the person moving. Having a beautiful surrounding would certainly make things easier.

Donna Cosmato (author) from USA on January 12, 2012:

Hi Rosemay50. Thank you for the vote of confidence and your nice comments. Yes, it is really traumatic to have to make this type of transition and those little things do make the move smoother, as you mentioned.

Rosemary Sadler from Hawkes Bay - NewZealand on January 12, 2012:

Some great ideas here Donna. It is always hard to sttle into a nursing home but making their room feel a little more like home makes all the difference.

A great hub and voting up

Donna Cosmato (author) from USA on January 10, 2012:

Thank you,thelyricwriter:) I'm glad you liked this hub on decorating nursing home rooms.

Richard Ricky Hale from West Virginia on January 10, 2012:

What a great article Donna. These are great ideas Donna. Very interesting article. Perfect for the nursing homes.

Donna Cosmato (author) from USA on January 07, 2012:

Thanks you for the vote up and the compliments nanospeck. While I hope Lil doesn't have to make any more trips to a nursing home, if she does, I'm planning to do the spa arrangement for her room. I think she will love it.

Akhil Anil on January 07, 2012:

Awesome decoration ideas. Well written and formatted. Votes up!

Donna Cosmato (author) from USA on January 07, 2012:

You are so right, Eddy, it just takes so little to transform any place into a little piece of home if you just put your mind to it. Your vote of support is greatly appreciated, and I hope your day goes well as you pen more of your unbelievable poetry.

Eiddwen from Wales on January 07, 2012:

What a wondeful hub Donna,and so useful also.

Many of these places are sometimes pretty dreary and what better way to bring brightness into a life.

An up up and away here my friend.

Take care and enjoy your day.


Donna Cosmato (author) from USA on January 06, 2012:

Thank you for your feedback on this decorating hub mason 1966. I'm always excited to hear from my readers what they are thinking about my work.

mason1966 from Louisville, ky on January 06, 2012:

Great ideas. Nice hub.

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