HGTV’s Emily Henderson and Sunrise Senior Living Transform Resident’s Home with Suite Style

Design tips available for creating safe, comfortable and personalized spaces for seniors


Thursday, May 22, 2014 9:32 am EDT


"It’s amazing to see the joy the redesign has brought to Dominic and Helen"

MCLEAN, Va.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Sunrise Senior Living, LLC, revealed the new suite for the winners of the 2014 Suite Style contest, Helen and Dominic Raimondo. Dominic, a former World War II Prisoner of War, and his wife Helen received a design consultation from HGTV host and “Design Star” Emily Henderson as well as an all-expense paid redesign of their studio suite at the Sunrise of Gahanna community in Ohio.

“One of the things I love about Sunrise communities is that residents have the ability to customize their suite to their liking by bringing in their own furniture, choosing their own design elements and adding their own special touches,” said Henderson. “As a designer, I’m always looking for ways to personalize spaces that celebrate the individual, a value that is shared by Sunrise.”

Henderson worked with the couple to get an idea of their tastes and preferences in order to design a suite that fit their lifestyle and needs. Helen and Dominic both enjoy gardening, music and nature, which Henderson was able to incorporate in her redesign. The new design includes a minibar, updated musical equipment and plenty of plants throughout the space. To accommodate Helen’s low vision, Emily used contrasting colors and patterns to help her navigate the space easier.

“It’s amazing to see the joy the redesign has brought to Dominic and Helen,” said Sarah Burress, executive director at Sunrise of Gahanna. “From inviting friends in for a drink to showing off their new music player, they are enjoying a space designed to be all about them and the things they love.”

Sunrise and Henderson offer the following five design tips, which were incorporated into this year’s design, to help seniors and their families design a living space at Sunrise or in their own home.

  • Use Greenery to Freshen Up Any Space: Adding small potted plants brings oxygen and life into any room. For those without a green thumb, try a small silk plant for the same look without the upkeep.
  • Embrace Contrasting Colors and Patterns: As we age, it naturally becomes harder to see. Make it easier by using contrasting textures, fabrics and patterns for your bedding and pillows. It also helps to bring more personality into the space.
  • Get Storage Savvy and Hide Clutter: Invest in furniture pieces that can not only hold a lot but also hide your clutter as well. Look for pieces that mix open and closed storage for a more stylish look, such as the mini bar piece Emily used in The Raimondos’ redesign.
  • Invest in Multi-Functional Furniture: When living in a smaller space, it’s important to get the most out of your furniture. Look for pieces that can serve multiple purposes such as the storage ottoman used in this year’s redesign, which functions as both seating and storage.
  • Change a Room’s Ambiance with Lighting: Use remote controlled lighting to create the perfect level of brightness for any room. Henderson recommends installing wall sconces to create easily accessible light for reading in bed.

Visit to view the before and after photos of the suite, a video of the redesign, more design tips, an interactive floor plan with product recommendations from Henderson and additional design resources including a Design Guide and Senior-Friendly Interior Design infographic.

To see these design elements and learn more about the Sunrise Signature Experience, visit a Sunrise community during Tour of Homes, from Sunday, June 1, through Saturday, June 7. The public is invited to visit any Sunrise community to tour residents’ suites, meet members of the Sunrise team including resident pets, and experience first-hand the high-quality senior living Sunrise offers to its residents and families.

About Sunrise Senior Living

Sunrise Senior Living, a McLean, Va.-based company, employs approximately 29,000 people. As of April 1, 2014, Sunrise operated 290 communities in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom, with a unit capacity of approximately 26,400 units. Sunrise offers a full range of personalized senior living services, including independent living, assisted living, care for individuals with Alzheimer's disease and other forms of memory loss, as well as nursing and rehabilitative services. Sunrise's senior living services are delivered by staff trained to encourage the independence, preserve the dignity, enable freedom of choice and protect the privacy of residents. To learn more about Sunrise, please visit



Sunrise Senior Living, LLC
Heather Clarke
Corporate Communications

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