4 Tips for Designing Outdoor Spaces in Senior Living

With the beautiful summer weather in full swing, it’s the perfect time to enjoy the outdoor spaces in your communities!  In fact, staged outdoor spaces in common areas and models are great ways to welcome your senior residents.

A well-designed patio is a great finish to any model apartment.  It helps current and prospective residents see the potential of how the space can be utilized – taking the guess work out of any tour. What a great way to win over new renters!

Extend the living space in your model with a beautiful patio. Model apartment designed by Model55. https://model55.com/quatama-crossing/


In many communities, the patio space often becomes an extension of the living area within the apartment. It can make the apartment feel larger and more inviting. Additionally, a cozy outside seating space is the perfect retreat. You can show residents and prospects how they can relax or entertain company while enjoying the fresh air.

There are a lot of great ways to highlight the extension a patio area provides in your models. Our designers like to use sheer curtains. This opens the space up and brings the outdoors in.

Outdoor common area designed by Model55.

Designing Outdoor Spaces

If you’re not sure how to begin, I recommend you start by taking note of size limitations. In a smaller area, you might only have room for a loveseat and/or a chair, whereas in a larger patio spaces, such as common areas, you can have fun creating different clusters of seating options.

When it comes to outdoor seating the most important things are to ensure fit and comfortability. Of course, adding style and inviting elements is always recommended. Below are four of my favorite ideas for creating beautiful outdoor environments in your senior living communities.

#1. The Classic Bistro Set

We love this fun outdoor bistro set. The pops of color make it modern and fun. Apartment designed by Model55. https://model55.com/multifamily-interior-design/portfolio/the-talia-apartments/

A common favorite our designers use when creating a model patio environment is the bistro set. I especially love this option for smaller spaces that just need a touch of something extra to feel complete. Your residents will love the idea of enjoying morning coffee and summer lunch al fresco!

#2. A Spot for Fido

You already know that your residents’ four-legged friends are important members of your communities.  If you have the room, consider converting a small corner of your model patio into a cozy canine nook. By adding a few small touches, such as a small patch of faux green grass, cozy bedding, or possibly a small dog house, this space will become a favorite spot for “man’s best friend”!

#3. Create a Green Oasis

Decorating with plants is a great way to add color and privacy to any outdoor area in your communities.  When it comes to patios, it is easy and inexpensive to use real or faux plants to liven up the space. All you have to do is check that the plants you choose are appropriate for outdoor use. Even if you go with faux plants, it will feel more authentic if they are outdoor compatible.

If you aren’t sure what plants to purchase, the internet is full of great suggestions. I really like the ten plants listed on the Thompson & Morgan blog, Top 10 Plants for Patios. In it, they give a list of beautiful plants that thrive in patio environments!

Additionally, If the space is full of natural sunlight, a mini garden is an awesome add-on. You could even ask your residents to help with the maintenance. Allow them to select the herbs and veggies, then create a schedule for maintaining and harvesting. After that, all that’s left is selecting some beautiful planters and setting them up for easy access. I love this idea for patios because it creates both beautiful, living environments and community-centered areas throughout your properties.

However, if low maintenance greenery is preferred, you can try a succulent wall or something comparable. Not only is this easy-to-DIY option sure to make a statement when your prospects tour the community, but it is also aesthetically pleasing for existing residents.

#4. Light It Up

Another simple and effective layering option for patio design is the stringing of white lights.  The atmosphere will instantly feel serene and inviting. Additionally, the ambiance tells your senior residents a lovely story of warm summer nights. I recommend a woven globe light for a whimsical mid-summer vibe. Or, try Edison lights for a more urban/ modern feel.


Well, there you have it! Four easy and affordable ideas to bring the outdoor spaces in your senior living communities to life.

I’d love to see and share how your community has staged the outdoor spaces in the models and common areas! Email me pictures at liz@model55.com! I’ll post them on Facebook and tag your community.

Thanks for Reading,


More Patios Featured in Model55 Designs

Liz Laplante
  • Steven Czyrny
    Posted at 01:17h, 26 June Reply

    Very nice introduction about the designing of outdoor space in senior living. Thanks..

    • Amanda Beausoleil
      Posted at 08:57h, 24 July Reply

      Thanks for your feedback!

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