The warm feeling you get when you walk into a welcoming home can be hard to describe, but impossible to forget. The interior designer of the Highview, Searstone’s four-story expansion, knows a thing or two about how to incite this feeling and make any guest want to stay a while.
We sat down with Bridget Bohacz, owner of Bohacz and Associates Interior Design Firm, to get a closer look into her inspiration behind the interior design style of the Highview and just what it takes to make a house feel like a home. Find out how she took Searstone’s existing look and feel and amplified it for a perfect fit to the community.
Q. How did your partnership with Searstone get started?
A. We were introduced to Searstone through a different community based on what we have done in the past. We’ve been in business for 31 years specializing in senior living communities across the country.
Q. What areas of Searstone will be getting a refresh aside from the Highview?
A. Our plan is to work backwards and update the existing common area, Winston Clubhouse. When everything is complete, the Clubhouse will look like the Highview with a consistent interior design theme throughout the community. This will provide one cohesive feel for visitors and members. Our goal is to keep one design look in each building so no one will be able to tell that one was added later than others.
The salon is one area that will get an overhaul. The products and materials used within the salon for residents are top quality and high-end, so that will be reflected in the sleek design that’s contemporary even in the traditional structure. From the styling stations and backwash units, to the furniture and light finishes, the salon is well-equipped and modern.
What was a once a dull physical therapy space is now colorful and active, encouraging residents who are recovering or need extra assistance.
The most crucial part of the Clubhouse are the dining rooms, where we’re bringing in the elements we’re using in the rest of the space. Wood beams, bronze glazing, iron chandeliers, stone walls and flooring will create a beautiful, inviting dining area.
Q. How did you incorporate the architecture’s French provincial theme into the interior?
A. We will be incorporating these elements into the interior design of the Highview, then going back and introducing the style into other Searstone buildings.
For example, the library will be redone into a more functional space for residents. Furnishings will be traditional with a more modern look, along with an interesting ceiling and fresh light fixtures. Two additions to the Highview are a theater and a card room which will be designed for maximum function and flowthrough, using French provincial doors between.
Q. How are you taking this traditional style and making it modern to match today’s modern interior design style?
A. Some of the French provincial designs that we’re pulling into both the Highview and the Clubhouse are authentic materials that you’d find in any original buildings in France. This style grew in France as a reaction to the rococo style from the 1700s. Rococo was fancy and expensive, but the French people wanted something that embodied this but a little more casual to incorporate into less formal buildings and homes. This French provincial style is very popular in France today and contemporary elements are constantly being used for a more modern look and feel.
The Highview will follow the same model – we’ll do as the French do! Rather than sticking with a heavy traditional style, lighter colors and clean lines are introduced. Think traditional, but more fresh in the colors, fabrics, textures, and floors that we’re using. It’s contemporary but in an authentic way.
Q. Can you give us a specific example of this style within the interior?
A. A French provincial chateau in Normandy was refurbished with a light palette of wood paneling and this was the inspiration for the main corridor that attaches Winston Clubhouse to the Highview. Currently, it’s a basic corridor without much character so this elegance and charm will be brought in for an element of excitement. It will serve as a beautiful welcome to the dining area.
Again, it will be blurring the lines between old and new so residents and visitors won’t feel like any buildings are out of place. This idea is another way to keep the feel of a tight-knit community.
Q. The interior colors are so serene and calming, how did you choose them?
A. Searstone is a traditional community, so we used a color palette that bridges the gap between traditional and contemporary. These colors are restful, resort-like and comfortable, which ties back to the authentic theme and is also relaxing for residents and guests.
Q. What’s your favorite space in the Searstone?
A. It has to be the bistro. The bistro is based off of the “Eataly” concept, a marketplace in New York inspired by Italy, and we wanted to bring that Searstone. There’s pizza, gelato, a coffee area, and it’s really interesting.
There’s no better way to bring the family together – kids love it, grandkids love it, and parents love it. This is something that appeals to everyone. You can hang out there all day regardless if you want to relax, plug in your laptop and answer emails, or have a meal and spend time with friends and family. It’s going to be such an exciting atmosphere and will serve as a hub in the community.
Q. What role do residents play in influencing the overall aesthetic?
A. We used specific feedback from the residents and learned about what they’re looking for in a redesign. They gave us information about how they’ll be using the space and what type of atmosphere would best serve their day to day lives, from the dining areas to the card room. We also work closely with the staff to determine how we can enhance the design to best fit the overall environment.
We focused on the function of each room first, then selected a design theme that was both true to the period, yet modern and pleasing.
The Highview will feature 152 elegant, modern residences featuring scenic views, ample light, attractive fixtures and appliances and many upgrade options. It’s the future of senior living with a brand new, well-thought-out design build and endless amenities.
At the Highview, you’ll be immersed in an active lifestyle full of opportunity, with all you need conveniently located just steps from your front door. Find out if it’s right for you.