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Design Challenge

Students want updated Village Square to feel like home

By Anne Marie Yarbrough
THiNK Magazine

Purdue interior design students are working hard to find the most efficient and innovative designs for their new clients at Westminster Village.

Over the past few weeks, the students have created new designs for apartments and the “Village Square” area at the continuing care retirement community. The Village Square is a large meeting area in the basement of the facility where residents gather to socialize and play cards. The space features a bank, fitness area, mail room, offices, and a convenience store.

Westminster Village residents are thrilled that students plan to create a more inviting space. The Village Square has plenty of available space, but its mismatched furniture, cold tile floors and plastic patio tables do not create the warm atmosphere that residents might prefer.

Sophomore interior design student Mia Wallace observed their excitement over redesigning the space, so her team plans to propose updates that the room currently lacks. The student teams will present their design ideas to residents at Westminster Village on March 4.

“The space right now isn’t really being used to its full potential,” Wallace said. “When we talked to our residents that we were paired with, we mentioned that we would be redesigning the basement, as well, and their eyes just lit up right away. Our group is really focused on making it a lot more comfortable and warm – somewhere you’d want to spend your time.”

To create a warmer, more inviting aesthetic, sophomore Emma Gelbaugh would like to replace the plastic furniture with more suitable and sustainable seating.

“You want people to go down there and spend time. We’re trying to put in café seating and card tables because they like to play cards,” Gelbaugh said. “We’re asking, ‘How can we get people to come here and hang out rather than people staying for five minutes and then leaving?’ ”

As Gelbaugh mentioned, the main focus for the students is to create a space where residents want to spend time. The Village Square is part of the residents’ home at Westminster, and the students want to ensure that it truly feels like a home.

“I feel like the Village Square could be really great. We’re putting in a fireplace and a coffee area, and the design has a wet bar, so they can have all that as well,” Gelbaugh said. “I think it’s important that they don’t feel like they’re being thrown into a space. It should feel like home.”