Working Together To Improve The Community

Fanning The Flames For Full Occupancy: A Cozy Amenity For Your Luxury Retirement Apartment Complex

by April Carlson

As a market-savvy developer of a luxury retirement apartment complex, you know that classy, accessible interior design, beautifully manicured grounds and sustainable features for green living are important selling points for prospective residents. But it's unique amenities and a sense of community that will give your property the edge over others that are also tapping into the growing Baby Boomer retirement market. Including handsome, custom-designed fireplaces in your property design is one way to set your complex apart from others. Design-wise, a fireplace can be the extraordinary focal point of an indoor or outdoor public space. But more importantly, it serves as a catalyst for community interaction. Conversations happen by the hearth. Folks who come for the nostalgic pleasure of a crackling fire end up making friends. And a beautiful fireplace makes a charming backdrop for special events your management team hosts to foster community involvement, such as wine-tastings, book club discussions and holiday parties.

Fireplace Design and Installation

Designing and installing the best style of fireplaces in optimal positioning for the retirement complex takes teamwork.

Interior designer. Establishes the theme and placement options for indoor public areas. In a formal sitting room where residents are welcome to relax, read and enjoy each other's company, for example, this professional may suggest a white brick fireplace with a dramatic wood mantel. In a less formal setting, like the retirement complex rec room, a sleek metal-framed fireplace may be specified.

Landscape architect. Ensures smooth integration of a fireplace with surrounding hardscape surfaces and plants. An entire outdoor seating area may be designed around an impressively large stone fireplace with a decorative chimney and stonework. To create space for smaller group gatherings, a small tile-fronted fireplace may be included in a courtyard design to enrich the ambiance. The landscape architect will also be involved in choosing the materials for the fireplace so that the feature is visually compatible with the walkways, patios and other surfaces in outdoor common areas.

Fireplace contractor. Serves as a consulting partner with the designer and architect to ensure that the desired fireplaces are feasible to build and are positioned for safety, structural integrity and access to venting and fuel. The contractor attends to material procurement and supervises the building and installation of the fireplace. The contractor will work with specialists in fireplace masonry to ensure the firebox is properly lined, the chimney and venting apparatus are safely installed, and the decorative exterior is perfectly executed. The contractor will also coordinate obtaining appropriate permits and inspections to ensure the finished fireplace meets all the safety requirements of a multi-family residential property catering to older residents.

Fireplace Style and Positioning

When you assign your team the task of including fireplaces in your retirement complex, make sure they understand the mission is to provide luxury amenities. Even though the origin of fireplaces was functional for heating and cooking, the ones they're creating in this modern setting are specifically for beauty and ambiance. These instructions will help keep the team focused on how their work will help promote a sense of community.

  • Make sure the fireplaces are positioned so there is ample space for residents to gather in small conversation groups or to settle into comfortable chairs while enjoying the flickering flames.
  • Incorporate locally sourced materials in the design wherever possible. A hearth made of recycled bricks, tiles from a local artisan, or stone cut from a nearby quarry make attractive finishes. These thoughtful features can also serve as conversation starters when residents mingle, and as showpieces when you're giving prospective residents a tour.
  • Stick with familiar, classic fireplace styles over contemporary or flamboyant designs. The traditional look will be more comfortable for most retirees than an edgy, modern appearance.

When they're completed, the beautiful fireplaces lend an aura of gracious living to entice and enchant residents to your retirement apartment complex. For more information and ideas, check out websites like