How do you design a home for later life?

We are back with a new instalment of Ageing Unlocked.  In this series, we meet with Stewart Dean, Principal at Marchese Partners to talk about the future of design, design principles and why design leaves older people behind.

This week we want to know what are the most important factors when designing later living.

How do you design a home for later life?

That really starts at the front door for us. You really need to understand your client, where they have lived, where they have been brought up and the environments they have been living in all their lives and how all of that comes into what you are designing.

The front door is really key. This isn’t necessarily the front door to their apartment but could be the front door to the development. They need to be able to walk in they need it to feel warm and homely like they are at home and that they have arrived home.

We are trying to get people to move from family homes they have lived in all of their lives so it has to be a really compelling reason for them to move. Other important factors are having adaptable spaces where they can age in place. We don’t want these to feel institutional in any shape or form.

At Marchese Partners, we believe in being able to design a beautifully functional home which allows the resident to age in place so that goes from the design of the kitchen, the bathrooms, the adaptable spaces so that they know they can move into this place and not have to move again.


Stewart has been part of the Marchese team for over 17 years. During this time Stewart has worked in the Sydney office and was the Principal of the Brisbane office and has been instrumental in the growth of the senior living brand for Marchese Partners.

Through his experience in Australia working on landmark later living projects, Stewart has gained an innate understanding of the sector and how well-considered design can positively affect and influence the residents, to live more fulfilling active, happy lives. Stewart has been involved with steering committees at a number of later living developments in Australia and is committed to bettering the lives of the residents with this resident first attitude.

Stewart brings this experience into leading the London Studio to deliver the unique Guild Living offering.