Funeral Home

Elegant décor is key to this funeral home owner’s business model as it is his competitive advantage.

Location: Private

Designer Credits: Decorating Den Interiors

Project Overview:

A young, successful funeral home owner purchased a dilapidated restaurant to transform into a funeral home in a new city. With this décor, he says his business has gone from “the sandlot to the big leagues!”

Funeral Home

Our Challenges

Our client, a young and successful funeral home owner, needed our help to transform a dilapidated restaurant into a comfortable and luxurious new funeral home. Elegant décor is key to the owner’s business model, and is his competitive advantage. Having his families (customers) love the look and feel and usability of the funeral home would enable him to jumpstart his entry into the market in this new city.

The interior was re-architected, completed gutted and we designed the new space from the ground floor up. The lobby, which is the highest priority room, because it greets the families, had to be spacious but cozy, and inviting but professional looking. It had to look like a large living room, but be entirely functional and durable for the hundreds of family members who would use it each month. Another challenge was that our client had a reasonable, but moderate budget.

The Lobby

We selected a color scheme to mirror his brand logo: Navy and Gold. This client is a protégé of our original funeral home client, and had adopted much of his style, so we had to create a look that would be distinct enough not to look like we copied our original client, which would have upset both our clients. We created four seating areas, with chairs or sofas and occasional tables, artwork and accents. We chose rounded, classic but not stuffy, sofas in high durability dark blue fabric. Patterned and bordered carpet simulates a large area rug. Semi-ornate tables are classic but not too old fashioned. Gold walls and super comfy golden/copper lounge chairs add a feeling of warm comfort and opulence. A variety of styles makes it a touch eclectic and Living Room-esque. Luxurious blue paisley cornices top gleaming golden faux silk tied back draperies, and white sheers, to give the space a fresh classic appeal. Unique artwork and wall décor in each seating area gives it a luxury home feel. Our young entrepreneur owner and his employees and family were completely bowled over by the finished look. With this new décor, he says his business has “graduated from the sandlot into the big leagues!”

The Conference Room

The conference room is a relatively large space, so we cozied it up. We wanted to create the look and feel of an elegant dining room, one you’d want to linger in. Most of the other rooms in the facility have gold walls, but we chose a soothing, embracing dark blue for this room. We selected a classic dining table in a dark finish, with spooled legs and feet and a sleek top. The calm light taupe tufted, rolled back side chairs are comfortable and a great contrast to the blue walls and carpet. A large credenza, with lots of storage for paperwork and supplies to hide, gives a real dining room feel but is also highly functional. Simple buffet lamps highlight, but don’t intimidate. We provided a bench, with companion table and lighting, for the family members who participate but don’t get a vote. We used an elegant scrolled bronze chandelier with “hats”, installed higher than a dining room. A “collection” of sophisticated watery blue and gold artwork doesn’t look too contrived. As much as they can, our client’s families are enjoying this restful space to make some of the most important decisions for their loved ones.

Sitting/Courtesy Room

An important room in the funeral home business is the Sitting/Courtesy Room, where families can rest, refresh, snack and converse during an arrangement meeting, visitation or funeral. It had to be comfortable (like an upscale family room) to put the families at ease, durable (able to withstand coffee/tea/food), and inviting (to encourage the families to work with this funeral home instead of a competitor). The space plan was very critical as the room had to accommodate comfortable sofa seating, as well as casual dining. It required storage for paperwork and documents, as sometimes this room would be used as a conference room if the conference room was tied up. And all of this needed to be done on a moderate budget.

We started with the floor plan, in order to maximize seating and dining spaces, without being cramped or uncomfortable. We selected durable, commercial quality, casually classic twin sofas, designed in the same golden/copper fabric as chairs used in the adjacent lobby. Arm chairs in highly durable navy mini-print fabric were included for additional seating. Dining chairs in mid-tone tan microfiber provided sufficient dining seating, and worked well with the classic décor. The two windows were dressed in the same faux silk gold tied-back draperies, and notched navy paisley cornices as the lobby. We included winter white sheers for privacy. Clean lined but classic occasional tables add to the upscale family room feel. Tall transitional lamps in bronze and champagne finishes helped with the atmosphere. A variety of global artwork in mahogany frames with gold and bronze content warm up the space, and minimal accents allow for the necessary tissue boxes, and table space needed to make the families feel at home.