Funeral Homes: The Need for Redesign

Funeral homes naturally carry a heavily negative association as they are usually linked with the loss of a loved one. Battling this impression may mean taking a hard look at the design and layout of your funeral home from the perspective of a family member who is facing, what could be, one of the hardest and darkest days of their lives. What should funeral home design consider in order to dispel the unfavorable impression left on visitors? Research published in Cremation Solutions online takes a look at the areas that funeral home directors should scrutinize in the design of a more progressive funeral home.

What is the first impression when entering your funeral home? Is it cold, sterile, or dated? Are the rooms open and airy or small and confining? What mood does the lighting set for mourners? Does the design allow for natural light or are the windows heavily draped? Is the seating comfortable for people of all ages? Is the décor out-of-style or classic? There are a number questions to consider when designing your funeral home.

In coordination with results from researchers, our expert designers can make some suggestions, including:

  • Minimize the sense of confinement that many funeral homes portray with small, segmented rooms, low lighting, no access to natural light, and crowded seating areas. Instead, a redesign can create more airy and open rooms configured as living rooms where seating areas can accommodate groups for talking and mingling.
  • Incorporate outdoor areas where family members can get away and have quiet reflection when the weather permits.
  • Make visitors feel welcome with a well-lit and landscaped entryway. When possible, use colorful plantings and a hardscape design that allows for outdoor seating or pathways.
  • Get assistance from designing experts who can arrange lighting that balances mood and task lighting. Remove dated lighting fixtures and unnatural colored bulbs. Allow sunlight in where possible while still being mindful of privacy.
  • Take a hard look at the state of the walls around the funeral home. Dated wallpaper, paneling, and paint treatments should be redesigned. This is especially true if the paint is bubbling, peeling, or has water damage stains. A design consultant can help choose a color palette that will be appropriate and updated.
  • Décor, especially furnishing, drapery, and wall coverings, should be taken into account when attempting to create a peaceful and quiet place for family members. While this does not mean choosing all neutral tones, it does mean choosing furnishings that are comfortable for people of all ages and abilities. Many seniors have difficulty with plush sofas and lower chairs, so consider multiple options and décor choices that not only consider style but clientele as well.

While funeral homes do have sadness forever associated with them, well-thought out design surroundings can go a long way towards making a difficult time just a little bit more bearable. Call DMS design for more funeral home design ideas and to set up an appointment with our team.