Five Senses

case study

Case Study


Dogwood Forest Assisted Living Communities | Atlanta, GA

Through sensory design, Abbey Hall helped Dogwood Forest carve out a unique brand and a commanding presence in the highly competitive assisted living market in Atlanta. Most of the Dogwood Forest communities were existing structures and acquired. Abbey Hall was tasked with rejuvenating older properties into vibrant centers for better healing and better living. Taking into account how the five senses each play their part in the wellness of seniors, our design team created new spaces that were not only safe, comfortable and aestheically pleasing, but we also delivered a total wellness environment for our client. Our sensory interior design combined with the optimisic caregivers, holistic wellness services, therapeutic diet and innovative non-drug therapies employed by our client, Dogwood Forest is considered an industry leader in the care of seniors.


Visually, interior design plays an important role in creating a calming and sophisticated setting. Color schemes help define locations and create situational awareness. At Dogwood Forest, we designed an interior that provided a visual cue for seniors to feel relaxed, important, and happy.


Ample amounts of the key foods that are linked to heart health and memory improvement can be found in the common areas of Dogwood Forest.


For seniors, smell is one of the most powerful senses, especially when it comes to memory. Just one hint of certain smells can remind us of memories from long ago. At Dogwood Forest, we provided the Inspirations Neighborhood with lots of scented items to help bring a smile as people remembered their past. In addition, aromatherapy candles and oils with naturual healing and soothing properties were used in the spa, restrooms and common areas.


Fine textured fabrics, plush decorative pillows, ornate accessories, furniture with lots of materials, and "must-touch" conversation pieces adorn the common areas. Gardens and waterfalls not only provide residents of Dogwood Forest with access to nature, but the ability to actually plant, and play in the water.


Soft relaxing music, waterfalls and real ticking clocks are just a few of the design elements used to help the seniors of Dogwood Forest find comfort and happiness in their new home.


The Results

Shortly after the rennovation of each community, Dogwood Forest enjoyed significant increases in move-in rates, customer satisfaction, employee satisfaction and top-line revenues. Most signifcant, however, was the improvement the company saw in the health and healing of its residents.The company refers to its assisted living communities as "assisted living like you've never seen before," and created its entire brand around the fact that their assisted living environments and services were created with all of the details that have been clinically proven to produce positive outcomes in the health and lives of seniors.