A Michigan-based continuing care retirement community is livening up the inside of its space with the help of a local design firm.

Friendship Village Senior Living in Kalamazoo is almost 40 years old, with brick and mortar portions some may see as “institutional.” Aiming to shed any of those notions, staff sought to create new “gallery walls” along their corridors. These highlight the beauty of the Great Lakes State, says Nicole Holmes, director of admissions and marketing.

Each gallery represents a different aspect of Michigan, with pictures and blurbs about its history. One features some of the state’s most famous waterfalls, while another looks at its light houses. All the bright colors have left Friendship Village’s long-term care community “far less institutional looking.”

“It has really become a valued part of our community. I can’t tell you how many times our residents stop to look at the different pictures and comment about the time that they took a family vacation to Lake Ontario,” Holmes says.