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Creating homes away from home for the aging

Sharon Currier and Angela Nteta of Currier & Associates, an interior design firm, in the Avita assisted living center.
Sharon Currier and Angela Nteta of Currier & Associates, an interior design firm, in the Avita assisted living center.Lane Turner/Globe Staff

As Art Currier says, "Nobody is getting any younger."

He, his wife Sharon Currier, and the team at the interior design firm Currier & Associates in Amesbury want to make the middle and twilight years as lovely and comfortable as they can be.

The company, founded in 1979, has done a range of national, regional, and local residential and commercial projects, but has also focused on active adult communities, hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, senior living, and Alzheimer's residences.

We talked with Art Currier, chief executive; Sharon Currier, president, who has 37 years of interior design experience; and Angela Nteta, director of design.

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Q. Company evolution?

Sharon: I oversaw the design of a medical surgical unit at Anna Jaques Hospital in Newburyport and I enjoyed the health care arena and the sense of improving environments for patients and staff. That moved into medical clinics and skilled nursing and then into the senior market.

Q. Changes in industry?

Sharon: Back in the day, it was ho-hum and everything was beige. We feel each room should create an experience and touch emotions. It’s all about enhancing people’s lives.

Art: When people walk in [the facilities], it's warm, inviting, and uplifting.

Q. Senior care?

Sharon: What's difficult for people is loss of balance and strength, and cognitive, visual, and hearing impairments. They also are sensitive to cold, drafts, direct sunlight, and shadows. We choose special materials and lighting.

Angela: Color. Blues and greens are a little more calming. Gold and butterscotch colors are warm and inviting. We identify destination spaces, which could be a fish tank or a clock. And use simple lettering, and in some cases Braille, in signage.

Q. Recent and local projects?

A. Sharon: The new Avita in Newburyport, dedicated to people with memory loss and dementia. Working on renovating Nichols Village, a senior living community in Groveland. And a project designing the interiors of a new assisted living and memory-care complex in Sharon.

Q. Goal?

Angela: We are trying to create warmth, light, elements people relate to and love in the last phase of their life. It’s from the heart.

Wendy Killeen

Wendy Killeen can be reached at wdkilleen@gmail.com.