Design Services
Bernard Interiors
Innovative design studio creating exceptional solutions for later living

All too often residential spaces for retirement can seem like an afterthought. Not when they are the vision of Jen Bernard, who founded innovative design studio Bernard Interiors from her kitchen table in 2008.


Personal, polished, passionate and professional are its four key values – an approach that she applies to all kinds of awardwinning projects, from private residences abroad to hospitality developments and, one of her biggest areas of expertise, luxury later living environments in the UK. She is especially passionate about the latter, creating timeless, elegant environments that defy preconceived ideas about later living and provide five-star facilities for those who wish to downsize, while remaining connected to their local communities.

We’ve mixed classic and contemporary to create a truly original space that appeals to Audley’s future residents

A prime example of this is the recently completed Nightingale Place in Clapham, Audley Village’s first retirement village in central London. Finished during lockdown in 2020, it has 94 one-to-three-bedroom apartments as well as a pool, restaurant and health club. The leisure and restaurant facilities form the Audley Club, which is also open to non-resident members. Here, Jen and her talented team have created a haven of peace and relaxation in the capital, with thoughtful nods to the past.


‘The brief for this project was to create a unique interior for the Audley Club at the heart of the village, housing the restaurant, library, bar bistro, cinema and health club,’ explains Jen. ‘Many of Audley’s villages are situated within the grounds of a heritage building and utilise the main house for the Club. This allows us to draw upon the history of each property for design inspiration, to encapsulate the timeless Audley signature style.’


However, as Nightingale Place is an entirely new and urban development, in this case influences have come from the adjacent Clapham Common, as well as London and popular culture. ‘We’ve mixed classic and contemporary to create a truly original space that appeals to Audley’s future residents,’ she enthuses.

Inspiration for everything, from the colour palette to the artwork, has come from the surrounding area, life in the capital and the experiences of the village’s future residents. Bold and vibrant largescale artworks line the communal corridors, whilst the pool and spa are a serene sanctuary in the city, featuring specially commissioned details such as a cascade of individually worked metal leaves on the wall by sculptor Ollie Holman, who joined the team on site for the installation.

‘Each area has its own identity with the overall linking theme of a luxurious, relaxed urban retreat,’ explains Jen. ‘Design trends in the 1970s were marked by a backlash against the bright colours and futurism of the 1950s and 1960s. There was a rise in popularity of a sophisticated palette of dark, earthy tones with extensive use of brown, green, purple and orange. This aspect of people’s lives has influenced parts of the space and been harmoniously combined with elements from other eras and styles appropriate to Clapham. She concludes: ‘I feel incredibly privileged to work at the forefront of the later living and healthcare sectors. I’m repeatedly challenged to create a safe and comfortable environment for residents.’


Bernard Interiors The Church, Greystoke Avenue, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE2 1PN

+44 (0)1661 821427

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