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Avenue 81 Senior Living: Inspiring Interior Design & Luxury Senior Living

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Wow.” That’s what first-time guests typically whisper as they enter Avenue 81 Senior Living. The new independent and assisted living community located at 81st and Metcalf is a shining example of modern elegance and luxury. Topeka’s Schwerdt Design Group and Kansas City’s Studio A Architecture developed the architectural plans for the community. Jenn Isom, Design Director of ISOM Collective in Kansas City, finished the space with breathtaking interior design elements. 

“The vision for Avenue 81 has always been modern and luxurious,” said Isom. “But the challenge was to be executing modern luxury in a way that was also warm and welcoming.”

When you enter Avenue 81’s Independent Living area, you’re greeted by a Grand Foyer–and grand is the perfect word to describe it. Modern elements include the floor-to-ceiling fireplace clad in luxurious Carrara marble and brushed gold light fixtures adorn the soaring ceilings. To ensure the space was warm and inviting, Isom used rich fabrics and traditional textures in an endearing color palette of taupes, golds and blues. 

Just past the Grand Foyer is Avenue 81’s restaurant, Mosaic, led by Executive Chef Nick Wysong. With Mosaic, Avenue 81 is the only senior living community in Kansas City to offer farm-to-table cuisine. Of course, Isom took the opportunity to match Avenue 81’s unique dining program with a one-of-a-kind dining space. The two-story dining room is dominated by a remarkable, hand-blown glass orb art installation by Kansas City artist Tyler Kimball and Leopold Gallery + Art Consulting. With 126 individually suspended amber glass ornaments, the dining room’s aesthetic is as inspirational as its cuisine.

“When people walk into the dining room and taste these amazing farm-to-table dishes, they ask, ‘Are you sure we’re in a retirement community?!’” joked Isom. “But I think that means we did it right.” 

As Isom began working on the Avenue 81 project, she wanted to create an atmosphere to help residents build relationships with their neighbors. “Avenue 81 has several common spaces throughout the building,” said Isom. “I wanted each one to feel like the living room in someone’s personal residence. These spaces where people sit, laugh, and connect are what make Avenue 81 a true community.”

For all the living room spaces, Isom again used a combination of modern and traditional elements. There are fantastic tiles and sputnik-style light fixtures combined with velvety, warm fabrics in approachable silhouettes. Although all the spaces use a shared color palette, every living area is distinct and special. 

Isom approached designing for Avenue 81’s assisted living areas with the same fervor as the independent living areas. In fact, she felt an even deeper obligation to ensure assisted living was warm and welcoming. “Designing for assisted living was an eye-opening process,” said Isom. “The more I envisioned living in assisted living, the more adamant I became the spaces needed to be welcoming and still keep that element of glamour.” 

The assisted living community living rooms–just like the independent living spaces–are all unique and furnished with plush textures. The assisted living dining room is more intimate but features gorgeous, modern light fixtures and serves farm-to-table cuisine from Chef Nick. 

The resident homes within Avenue 81 are just as unique as the rest of the community. There are 20 independent living floor plans ranging from studios to two-bedroom apartments. In assisted living, residents can select from five different studio or one-bedroom floor plan options.

“I would have a hard time picking an apartment home at Avenue 81,” said Isom. “Some of the two-bedroom units are really wonderful, but I also love the studio apartment; it’s bright, open and extremely livable.”

The community’s fee structure is just as impressive as its design. With all the opulence, we expected a hefty price point, but unlike other senior living communities, Avenue 81 does not have a big buy-in fee. There’s also no long-term contract. Instead, the community charges a monthly fee that covers basic utilities, a dining credit and scheduled chauffer services as well as use of the movie theater, fitness center, community pub, interior courtyard and more. To learn more about Avenue 81 independent living or assisted living, call 913-372-2608 or visit

Written by: Ali Ellis