The LCS 3: Foulk, Millcroft & Shipley


LCS Foulk: ASID Bronze award- Specialty category

Project Type


Completion Year


Care Type

Independent Living, Assisted Living, Skilled Nursing Facility

Nestled outside historic Delaware about 30 miles from Philadelphia, three Senior Living communities embarked on a full makeover embracing the vitality and well-being of residents and redefining the quality of life for the incoming, fast-growing aging population. Welcome to Foulk Living and Shipley Living, located in Wilmington, DE, and the nearby Newark-based Millcroft Living. At these three Senior Living communities, architects, designers and construction teams have employed a human-centric approach to a vibrant and transformative renovation project with the goal of driving increased occupancy. Wilmington is the largest city in Delaware and boasts a storied past reaching back to some of the earliest days in American history. The Shipley Manor community was purchased by a new operator whose intent was to transform the Independent Living and Assisted Living common areas into a more modern, comfortable, and purposeful space that supports the independent lifestyle of the community. Gone are the days of dark, institutional-like dining rooms and foreboding entranceways. Senior Living communities now require thoughtful and engaging designs like open atriums, welcoming front entrances, and cozy conversation bar and lounge areas. These three Senior Living renovations aimed for just that: open, conversational elegance with a myriad of community-centric spaces that prioritize resident health and well-being.  
“Seeing the residents happy is a good feeling. The residents have been very happy with the renovations and are excited to see what is next.  They were somewhat involved as we were going through the different stages and enjoyed discussing what was happening and what to expect in future phases.”
James Kintz

Plant Operator Director, Shipley

There have been several impactful renovation results:

  • Resident Well-being: Just months after completion, the work is already fostering social connections, promoting quality of life and helping older adults live their lives to the fullest.
  • Marketability: The vibrant new look has phones ringing and families eager to visit.
  • Occupancy: There’s been a significant boost in occupancy—up to 85.7% for all three sites with almost 100% for Foulk, 81.1% for Shipley and 84.4% for Millcroft Living.
exterior of Gracewin of Baxter
The three communities’ forward-thinking design and $6 million (approximately $2 million each) capital investment features well-placed amenities and shared spaces that bring residents together. Shared spaces include cafes, bar and lounge areas, fitness centers and welcoming entryways where residents can mingle outside during good weather.
“From the project’s beginning, planners endeavored to draw people together, in an effort to combat social isolation,” said Chris Frommell, Managing Partner, Direct Supply® Aptura®. His team formed a partnership with the three communities’ managing firm, Life Care Services, an LCS company. “To do that, the team conceptualized several different spaces where residents could gather and mingle. The health and overall well-being of our Senior Living residents was what we worked toward. At the same time, we were driven to help boost census, safety and operational efficiency and provide an unparalleled return on investment, which we have accomplished through increased occupancy rates at all three communities.”

Intentional Senior Living Designs: Combating Isolation

Loneliness and social isolation in older adults pose serious public health risks, affecting a growing number of seniors in the United States, putting them at risk for dementia and other serious medical conditions, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.1 Studies show this impacts about one-third of adults aged 65 and older who report feeling lonely on a regular basis, and around 17 percent of seniors are considered to be socially isolated, lacking meaningful connections and interactions. LCS with Direct Supply Aptura took the idea of designing for wellness and socialization from ordinary to extraordinary. The result: A look at the future of senior living architecture and design.

Foulk Living is boasting its new look with its welcoming lobby. Corridors and shared spaces have been painted and beautifully decorated. Foulk Living’s four-season room provides a comfortable sunlit space year-round, with new walls, windows and an HVAC system. Its dining room has been reimagined with new wood-looking flooring, updated lighting and wall coverings. 
At the core of a vibrant independent senior living community lies a bistro and bar, designed with a keen eye for aesthetics that embody both energy and elegance. The bistro garnered Aptura® recognition for design excellence at the 2023 ASID (American Society of Interior Designers) Wisconsin Gala May 2, 2024 securing a bronze medal in the hospitality category. The interior of the bistro is marked by bold artwork and lively fabrics, setting a welcoming scene for residents and visitors alike. This space is more than just its looks; it’s an activity hub, transitioning seamlessly from a morning coffee spot to a lively venue for casual dinners and happy hour gatherings. Functionality meets style in the layout and design of the bistro, ensuring it serves as the perfect backdrop for multigenerational gatherings. Families and residents come together here, sharing meals, playing games, and enjoying sporting events on the big screen. The ambiance, characterized by bright colors and comfortable seating, fosters an all-ages appeal, making it a popular spot for catching up on community life or simply enjoying the company of others.
The bistro’s day-to-night versatility reflects the community’s dynamic lifestyle. Starting with coffee in the morning, it offers a diverse menu that caters to varied tastes, including afternoon high tea and evening dining options. This space is not just about food and drink; it’s about creating connections and celebrating life, embodying the spirited essence of the community it serves.
“The residents love how bright the renovations make the community look. It’s much more homelike. They love the colorful fun theme they went with. It matches our community’s vibe. Foulk Living is Fun Living. The community is much more comfortable and elegant. The residents are proud of their home. The Executive Chef is proud to serve more upscale meals in the newly renovated dining rooms. Their dining experience has improved. The Executive Chef has been adding more fine details and has been elevating her food to match the new elevated atmosphere of the dining rooms and Bistro.”
Leslie Johnson

Executive Director, Foulk Living

Shipley Living received a new roof, and the entryway received a major transformation to make it more welcoming. “It’s already resulting in increased visits from not only family members of residents, but seniors searching for a vibrant community,” said Rod Copple, Vice President, Operations Administration at Life Care Services. The entrance canopy where the blue canvass was replaced with a new porte cochere and steel pergolas were installed adjacent to it. The enhancements extend through the front doors, where the lobby and corridors have been brightened. The living room features a beautiful breakfast bar adjacent to the renovated dining room, bistro, and bar. Two televisions were installed in the bar area with plentiful banquette seating.
To keep with the modern historic aesthetic, original wood molding and trim were refinished where possible, walls were painted in warm gray tones, and herringbone and wood block vinyl flooring were used to give that extra layer of detail that would be found in many local historic homes.  Traditional and timeless style light fixtures in a modern black finish blend the new with the old and create a home-like but sophisticated space.  The furniture features vivid jewel tone fabrics and classic accents like rolled arms, nailhead trim and button tufting.  The artwork is a unique combination of nearby gardens, museums and modern prints.  Together, with the extra attention to detail shown in the drapery accents and the collected worldly nature of the accessories, the interiors of this community create that historic modern residential feel the clients were looking for.
The Independent Living Lounge takes advantage of a skylight and the borrowed light from the new entry to create a warm and inviting place to gather throughout the day.  A new hospitality bar features a lovely blue mosaic tile backsplash with a handcrafted look and the same marble-look quartz seen on the desk in reception. The carpet chosen for this area is a deconstructed damask pattern in bright cheerful blues, warm grays, and greens. The Independent Living Lounge leads to the Living and Dining Rooms where modern interpretations of classic artwork layered on soft patterned wallcovering and original moldings create an atmosphere of inviting classic elegance.  The traditionally style black iron lighting and lounge flooring is run throughout these spaces to create continuity.  Great attention to detail was paid when selecting furniture.  The casegoods combine marble, wrought iron and leather in classical motifs.  Furniture frames were chosen for their classical styling and ease of resident use. Sienna and rose tones were chosen for their contrast and warmth and can be seen in artwork, upholstery and piping, tufting details.
Not to be outdone, the Assisted Living and Dining Rooms incorporate the same high-back dining chairs seen in Independent Living Dining, this time upholstered in faux leather and rich, jewel-toned damask patterns. The feature blue color seen throughout the community is used here as a wainscot and when combined with the embroidered drapery gives a cozy intimate feel to the space.  The Living Room is another area that was reconfigured to provide more natural light and stylish new storage that fit the needs of residents and staff. The paint colors and carpeting are repeated here, this time with a modern take on a traditional valance and darker, more saturated versions of the upholstery used in Independent Living.
Millcroft Living’s entrance is instantly welcoming with a new concierge desk and lobby featuring wood plank flooring, gorgeous lighting and wall treatments. A new bar/lounge space and renovated dining room, card room and the corridors and shared areas have been brightened and beautified. Millcroft Living was recognized as the “Best Nursing home for 2024,” by U.S. News & World Report.
“At all three locations, artwork and accessories bring into focus the rich local Early American history and landscape, colors, textures, and patterns of the textiles provide a simple yet elegantly refined residence,”
Rebecca Keller

Associate ASID, Senior Lead Interior Designer, Direct Supply Aptura

At Foulk Living, for example, the design brings together soulful, eclectic, and playful styles. Colors in the main living area combine a soft blue, mustard and purple. “The idea was to transform the common area into a more modern, comfortable and purposeful space that supports the independent lifestyle of the community,” said Keller.

Forming a Partnership for Excellence

The partnership between Direct Supply® Aptura® and Life Care Services, an LCS company, stands as a testament to the power of transformation and meaningful collaboration. In late 2021, LCS took over management of Foulk Living Manor, Shipley Living Manor, and Millcroft Living. LCS created a rebranding strategy with a focus on hospitality lifestyle, community connection and resident satisfaction. “The changes inspired the need for a physical renovation to provide each community with an updated, fresh, welcoming look,” said Copple of Life Care Services. The company has been recognized as #1 in Resident Satisfaction among Independent Senior Living Communities for the fifth consecutive year and added a #1 in Customer Satisfaction among Assisted Living/Memory Care Communities in the J.D. Power 2024 U.S. Senior Living Satisfaction Study.  The awards make Life Care Services the most awarded Senior Living Provider in the nation. With notepads and cameras in hand, the Direct Supply Aptura team took copious notes and photos. “We quickly discovered these buildings suffered from years of deferred maintenance and failure to update the interiors and exteriors prior to LCS ownership,” said Daniel Pottratz, Senior Project Manager for LCS Development. They prioritized curb appeal, structure and updating and repairing the outdated interiors, which included replacing roofs that were causing leaks and other damage to the buildings. Moving inside, a major facelift got underway: flooring in common hallways, dining rooms and reception area was replaced. “Bar/Lounge” areas were created with new millwork, mounted televisions and comfortable seating. New light fixtures, ceilings and painting and wallpaper were installed. “What makes the design/build at these three sites stand out is the stark difference in appearance between the original conditions of the buildings and the current,” said Pottratz. “They were dark, uninviting and poorly maintained before and now are bright, welcoming and well-maintained.”

The Results

These new designs are transformational,” says Copple. “They reflect what we know is the importance of social interaction so seniors don’t feel isolated and feel like they belong.“

“What stands out the most with this renovation project is the significant transformation that has taken place,” said Nick Komp, PMP Project Manager, Direct Supply Aptura.  “When we walked into these dilapidated and outdated buildings in 2021, they were depressing and desperately needed some TLC. Now we’ve got bistros and common areas where the seniors are enjoying themselves having coffee or happy hours every day. The whole mood has been uplifted.”

Since the renovations, the communities have noticed an increase in family and guest visits and positive commentary about the transformation.

“As prospects, residents and families watched the work being done and witnessed the investment being made in these aging buildings, their level of trust and excitement was growing,” said Kate Webster, Regional Marketing & Sales Director. “The same goes for the staff who had been with Millcroft, Shipley and Foulk for many years serving residents.  They welcomed the challenge that temporary construction created for their day-to-day work because they knew the outcome was worth it.  Today, the teams are proud to have fresh and gorgeous spaces, better functioning kitchens, safer entryways, and rooms that meet the desires of today’s residents. 

We found the site visit to Direct Supply to be a wonderful experience for our leaders.  It was great to give input that would impact the direction of the design and finishes.  We also found dining chair selections to be most important to the Executive Directors and they were glad to be able to test out the options, “ she added.

“I brought my grandmother here. It was a little outdated looking, but the staff seemed really nice. Now, a year later, I can say we are so glad we chose this place. It has been fully renovated and looks beautiful. My grandmother loves the staff and so do we. Nana always has a smile on her face and she tells us all about how many activities she’s involved in. Before she came here, she lived in a regular apartment and was always sad and lonely. But today, she couldn’t be happier. ”
Ryan B.

on Foulk Living



  1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention article. Loneliness and Social Isolation Linked to Serious Health Conditions (