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What Makes a Good Funeral Home Design

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Most cities, large and small, have at least one funeral home within their borders. Stately and subdued, these buildings serve as a place to remember lives lost, a process facilitated by gentle, caring staff and intuitive architectural design decisions.

When stepping inside a funeral home, not many people stop to consider the building’s structure and design. However, if you’re in the funeral industry and looking for a new, custom building, it’s important to consider what might work in a design – and what might not.

Miller Architects & Builders is here to help you through that process. As a provider of architectural design services and construction project management, we’ve built countless funeral homes from initial design to completion. Though you’ll get the most out of a one-on-one consultation with us, we’ve highlighted a few design characteristics of successful funeral homes below.

Design with the Occupant in Mind

Like any industry, funeral home design trends come and go. What’s considered attractive in a funeral home now might look outdated in 20 years. That said, there’s one thing that can almost guarantee a degree of longstanding relevance: Designing and building with the occupant in mind.

Considering how occupants might use a space is crucial for a building’s long-term success. What might this line of thinking look like when it comes to funeral homes? Of course, it manifests differently depending on your individual needs, but here are some guidelines and questions to think about below.

Floor Plans

You most likely want a floor plan that will put your attendants at ease and encourage healthy mourning and fellowship. Having a conversation with your architect and construction project management company about what this might look like can be beneficial to your building’s long-term relevance.


The days of dark and dreary funeral homes are over. Funeral service is now much more about celebrating life and lifting up the mourning. Considering light in terms of how much – not how little – can provide a better framework for a good funeral home design.

Ease of Access

What rooms do you want your attendees to have easy access to? Consider bringing these up in your communications with your architect so movement from room to room flows.

Consider Color Scheme

Most funeral homes today tend towards warm subdued shades, at least on the inside—and for good reason. They are versatile colors that can be lightened to make a space seem larger or darkened to make that same space seem private and cozy. It also goes with a variety of decor styles, furniture pieces, and materials.

Of course, we’re not saying that you have to rely on these shades in your design. Though popular, the more important lesson to take from here is that it’s not only the structure of your funeral home that influences its functionality but the color scheme it uses, too. Said color schemes are also subject to industry-wide trends.

We talk about color trends in more detail in our blog, so check it out to learn a bit more about them. The take-home message is that what’s in vogue is best used in moderation. A discussion with your commercial contractor will tell you just how to make the most of these trends while not allowing them to overwhelm your build and reduce its cosmetic staying power.

Safe Environment

Funerals and memorial services are important opportunities that allow bereaved individuals to gather in support of one another as they begin the journey of grief together. We also understand that privacy is sometimes preferred. Therefore funeral homes that are situated in the middle of urban areas plan out their landscaping to ensure their clients feel safe and protected.

One of the oldest tricks in the book for creating privacy in any build is the use of strategic landscaping. Fences, trees, and even strategically placed trellis can help create the impression of retreating to a separate, private space, even if there’s a roaring, busy street outside.

Those interested in sustainable building can make their landscaping pull double duty; as this article from Treehugger demonstrates, a variety of easy-to-grow shrubs also make great privacy fences.

Miller Architects & Builders is Ready to Help You Succeed

At Miller Architects & Builders, we approach each and every construction project in a collaborative, innovative, and forward-thinking mindset. We work closely with our subcontracting partners, design partners, and clients to ensure projects are completed on-time and within budget. Our clients trust us and hire us to solve problems and execute, and we don’t take that lightly.

We’re a St. Cloud-based company of architects and commercial contractors, and we’re ready to help you design the perfect funeral home for your company’s needs. Give us a call now at 320-251-4109.