So you want to modernize, update, or simply add to your funeral home decor. Without a major renovation, there are plenty of options that will breathe a bit of life into a dreary mortuary.
Below we have collected 20 funeral home decor accents and other ideas that will hopefully give you some inspiration and direction. We begin with easy, low-cost accents and finish up with some medium-range ideas that may require budget approval.
Funeral Home Decor Accents: Budget Friendly
Here are some simple accents you can add to your current decor scheme that won’t break the budget. If you incorporate a few of these ideas over the coming months, you’ll be surprised at how great an effect these easy additions will make!
1. GET MORE LIGHT
There are many ways to brighten up a room by adding light. You could get a natural light desklamp for your office, add more lamps in general, switch out your curtains (see #2), add mirrors (#4), or simply practice opening the windows more and letting the light in.
Adding a couple floor lamps to your funeral home decor won’t set your budget back too far. Here’s a nice idea, the Litespan LED Floorlamp that displays a full spectrum of light:
With the idea of more light = happy employees, and happy employees = better service for your families, it’s a good basic idea to keep in mind when updating or adding to your decor.
Anything, however slight, that improves the lighting in your funeral home can have a positive effect on the overall environment of your mortuary.
2. BRIGHTEN YOUR CURTAINS
Let the light in by replacing the dull and bulky drapes with some light white cheer curtains, like the ones pictured above. Swap out just about all your funeral home’s curtains and watch the place instantly brighten up.
3. UPDATE YOUR LIGHT BULBS
Another simple, subtle solution to enhance your funeral home’s lighting is to update your light bulbs. Newer, energy efficient LED bulbs that mimic natural lighting are very affordable, and will make up their cost in savings on your electric bill.
As a bonus, you’ll end up with better, brighter, and more natural lighting inside your mortuary.
4. MULTIPLY YOUR LIGHT & SPACE WITH MIRRORS
Mirrors make a room look brighter and more expansive. Add a large decorative mirror (like the one pictured above) to the walls of your funeral home and it will increase the sense of light and spaciousness in the room. Try the one shown above, or browse the options available at these sources:
5. ADD SOME CHEERY SUCCULENTS
Succulents are all the rage, and for good reason. They’re easy to care for, elegant, cheery, vital, and attractive. Add a splash of green – which almost always subtly conveys the idea of life – with an attractive Succulent Hanging Set (above) or an attractive Succulent Living Wreath.
You could also get a starter set of 20 different succulents and place them throughout the areas your clients and families are most likely to see them.
If you like the idea of succulents, learn about how to care for them. You can research online, or get a book like this one that will not only teach you how to care for them but will also add a nice touch as coffee table reading material in your funeral home’s reception area.
6. MATCHING ECHEVERIA RUG
This idea works for all sorts of plants and flowers – if you choose to go with a white lily theme, for instance, you may be interested in decorating with fresh lilies and accenting your decor with a canvas print of lily fine art photography. You get the idea!
7. MORE DECORATIVE RUGS
There are many sources to find rug accents in small to medium size that are both affordable and attractive. The Vintage 11 rug pictured above has cheery blue and green tones, and the Wayfair marketplace has many traditional and contemporary designs at tough-to-beat prices.
8. LET KIDS PLAY ON THE RUG
Getting back to the purpose of this article, to “breathe life into a dreary mortuary,” a classic such as the Melissa & Doug Kid’s Rug and Car Activity Play Set will help keep small children occupied, add a splash of color and cheer, and show clients in a small way that you care for the whole family.
9. CELEBRATE LIFE WITH PLANTS
We’ve already talked about this a bit with succulents, but it’s worth mentioning again: living plants like flowers, small bushes, trees, vines, etc convey the idea of life. And your funeral home should want to communicate lifeas much as possible.
Green as a color often represents the ideas of health, harmony, emotional healing, growth, and hope. While you probably don’t want to be so overt as putting up wall decals that say “hope” or “life”, a subtler approach may prove surprisingly effective. This is where plants and flowers come in to play.
Consider subscribing to a flower of the month program. There are many such subscription services: BloomseyBox, The Bouqs, ProFlowers and more can provide a fresh array of blooms each month. You can grow a lemon tree indoors, cultivate bonsai trees, or hang some elegant vines. Lots of options here, use your creativity and don’t forget the windowsills and the landscaping just outside the windows.
10. UPDATE YOUR MP3/MUSIC PLAYER
You’ll want to bring your audio system into the digital age to create the right atmosphere for your families. It’s not funeral home decor per se, but the setting the mood with ambient music or gentle noises will help bring a sense of peace and comfort to your place of business and work.
Go with one or more portable speakers, like the Cambridge SoundWorks Oontz Angle 3, pictured above. With great sound and a price point anyone can afford, you can get several and place them throughout your funeral home or move them as needed.
11. ADD A WATER FOUNTAIN
Anything that provides soft, subtle movements will add a sense of life to your interior design. The John Timberland Cascading Waterfall does this with flowing water that dances in the LED light. This tabletop fountain is a great addition to your funeral home decor.
Here are a few other tabletop water fountain ideas to accent your funeral home decor, affordable enough that you can get several to place throughout your reception areas and offices:
12. MINIMALIST ART
Butterflies have long signified renewal, transformation, and life. A lovely minimalist canvas art piece, like the one pictured above, adds a nice touch of the contemporary to any wall in your funeral home. With the crisp white background and pointed nature theme, the piece subtly conveys ideas of new birth, hope, and new life.
Find more butterfly artwork here.
Funeral Home Decor Accents: Bigger & Better
Here are some more accents you can add that may take a little more time, effort, and cost. But the effect for your families will be well worth it!
13. CREATE A CAFE CORNER
There’s nothing like a simple offer of a warm drink to add a welcome touch of comfort to a grieving family’s visit. Keep it well-stocked with a selection of premium beverages and it will show that you’re ready to go the extra mile to meet their needs.
Here are a few ideas for what you might need:
- Kurig K-Cup pod coffee maker
- K-Cup pods, here’s a good sampler pack
- Easy espresso machine
- Cold drink dispensers (ice water & iced tea)
- Buffet table with tabletop area for the machines and storage below
- Mini fridge to hold juice and sodas (get one with a glass door)
- Personalized coffee house decor (or try this one)
14. CREATE A GAME ROOM
Businesses that are considered antiquated, such as funeral homes, are sometimes regarded with a sort of stigma. The idea abounds that funeral homes are stuffy, pushy, and unwelcoming, and especially so towards children. A good funeral home will go out of their way to show that all are welcome, even young children.
One way to show this inclusive mentality is with something like the play rug in #8, above. But you can go beyond by creating an entire game room that can be used by the entire family while you take care of the funeral details with the spouse or other in-charge person.
If you have the free space, put down a sofa and a few chairs, a table, mount a flat-screen TV with a Netflix subscription and a Wii, Xbox, or Playstation. Decorate it with a customized plaque, add a collection of children’s and coffee-table books, some fun board games and a basket of children’s toys, and you’ve created a welcoming and unique experience that the family will remember and appreciate – and tell others about.
15. VINTAGE FUNERAL DIRECTOR PLAQUE
This is a fun way to present yourself instead of the traditional name plate on your office door. This funeral home décor plaque is made in the USA and has hand-distressed accents, a 3-dimensional relief centerpiece, and optional hanging nameboard (you can also add more than one) customized with your name and title. Available here.
16. MASSAGE CHAIR
Your clients are stressed. Blow them away with extravagant service (after you’ve followed these funeral home best practices tips) by offering an over-the-top and luxurious perks like a free massage chair. This will be the highlight of your funeral home decor. Plus, as a bonus, your staff will love it as well.
Other affordable resources for massage chairs:
17. CREATE A BBQ PATIO
This one is a great way to spruce up your funeral home’s outdoor grounds with a feature that will attract more customers and possibly double as an additional revenue stream. Create a BBQ patio on your grounds, with a nice grill, a gazebo for shade, a few wooden benches for everyday use, and folding tables and chairs for events.
You can advertise this as a reception area during summer months as part of your standard service package, or at an additional fee. Or you can include free use of the grounds but rental of tables & chairs extra. Determine what works best for your demographic; however you package it, a barbeque area will be a welcome feature for use in the ever-growing trend towards “celebration of life” events.
Additionally, you can rent out the area for use as an event center, or even for weddings. The options for ingenius marketing of a funeral home BBQ patio are only limited by your creativity.
18. SUNLIGHT PROJECTION LAMPS
Of course, if you really want to up your game and breathe some life into your dreary mortuary, you can install more windows or actual skylights. That’s a huge renovation, but sunlight projection lamps are a more workable option.
These sunset projection lamps use relaxing colors to create lifelike sun beams as a quick and easy alternative to traditional window skylights. Place it anywhere in the room to create a beautiful California-esc sunset glow.
19. DECORATE WITH LOCAL PHOTOGRAPHY
Hire a professional photographer to take some beautiful photos of your local scenery. Get premium-quality and spacious canvas prints and use these to improve your funeral home decor. Recognizable scenery will give your funeral home clients a sense of continuity in a time of disruption, and a sense of beauty in a time of darkness. Plus you’ll be supporting local artists. It’s an all-around win.
20. ADD MORE BEAUTIFUL URNS TO YOUR SHOWCASE
Your funeral home’s collection of cremation urns may not be the first thing you think about when considering your decor. But you should – most families actually use their cremation urns as home decor accents. So don’t be afraid to scatter* your urn showcase throughout your funeral home.
*No pun intended.
There are many ways to showcase your cremation urn collection by incorporating it into your funeral home decor. When you take people on a tour of the facility, or while you’re meeting in a comfortable office, or while they’re waiting in the lounge, they will see the urns in a way that helps them picture the urn in their home. This is a great way to upsell some of the most beautiful urns you offer.
The 3-dimensional wood art urns we offer, like the “Soulmates” urn pictured above, are a great way to do this. Wood is a medium that works well in a variety of decor settings. Each of these urns is offered in dark Walnut, medium and richly toned Mahogany, classic honey-yellow Oak, and sophisticated white Maple. The inlay art scenes are made from real hardwoods in their natural colors. Multiple dozens of designs are available, representing every hobby, interest, and locale. Hummingbirds, tulips, hunting, gardening, boat and stream fishing, cycling, farms and tractors, lighthouses, sailing, horse riding, golfing, religious scenes, motorcycles, wildlife, and much more. From such a wide variety you will surely find something gorgeous that will suit your region and decor needs.
Here are some resources to expand your memorial showcase:
- 100 of the World’s Most Beautiful Wood Cremation Urns
- 3-Dimensional Inlay Art Wood Urns – Crafted in the Pacific Northwest
- Handcrafted Ceramic Urns – Made by hand in the Pacific Northwest
- Eco-Friendly Urn Collection – Biodegradable and/or sustainably made urns and scattering urns
How to Improve Your Funeral Home
Let’s face it. A good funeral home is more than just the décor. The decorations will help, but ultimately it comes down to how you treat your clients.
Well, it should go without saying that you must provide professional, premium quality services with a sense of dignity and respect. You should be timely, friendly, and welcoming. Be true to your word, and avoid catastrophes.
Competitive pricing can help but is not always the biggest factor. A wide range of products and services are also nice, but again, not always a must (think of Chipotle and the single-dish restaurant phenomenon).
So what does it take to start getting online reviews for your funeral home or mortuary? Here’s what you need to know.
We’ve mentioned quality services, which you learned about in Mortuary Science classes and in your job training so we won’t cover that again. Where you can take an edge is by:
- Providing stellar customer service,
- Creating the right environment in your funeral home,
- Including extra services that go above and beyond, and finally
- Asking for reviews.
Stellar customer service begins with listening. People can sense when you don’t want to talk to them, or if you are just trying to sell them something. Care for each person who comes in or calls, and you will see a big difference in how each family experiences your funeral home’s services. The first, most important, and most effective way to show you care? Listen.
TAKE EXTRA TIME FOR EACH PHONE CALL
Again, simply taking the time to listen will make a huge difference in transforming each call from a minor nuisance into a solid lead and, eventually, an amazing online review for your funeral home.
As you listen, ask a few questions –
“To help you better, tell me – why do you ask?“
“What kind of services are you looking for?“
“What’s most important, affordability or personalization, or ___?“
These simple questions will help you identify why the person is really calling, and how you can meet that need. And of course it is when you meet their needs that you will begin to see genuinely positive reviews.
MAKE YOUR POLICIES CLEAR & SIMPLE
Every funeral home needs policies in place to clarify your obligations to your customers, and to let them know what to expect as you serve them. If you need all the legalize, that is ok and generally expected. You should also add a few bullet points that clarify and summarize your policies, especially the ones that cause confusion.
For instance, as an online supplier of a wide range of cremation urns, we do our best to clarify production and shipping times on each product page and in each email or phone call with a customer. Since people are prone to skim information (or not look at it at all!) we’ve found it helpful to send a courtesy email to a customer when they order a custom crafted urn letting them know the production and delivery time. And if a customer selects an expedited shipping method, we will often contact them to find out when they need the urn delivered to ensure we can meet their needs. This has resulted in years of positive reviews and testimonials.
MAKE YOUR PRICING CLEAR & SIMPLE
Simplify your pricing, make each cost clear, and let the families know when and if they may incurr an additional cost before they do so.
The biggest reason for a negative customer experience isn’t always the major catastrophes that make the news; in reality, it almost always boils down to unfriendly customer service, incorrect information, and higher-than-expected costs. So keep your pricing clear and simple to avoild the second and third issues.
THINK ABOUT THE KIDS
Make children welcome in your funeral home. Any child who has lost a loved one will be having a tough enough time; don’t make it worse for them. Let them attend the funeral, but also find ways to include or at least welcome them during the times they are present.
Let the older ones pick music on the iPod (see next point). Keep snacks on hand, and let them make hot chocolate in the K-cup machine. Create a kids playroom full of books and timeless activities. Keep a couple tablets on hand set up with different usernames for different age ranges pre-loading with family-friendly apps and games.
This might sound weird, but just think for a minute. If your mortuary has a kitchen, bake cookies just before a client arrives. Not only will you have a fresh treat to offer them, the smell of fresh-baked cookies is proven to increase positive emotional reactions.
The gesture shows that you will take the time to treat the family right. After all, who can resist warm, delicious cookies?!
HAVE A COMMUNITY PRESENCE
The local community is an important part of just about everyone’s life. You can imprint a positive image of your funeral home by finding ways to volunteer at or contribute to various local causes and events.
Plus, this will extend your brand name reputation and value, making yours the go-to funeral home within the community.
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What are some of your favorite funeral home decor accents or ideas? Share in the comments below!
Daniel has been working in the funeral industry since 2010, speaking directly to grieving families as they made funeral arrangements.
He began researching and publishing funeral articles on this website as part of his role as product and marketing manager at Urns Northwest.
Having written hundreds of articles and growing the site to multiple millions of views per year, Daniel continues to write while providing editorial oversight for US Urns Online’s content team.