Families will be able to discuss the funeral arrangements of relatives in the comfort of a home from home environment, thanks to a major refurbishment at the Uttoxeter Co-op in High Street.
Thousands of pounds have been spent on bringing in new furniture, carpets and floral displays.
Inspirational artwork has also been installed in the funeral home to give it a fresh look and create an uplifting atmosphere where the bereaved can find solace and peace.
The main reception area resembles a living room with a cosy settee and an oak sideboard, while the arrangement room has been fitted out with a table and chairs to provide a more formal setting.
The chapel of rest has undergone a makeover too with pictures of butterflies on the walls designed to symbolise resurrection, like the caterpillar that appears dead when it makes a cocoon, but emerges as a butterfly.
This theme is picked up in the cushions scattered on the sofa in the reception area which are also adorned with butterflies, providing a sense of co-ordination.
Funeral director Tina Goodwin said: “We deliberately keep the blinds open as well to make people feel welcome and dispel any idea they may have of a funeral home being a gloomy place. The opposite is true here, especially after the refurbishment. It’s a light and airy place, with an optimistic feel to it which we believe is important to cultivate, even in difficult times, because it gives people a sense of hope.
“The overall aim is to provide a home from home environment where families can talk over their requirements, either from the comfort of a sofa or in the more formal setting of the arrangement room. It’s up to them. We also offer them refreshments when they come in.”
New office equipment completes the modern look given to the funeral home which was once a butcher’s shop. Original tiles upstairs provide a clue to its former use.
Amanda Woodward, who heads up the funeral division, said: “When people have lost a loved one and are discussing sensitive issues they need to have somewhere they can feel relaxed, which is why we wanted to create a homely interior. The refurbishment has allowed us to achieve this and we’re delighted with the new look.”