The living area of a care home is very important for residents with dementia as research indicates that this is where they spend the majority of their day (Barnes 2006). Despite this there is a lack of research that looks at the design of these areas and their effects on the behaviour and well being of people with dementia. Guidelines for designing environments for people with dementia indicate that spaces should be open plan to compensate for memory deficits through improved visual access and to eliminate potential barriers (Judd, Marshall and Phippen, 1996). In addition, living or social spaces should be small in size and provide a choice of areas rather than one large room (Calkins, 2001). The research to be discussed in this paper focuses on the living areas in two different care homes. Care Home A is a modern purpose built dementia unit, and Care Home B is a dementia unit within a ‘traditional’ care home. Care Home A has an open plan living and dining area while Care Home B has a large enclosed room as the main living area and a separate room for dining. Behaviour mapping was carried out in both of these care homes for a period of three weeks to observe the overall usage of these rooms and the types of behaviours displayed in them before any changes were made. The redesign of both rooms took place by rearranging the furniture to create a number of smaller areas within the large areas with the aim of providing a choice of areas for people to use. The spaces created were an area to watch television, an area to look out of the window (“edge spaces”, Chalfont, 2007), a social area and a quiet area to sit alone. Behaviour mapping was then carried out for a three week period in both locations after these modifications had been implemented. The results indicated a range of positive changes in behaviour in both care homes as a consequence of the changes; these included an increase in social interactions between residents and a decrease in resident agitation. The results are discussed in terms of theoretical perspectives on environmental design and dementia. They also address the differences in the resident groups and the treatment philosophy of each care home. This research highlights the importance of the design of living areas in care homes and provides empirical evidence to inform the future design of these areas.