In the last few years, the medical field has come to recognize the importance of making the patient experience as positive as possible. A key component of this positive patient experience is the medical office itself.
Long gone are the doctor’s office designs of the past, where strip-lighting, uncomfortable seating, and wall-to-wall beige were standard. These days, new waiting room designs place the patients’ preferences and needs at the forefront of every decision.
But comfortable office interiors and uplifting waiting room colors aren’t for show. Turning your reception area into a place your patients want to visit makes good medical care easier. It also helps strengthen the ongoing relationship between practitioners and their patients.
Want to know how to choose the right colors for your waiting room design? Keep reading to learn more.
Choose Your Theme
Your first decision relating to doctor’s office colors should center around the kind of theme you want to convey. Colors that inspire tranquility and calm such as blue, white, and gray are often popular for medical offices. Lighter blues and soft grays evoke feelings of serenity, while darker shades of blue express a serious statement.
White gives the impression of a clean and clinical environment. And, while a standard waiting room might be too stark in white, the plush seating, interactive options, and colorful decorative features of modern office interiors help to make a white waiting room feel welcoming.
If you like the idea of a more natural theme, don’t be afraid of using neutral colors and lighter shades on your walls. This kind of color palette doesn’t have to mean the boring beiges of the past. Instead, warm tones ranging from buttermilk to millennial pink can evoke a sense of luxury and calm that your patients are sure to appreciate.
Your theme will also depend on your medical specialism. For example, pediatricians should feel free to go for uplifting and joyful wall colors such as fuchsia, purple, or yellow.
Consider the Space
The layout and size of your waiting room design will also have a lot of bearing on what paint colors could be best for your walls.
If you only have a small waiting room, opting for bold or dark colors could make the space feel smaller. In this case, using a light color on the walls can help give the impression of a more open space. Adding comfortable chairs in bright colors, plants, and artwork on the walls will then help elevate even the smallest spaces.
Larger waiting areas can play around with different color palettes more. That said, bolder shades in a large space can be overwhelming. If your office is large, limit bright waiting room colors like red or purple to an accent wall.
You’ll also have to consider whether your office is interior or exterior and how much natural light enters the space during office hours. For example, cooler waiting room colors such as blue and gray might not be the best choice if your doctor’s office doesn’t get a lot of natural light. Or, if you want to go for neutral colors, you should stick to shades with a warm undertone. What’s more, without natural light, you’ll have to rely more on artificial light sources such as floor lamps and overhead lights, which will also affect the final shade of your chosen wall color.
The best way to see how different colors could work in your waiting area is to paint samples of the different options on the walls. This will allow you to see how these colors adapt to the changing light and influxes of patients at different times. For example, if your doctor’s office can be dark in the afternoon, a paint color with warm undertones will help counteract this effect.
Understand the Way Patients Use Your Waiting Room
Your waiting room no doubt sees a lot of traffic. As such, concerns about safety and durability are valid. But aesthetics and comfort matter more to your patients, which means they should be your priorities too. With this in mind, you should try to approach decorating your waiting room as you would your own home.
Understanding how your patients use the waiting room can help you decide between doctor’s office designs and colors. For example, do your patients tend to sit alone in silence or chat to fellow patients? Do they bring their own books or use the reading material you provide?
With this information in mind, you could tailor your waiting room paint colors to your patient profile. If your patients tend to be more sociable, bright waiting room colors and clustered seating could work well. If your patients tend to want more privacy, task lighting and more somber colors within secluded seating sections might make more sense.
You should also bear in mind the average length of time your patients have to wait and how this could affect your use of color. For example, if your patients often have to wait for long periods, soft and serene colors could help them to relax and feel comfortable. In contrast, more dynamic colors such as a soft yellow or a rich teal could work better for doctor’s offices with shorter waiting periods.
Your Waiting Room Designs Color Guide
While your main focus will always be caring for your patients, providing them with an inviting place to wait painted in uplifting waiting room colors can help strengthen the doctor-patient relationship.
So, don’t feel restricted or limited when it comes to waiting room designs or colors. All you need to do is keep your patients in mind as well as the theme you want to convey and the space itself and you can’t go wrong.
For more interiors inspiration, be sure to check out our other blog posts!