Neutral or bold? Patterns or solid colors? These are all questions that need to be addressed when designing your practice or embarking on any type of remodeling or construction project. Carefully selected color palettes can mean different things to different audiences and this is particularly important in the healthcare industry. Color not only affects mood, but also comfort level and even can promote a feeling of tranquility. While color may seem like a major commitment or a difficult decision to make, selecting a color should not be something that is intimidating.
With all the color options and choices out there today, (did you know there are over 900 shades of white paint?!), bold color can be incorporated without feeling like a major commitment has to be made. Color can be used in a variety of ways to liven up an otherwise neutral space through accent walls, rugs, throw pillows, or artwork.
Color Can Provide Comfort
A common goal of healthcare practices is to provide a calm space for patients and staff to feel at home. For example, in a Pediatrician’s office, the use of color is essential for children to keep their interest and put them at ease.
In higher stress situations, where visiting the doctor or dentist is associated with nervousness and heightened emotions, calming colors are utilized to evoke feelings of calmness. Blues, purples and greens are popular choices and other soft, muted tones such as yellows and oranges are additional options that can help create a tranquil environment.
Get Creative with Color
Even if the idea of wallpaper makes you think of your grandmother’s floral walls, it is worth it to give it another chance. Wallpaper has come a long way and can add a unique personality to a wall or room. Therapy rooms, private offices or employee break rooms have more flexibility in terms of color options than a typical exam room. Colorful furniture can also brighten up a space that currently has a more neutral palette and create visual interest. Try playing with fun prints or eye catching patterns to lift spirits, increase energy and encourage a sense of playfulness.
Veterinary Facilities Can Be Colorful Too
In veterinary practices, our four-legged friends react to color as well. Color can be energizing and fun, and shades that mimic those in nature have been shown to induce calm in some animals. As long as the colors are coordinated, bold colors can be used in small quantities with lighter versions of the same shades to provide a cohesive look and feel to your practice. Colorful artwork such as abstract doggie portraits are also a fun way to add a stylish touch to the walls.
Don’t Forget About Texture!
Texture is essential in the design process as well to add depth or visual interest to a space. Play with color and texture by using a patterned tile on a wall or an accent wall of exposed bricks. Wainscoating, paneling, or reclaimed wood can also elevate any space if you plan on keeping the color palette neutral. Reception desks are great places to incorporate both color and texture for a big impact and is a good place to start if you feel your practice needs some extra attention. Colored accent walls or large-scale colorful artwork (or both!) can be nice touches to patient rooms or waiting areas. Patterns are another way to add visual appeal. While patterns are not technically textured surfaces, they can help define a space, convey a design style or simply add visual interest.
Neutral Does Not Have to Be Boring
If color seems too intimidating, neutrals don’t have to be dull! Grays, beiges and whites can still be used to create a warm and beautiful environment. Exam rooms should feel clean and functional, but can still have personality and visual interest through artwork, colored cabinets or a pastel hued accent wall. Even stylish vases with low maintenance arrangements such as bamboo stalks, succulents, or faux floral arrangements can add ambiance and warm up any environment.
Color plays an important part in the design of any building, office or home, and often sets the tone from the minute someone enters a building. RWE designers and architects are highly skilled and experienced in utilizing color to meet your specific practice or building needs and are ready to talk with you on how to select the correct color palette to provide a soothing and positive experience from the first impression on.