THIS week’s topic focuses on the type of building that people don’t usually get excited about, yes, I’m talking about clinics.
Clinics are naturally intimidating. The word clinic or hospital tends to invoke fearful images in the minds of patients because it is normally associated with sick people, antiseptic odors and dull walls– all which contribute towards a patient’s heightened sense of anxiety.
The interior space of any clinic should strive towards creating a soothing and relaxing environment for patients.
In addition to being a place where illnesses are diagnosed and people treated, clinics should promote physical and emotional health and their interiors should be designed based on this very concept.
Clinic interiors should give patients a sound state of mind as soon as they walk into the building, this can be achieved in several ways. Read on to discover how.
The main area of focus should be at the waiting and reception area simply because this is where the patients will have their first encounter once they walk into the clinic doors.
There should be adequate light flowing in because if a patient walks into a gloomy clinic, he/she will probably leave feeling gloomy. Hospitals are naturally depressing so the aim should be to make it less miserable and more welcoming.
Ease anxiety levels through your décor
Art can contribute psychologically towards easing anxiety levels and also towards creating a positive environment. In addition to art, the right choice of colours can create a pleasant feeling. For clinic interiors, it’s important to choose colours that are fresh, clean and warm too.
White is normally used in clinics because of its peacefulness and connection to cleanliness. Other calm colours such as blue, green and violet will also create a feeling of peace and serenity.
Light and neutral shades are a good alternative for making a room appear larger than it actually is. If the waiting area in the clinic is small, consider neutral shades.
Clinics should be less impersonal and more personal
Even though clinics are public spaces, they can be designed in a similar manner to that of a home with regular sofas, pictures, a big centre table, and personalised items of décor; basically anything you can incorporate to put patients at ease.
A collection of recent newspapers and magazines can also relax patients and reduce agitation especially if the wait to see a doctor is long. It will help to keep them occupied and also prevent them from being bored to tears!
The choice of seating shouldn’t be intimidating. By intimidating I mean hard surfaced and edgy. Instead they should be padded and comfortable. Decide on dark colours because light ones will turn brown after a short time.
If you chose to use sofas, it may be a good idea to invest in a set where the covers can be removed and washed; this will make maintenance a lot easier.
Clinics are usually smaller than hospitals and for this reason, are easier to decorate. Work towards creating a therapeutic environment for both the patient and staff members; this will certainly work in your benefit and that of your patients.
The author specialises in interiors and fashion