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Avoid These Medical Clinic Design Mistakes

Medical Clinic Design Mistakes

Many of my fellow women doctors have opened their own practices and clinics. Others have had their own medical clinics for a while and are in the process of giving them a facelift. I think this is awesome, because it gives them the opportunity to tailor their clinic to their personality and their patients’ personalities. So if you’re in this position right now… congrats! Decorating your own medical clinic can be very rewarding. But it can also be tricky. Why? It can be tempting to treat the project like you would if you were decorating your home. But designing commercial spaces, especially healthcare settings, is very different from designing your home. So if you’re up to taking on the task yourself, go for it!  Just a make sure to avoid these medical clinic design mistakes.

Avoid Code Violations

The primary purpose of commercial interior design services is to promote health, wellness and safety of the public.  You may have heard of several tragic cases where buildings have burned very easily and many people died – a nightclub is the example that comes to mind. Fire code violations played a huge role in this event because the materials used to decorate the space were not code compliant and turned out to be extremely flammable. I once discovered a clinic that used cotton fabric for their privacy curtains. While it looked good, it did not meet code requirements and would have burned very easily.  So make sure you research your local and state building codes.  This will affect all the materials you use in your clinic design space.

Using Residential Furniture to Design Your Medical Clinic

Hey, I get it… it’s easy to get on Wayfair and order furniture for your waiting area. And there’s nothing wrong with that! But make sure you are selecting items that are “contract grade“, or are specified for commercial use. Most of the time, residential furniture doesn’t meet fire code requirements and will wear very quickly with commercial use. You’ll be replacing it sooner than you’d like.

Picking Colors that are Popular or Trendy Rather than Thinking About the Population Being Served

There is a wealth of research about the effect of color in healthcare environments. For example, you might have noticed that many medical settings use blues and greens.  That’s because these colors affect a sense of stability, wellness and calm, which is exactly what we want our patients to feel.  If you serve an older population, you must take into account that our perception of color changes as we age. More color contrast in flooring/stair areas may be needed to avoid falls.  These are just a few of many examples of how important it is to really research your color selection your medical clinic.

I’m so impressed with all the women I see opening their own clinics and practices. If you are in the midst of this process and need help with your medical clinic design, I’m just a click away. As a physician with an additional degree in interior design, I can consult with you or design your entire space… click here to schedule a discovery call. 

Kricia Palmer, MD, ASID | Doctor, life coach & interior designer

I’m Kricia Palmer, and I help women physicians let go of clutter and create beautiful, clutter-resistant homes so they can feel more peace, get more rest and be more focused.

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Create a home you love that fits YOUR style, so you feel relaxed, inspired, and enjoy every space in your home.