Doctor’s offices and medical offices of the past seemed to have just two colors: either a bright, overly-stark white or a pale, sickly industrial green. As understanding about the psychological effects of color has grown, however, doctors and medical offices have started to sport a wider variety of colors.
Some of these colors are hit or miss, like the office that tries to go “homey” but gets the wrong shade of yellow on the walls. Or the pediatrician that wants kid-friendly colors but goes overboard with the primary blue. We’re here to help you avoid making these office paint color mistakes.
Choosing the Right Paint Colors for Your Medical Office Walls
So how do you choose the right color for your medical office? What colors tend to work best for patients? And should you paint the whole office one color, or have separate colors for the waiting area and treatment rooms? We will answer these questions and more to help you choose the right paint colors for your doctor’s office.
1. Consider what’s already there
The first thing you’ll want to think through when choosing the right color for your medical office is what’s already there, and what can’t be changed, moved or removed. If you’re only looking at updating the wall color in your medical office, then you should first consider the color of the countertops, the flooring and any other parts of your office that are static and can’t be moved. You’ll also want to consider how much natural lighting each room or area receives throughout the day.
Even if you hate your existing countertops and cabinets, a reputable commercial painting service can help you find a paint color that will coordinate with what you have while helping these hardscape items fade into the background. You might find that you don’t even notice that 90s oak floor or builder grade cabinets anymore with the right color on the walls.
In other words: don’t make the mistake of assuming a loud or bright color will make some of these immovable or unchangeable items unnoticeable. On the contrary, the wrong paint color can not only overwhelm the eye, it can draw even more attention to the things you hope patients miss. The right color, however, can give your office a cost-effective “face lift” without ever needing to purchase new storage or surfaces.
2. Consider the room’s purpose
Every room in a medical or doctor’s office has a unique use and purpose, and the color you paint on the walls should suit that purpose. Calming blues or blue greens work well in consultation rooms. Warmer and rich home-like tones can work well in an office that sees elderly patients. Waiting rooms can handle colors that you might find at home in a living or family room.
Considering the room’s purpose will make the job of choosing a paint color much easier. In general, go with calming colors in treatment rooms, warmer, welcoming colors in waiting areas. It’s important also to consider the overall saturation and tone of each color. The right cheery yellow, for example, can be a lovely color for geriatric patient exam rooms, but the wrong yellow can look tired and worn out…a bad message to send to a patient!
This principle is especially true of colors that kids are drawn to. While a bright, primary blue is a fun color for a toy, its intensity can cause anxiety for kids and parents when it covers all four walls of a waiting room. In fact, we recommend that pediatric offices bring in pops of color with accessories, art, toys and fabrics, rather than trying to let the walls do all the work.
3. Consider what your patients see
We do love seeing brighter paint colors in doctor and medical offices, but placement is important. For example, an accent wall can be a great addition to a waiting room if patients will have their backs to it. It will still give a great punch to the room without overwhelming the senses.
Pops of color can also work in exam rooms, behind the exam table. Or they can work in visitation rooms or nursing homes when placed at the head of the bed or behind chairs. It allows office staff or visitors to feel like they’re in a room full of color without that same color overwhelming a tired, sick or stressed out patient.
After you’ve made these considerations (and we strongly recommend that you work with a paint color expert at this stage), you can choose a color or two that will transform or update your medical office space. We recommend going with a mix of cool and warm tones.
We like using calming cool tones on the walls, and allowing staff to use warmer tones on the walls in the welcome area or throughout the office with accessories and art. This balance seems to have the best effect on both patients and staff.
Get Expert Help Painting Your Medical Office
Our professional medical office paint experts are ready to help you paint your doctor’s office or medical practice. We offer free consultations and work quickly so you can get back to business as quickly as possible. Contact us today for a free doctor’s office painting quote.