For practice patients, there’s nothing worse than stepping into a poorly lit, poorly furnished and unattractive surgery. If you manage a medical or veterinary surgery, it’s crucial that you make sure all your patients not only receive the best treatment but that they feel comfortable every step of the way. This starts with maintaining a pristine and modern practice design that all your patients will love.
If your practice is crying out for a total makeover, it’s easy to feel like it’s next to impossible to spruce it up. That’s why we’ve put together the 10 interior design mistakes we commonly encounter in the practices we refurbish, so you know what to watch out for and how you can fix it.
Bad lighting is a big one in terms of common but easily corrected flaws in interior design. If you want your practice to give off a warm, comforting glow, don’t rely solely on overhead lighting. Layering different kinds of lighting is your best bet – task lighting for your reception desk and surgery rooms, combined with floor and wall lamps for ambient lighting and the odd accent light to highlight any artwork on the walls.
We know that surgeries need to have that pristine, clean look, but that doesn’t mean your practice can’t have a bit of character. Hanging just one eye-catching piece of artwork or photography on a plain white wall can lift the mood of the whole room and instantly make your practice feel more inviting.
But don’t have clutter
On the other hand, while one featured art piece hanging pride of place on the wall is a striking look, don’t go overboard on the decorative artwork. Hanging art can and should complement the overall design of a room and the furniture within it. But you can have too much of a good thing, so take care to ensure your artwork doesn’t dominate the space.
Wrong size rug
Decided to dress up your reception room with a nice rug? For aesthetic reasons, it’s actually really important to make sure your rug is just the right size. Too big, and it’ll swallow the whole room; too small, and it fails to give enough balance to the space. You’ll know your rug is the ideal size if it’s a central, focal point that makes your waiting room space appear symmetrical.
Over- or under-sized furniture
Similarly, having over- or under-sized furniture in all of your surgery rooms can throw off their aesthetic balance, as well as being an inefficient use of the space. Always make sure you measure the dimensions of each of your practice rooms so when you’re on the hunt for the perfect couch or table, you can select the perfect shape and size for each.
Power cords out in the elements
This one is crucial – if you don’t budget for an ample number of power outlets in your practice design, you could end up with power cords lying around on the floor where they shouldn’t, where they could be tripped over. Not to mention exposed power cables aren’t a good look. Set aside adequate budget for many power outlets so you can have them running out of sight and out of mind.
Window treatments out of place
If you have a practice with many windows, adding window treatments such as blinds or drapes can work wonders for enhancing texture as well as privacy. However, if your curtains hang to the floor and too close to floor registers, the resulting air circulation will cause your curtains to billow out and hang incorrectly. Make sure you take into consideration the exact length of your curtains if you have floor registers in place.
This one may seem like a no-brainer, but it’s worth mentioning because at the end of the day, a tidy room is a tidy mind. If you have open storage spaces such as open shelves, it’s best to keep these hidden, unless they’re in enclosed closets. Even the illusion of clutter can be just as jarring to the eye as the real thing, so it’s best to keep everything looking clean, neat and minimalist.
Not testing paint colours
Imagine committing to a huge painting job based on a swatch you love, then later finding out that the lighting and shadow in the room completely change the aspect – all because you didn’t adequately test the paint. Always paint a test patch first to check that your chosen shade works for the space. It’s also a good idea to be considering what furniture you want for the space at this point, so you can make sure the whole colour scheme doesn’t clash.
Pushing all furniture against the wall
It’s common in a room layout to have all furniture situated right up against the wall. However, this can actually make your space feel small and sterile. Try taking larger pieces of furniture such as lounges and pulling them slightly away from the wall, as this will create the effect of a cozier, more inviting room overall.
Does your surgery need more than just a few quick fixes to take it to the next level? Dentifit specialises in reinventing and transforming medical and veterinary practices with our innovative design and fitout approach. Take a look at our recent projects or contact us today for more information!