Interior Design Techniques That Promote Wellness
Comfortable interior design features are an essential part of healthcare building design. They make every room in the building feel calmer and more comfortable, especially areas where patients and their visitors congregate.
These design features do so much more than this. Quality interior design actually speeds up the healing process and results in better patient outcomes. Some of the features that are most beneficial for a patient’s health and wellbeing are:
- Soft, comfortable materials. All furniture and bedding should be made from fabrics that are stain-resistant but still very soft to the touch. When patients are comfortable, they recover faster and feel calmer.
- Daylighting. Natural light has many proven health benefits. Patient rooms and waiting areas should all have large windows or skylights to let in as much natural light as possible. You can also use frosted glass to protect patient privacy without giving up any light.
- Light-colored walls. White or pastel walls give the appearance of cleanliness and also reflect light, strengthening daylight in the space.
- Natural colors. The best color scheme consists of colors found in nature, like sky blue, forest green, or mahogany brown. At Torrance Memorial Medical Center, we used reflective metallic details to mimic the look of California’s clear blue sky. We also used wood furnishings and textured walls to make the building feel softer and more tranquil.
- Clean lines. Well-designed healthcare buildings are free of unnecessary visual clutter. Every interior design detail is intentional, from the furnishings to the artwork. This makes the space look clean and organized. To avoid making the space look too sterile, however, we use varying textures and colors in each room. The result is a building that looks inviting, but never untidy.
The interior architectural style of a healthcare building depends on the facility’s needs. For example, if the facility provides long-term care to patients in recovery, then patient rooms should contain all of the comforts they would get at home. Other rooms, like examination rooms, don’t have to be as elaborate in design, but they should still feature soft, natural colors and plenty of light.