What are the best colours for your waiting room in your dental or healthcare clinic? What can you do to create an environment that will put people at ease?

A visit to a healthcare clinic or dental office can result in many emotions including stress and anxiety. That’s not ideal since you, as a medical professional, want your patients to be calm and relaxed during their visit. What can you do to create a calm environment that will put people at ease? Picking the right colours may seem like a small thing, but it can go a long way.

It’s easy to make the mistake of simply choosing colours that you like or that look good together. However, different colours have different effects and implications. Keep this in mind If you’re thinking of updating your office – whether you’re planning a quick office makeover or building new – so that you don’t end up with a room that overwhelms the senses. Consider below some of the best colours for your dental or healthcare clinic waiting room, which will encourage calm.

Following are some general rules of thumb when planning your colour scheme:

Healthful hues

Beige: Neutrals such as beige are calming and not overwhelming when complemented by other calming colours. Lighter colours like this one also reflect light, making rooms appear warmer and feel airier. 

Brown: A wonderful complementary colour, brown is rather subdued. When accompanied by something lighter, it can be associated with a modern look and feel, which appeals to many today. This can apply to paint, but also to wood accents in the furniture or reception desk.

Blue: Who doesn’t enjoy gazing at the light blue sky or the deep blue sea? Both are calming. Using blue or blue-greens give a sense of calm and peacefulness that can put people at ease.

A little goes a long way

Red: Conveying a feeling of energy and excitement, red is a colour that might be best to avoid, unless it’s a subtle accent. You certainly wouldn’t want patients riled up before a dental or other procedure.

Black (and Dark Purple): While hints of black can make a room feel more sophisticated, it can often be an impersonal colour. The same goes for dark purple. A key part of making patients feel relaxed — especially new patients — is a friendly vibe and environment.

Yellow: Just like red, yellow symbolizes energy. While it can encourage cheerfulness, too much can also cause tension. Again, if used, it should be done in moderation or as an accent colour.

Additional tips

We’ve renovated a lot of dental and healthcare over the years, so what’s our final verdict?

  • There are many more colours to choose from, other than the ones we’ve mentioned in this article. If you have your heart set on a bold orange, for instance, it may not be suited to be a primary focus in this setting, but can be used tastefully in a secondary palette.
  • In the planning phase, be sure to consider several different colour combinations. Just make sure that they work together. If your complementary colours are fighting for attention, it can leave an overall impression of being ‘not quite right’. Your patients won’t know exactly what’s wrong, just that something is off about your office.
  • Additionally, it’s a good idea to consider where you put colour. A bright accent wall can be cheering (and match your logo), but is it overwhelming or eye-straining if your patients have to stare at it, as they wait?
  • Overall, we recommend that you balance some cool colours to promote tranquility with some muted tones (beige tones or wood accents) for warmth. If you like some of the bolder colours, plan a splash here and there, where you want to promote some energy.

If you’d like more information about choosing the right colours for your healthcare or dental clinic waiting room – or any other room – contact us. Our project managers and design team can assist you in making the right combination for your business.