Hospitals are often seen as cold, sterile places. And while it’s true that a hospital is usually the last place anyone wants to be, creating an environment that feels more like home can help ease some of the stress and anxiety that comes with a hospital stay. You can give an old hospital a much-needed facelift by focusing on comfortability, uniqueness, artwork, hospital flooring, and the cafeteria.
1. Create Warm, Calming Areas
Coming to the hospital can be a stressful experience for patients and their families. Creating a warm, welcoming reception or waiting area can help ease some of that stress.
Painting the walls a calming color, such as blue or green, can help create a relaxing atmosphere. Adding some live plants can also help give the area a fresher feel and improve air quality.
Use Natural Light
Hospitals can be dark and dreary places. Using natural light whenever possible can help brighten the space and create a more cheerful environment. Skylights and large windows are great ways to bring in natural light, but if that’s not possible, try using lighter colors.
Making sure the furniture in the reception area is comfortable can also help put patients and their families at ease. Sofas and chairs with soft fabrics and plenty of cushions are ideal. Because people may need to wait a long time, it’s also essential to ensure there are enough chairs and they’re spaced out appropriately.
2. Give Each Floor an Identity
If each floor of the hospital has its feel, it will be easier for patients and visitors to navigate and make the hospital feel more cohesive. Wings can be color-coded or named after different themes.
For example, the ground floor could be called “The Garden Floor” with green walls and plenty of live plants. The second floor could be called “The Sky Floor” and have blue walls and a ceiling painted to look like the sky.
3. Use Art
Having artwork throughout the hospital can significantly impact the overall feel of the space. Art brightens hallways, adds color to waiting areas, and makes the hospital feel more inviting. You want the hospital to be sterile and safe, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be beautiful.
Commission Local Artists
One way to add art to the hospital is to commission local artists. You’ll support the local community and add some unique pieces to the hospital.
You can purchase art prints instead of original paintings if you’re on a tight budget. Many websites sell high-quality images, and you can usually find ones that fit your theme or color scheme.
An even more cost-effective way to add the artwork to a hospital is by offering to host memorial pieces. These can be in the form of plaques, stained glass windows, or statues. Families can donate money to have a loved one’s name added to the memorial, and the hospital gets free artwork.
4. Update the Flooring
Old, outdated flooring can make a facility feel dated and dirty. Replacing the hospital flooring can give the whole space a new look.
If the hospital has carpet, consider replacing it with a more modern style or color. Carpet is often used in waiting areas and patient rooms because it’s softer and quieter than other flooring options.
Another option for hospital flooring is tile. The tile is easy to clean and can come in various colors and styles. It’s a good choice for areas with a lot of traffic, such as hallways and waiting rooms.
Linoleum is another type of flooring that’s easy to clean and maintain. It’s available in a wide range of colors and patterns, making it a good choice for creating different looks on each hospital floor.
5. Improve the Cafeteria
The hospital cafeteria is often one of the most neglected areas. But because it’s a place where staff, patients, and visitors gather, ensuring it’s a welcoming and comfortable space is crucial.
One way to do this is by updating the furniture. Instead of plastic chairs and tables, opt for more comfortable options, such as upholstered chairs and wooden tables. Adding live plants or flowers can also add some greenery to the space. And finally, make sure the area is well-lit and has plenty of natural light.
Giving an old hospital a fresh, new look can be a big undertaking. But by making some simple changes, you can create a more inviting and comfortable space for everyone who walks through the doors.
These are just a few ideas to get you started. With a bit of creativity, you can devise ways to give your hospital its unique identity.