Thursday, February 20, 2014

A Waiting Room Project

This project is a nice example of what can be done with a conservative financial outlay, a few constraints (like no new Waiting Room furniture) and several decision makers. This post will focus on the Waiting Room.

The first time I did this Women's Health clinic was in the early half of the 2000s. It was time for a refresh. 

The new Waiting Room.

The client wanted feminine colors, but not condescendingly so. A calm, sophisticated palette of grays, purples and green definitely appeals to women but does not alienate the menfolk.

Anchoring the space is the carpet. The dimensional tufted and cut loop construction is an upscale look even though it is heavy duty commercial carpet tile. Random patterns minimize the appearance of stains. Replacing a soiled tile is easy. No need to match a pattern and pressure sensitive adhesive easily releases for quick and easy removal.

Tibetan cloud banks and organic shapes have a zen appeal. Carpet by Interface.

A variety of distinct seating areas and options give the Waiting Room more of a lobby feel.

The sofa and chairs were reupholstered in Woven or Suede Crypton and an aubergine faux ostrich. Crypton fabrics have permanent stain, moisture, antimicrobial and odor resistance. Great for residential use as well. The faux ostrich is virtually indestructible.

Pregnant clients love the sofa and the slipper chairs.

Greens too matchy-matchy? or as we say in New England, too decorator-y? 

A bench is always a welcome seating option.

A good bench can serve as bariatric seating.
Just make sure the artwork is up high enough.
I collaged-in the art on the wall.

This stylish guest chair appeals to both genders has ample seat space, and is comfortable. The angle of the arms is helpful (if needed) when exiting the chair.

Large windows contribute to the spacious feel but the unattractive view of the parking lot is a negative distraction. But no one wanted to completely cover the windows. An unfussy valance in a sheer gray embroidery blocks no light and helps frame the view. The live plants present a positive distraction and partially obscure the view. The planters have a matte finish similar to the metal window frames.

Before. The cherry stain and brass hardware on the French entry doors hearken back to the original tenant in the '80s. When I did this suite the first time we let them stay. Time for a change.

The old Waiting Room just before we started the renovation. 

Painting the French Doors and all the trim gave some needed continuity and helped unify the space.

A custom match of Farrow and Ball's Downpipe on the door. 
Pavilion Gray on the window wall.
The oak half round trim on the window sill edges was painted the wall color. It helps them disappear. Mostly.

The oak cap trim of the play space was also painted. Its walls were upholstered in the same antimicrobial fabric as the sofa. 

Another example of painted trim. The old check-in sits behind the sofa. Its transaction counter was pink Formica with a stained oak edge. We painted the Formica and the window sill trim the wall color in an attempt to make them stand out less.

The old check-in. Painting the transaction counter the wall color (SherwinWilliams Unique Gray 6260) makes it stand out less.
It was pink Formica with an oak edge detail.

The Billing Office is behind the glass windows. Several years back I installed the woven grass blinds to give the staff some privacy. For this renovation, my plan called for removing the old check in and replacing it will full walls. But the staff really liked the diffused light the blinds created. Keeping the billers happy and productive is a wise decision. 

The building pre-dates the 1990 ADA laws and this ramp was installed after enactment. The check-in and clinical space are up several steps from the Waiting Room. Again, the railings and cap received the trim paint. 

Manor House Gray on the ramp wall, The wall cap and handrails in Downpipe.
The vinyl wall base is Johnsonite Medium Gray, the closest gray to Downpipe.

The console at the top of the stairs is an 'heirloom.' It was cleaned and given several going overs with Old English polish. I chose a mirror for the console because it reflects light and saved the expense of a large piece of art.

Faux botanicals certainly have their place and these worked well for the photo. In practice, real orchids are readily available and inexpensive; an excellent option for office decor. And they usually last several months.

Real orchids.

More on this project can be found in this post The New Check-In. And my general thoughts on waiting room design in this one Thoughts on Waiting Room Design.

Thanks for reading,
Linda Pakravan


  1. I think this is a fabulous waiting room and wouldn't mind if my appointment was running late and I had to sit in the chair with the green/purpley flower fabric for an extra ten minutes!! Nice work!

    1. You are so sweet! Thank you so much!

  2. Come make over my Dr's office. This looks wonderful and I love all the flowers. Since we all have to wait for longer than we want, it would be a pleasure waiting here.

  3. The green trim ... not too match-matchy or decorator-y for me!! Beautiful space!

  4. Linda thank you so much for visiting!
    Love the shell mirror and fresh colors.

    The Arts by Karena

  5. Looks wonderful! The patients will love it.


Please do. I love to know what you think!