A Quick Fix Waiting Room

Design dilemma in the Waiting Room. The client wanted a fast fix. 

There are no bad colors, just unfortunate combinations.
Purple and caramel. 

The room had great light. Great space. Brand spanking new chairs.

But it didn't say welcome. Or sit down and relax. It was a tad institutional. Unfinished.

The accent wall color was overwhelming. In an attempt at diplomacy, I called it caramelish burnt umber. 

Empty during lunch hour.

A staffer immediately corrected me, "no, it's baby shit." Medical professionals mince no words. Gotta love 'em.

The fast fix meant new paint. Inexpensive art for the walls. Rearrange furniture. VoilĂ !

SherwinWilliams' Downing Stone 2821 on wall.

Good Waiting Rooms have positive distractions. Pleasant things to look at (yes, "pleasant" is subjective) that attract our attention, even if only for a few moments.

This large mirror flanked by prints and lamps function as a focal point and a positive distraction. All from HomeGoods. The mirror was so nice someone offered to buy it from me while I was still in the store.

The walls were repainted a gray, Downing Stone, SherwinWilliams 2821. It relates to the gray in the carpet but my photography fails to accurately convey this.

To the left of the mirror wall is a cozy nook.

The shadowbox matting of the shells is very similar to the new accent wall color, Enduring Bronze, SherwinWilliams 7055. Shadowboxes also from HomeGoods.

Accent wall in Enduring Bronze, SherwinWilliams 7055.
This is the left side of the accent wall.
I special ordered the white orchid print.

My original plan for this bumped out wall was a console for literature with signage and pics of the docs above. I hung the watercolor print as a placeholder.

I like that the client took the initiative and did a free standing sign instead. Flexibility in design and attitude (mine) are always good.

The right side of the accent wall.

Here's the TV wall before.

The TV was moved to the wall opposite the focal point. The coat racks went around the corner and the wall was painted the accent color, Enduring Bronze. Without the TV and coat racks, this wall is now available for seating and art.

I went to four HomeGoods searching for two more birds to better fill this space. But they were not a hit. At this point, time was critical. I special ordered leaf studies printed on canvas. Printing on canvas is fast and relatively inexpensive.

A before look at the new TV wall.

And after. The sea fan shadow boxes were also a HomeGoods find.

The client was a joy to work with. Their in-house maintenance re-painted this room overnight and hung the artwork in about an hour! Gives new meaning to "fast fix".

While no fast fix is perfect, the general consensus is the new look is a big improvement.

What's your take on Waiting Rooms? Do you care about how they look and make you feel? Or are you able to ignore your surroundings and just wait it out? I'd love to know.

Thanks for reading,
Linda Pakravan


  1. Nice! I love when medical offices are pleasing and not scary and sterile. I love your color choices and art too.

  2. Nice quick fix! The mirror with the fish images are a great focal point! Definitely not institutional!

    1. That mirror was a lucky find. Thanks for visiting!

  3. Linda, a great transformation and creative use of art!
    It seems that many medical offices are now thinking about how their waiting rooms and lounges look. Thank goodness!

    The Arts by Karena

    1. I'm so glad they're thinking about it! Thank you!

  4. What a difference a few added touches can make!! Love the fish prints. Stay dry, Linda!!

    1. Just drizzling here but that will soon change, I'm sure. Thanks for stopping by.

  5. I think my GYN's office has the same chairs. Otherwise, it could use your touch Linda! I'm sure the patients and staff are all very happy with the changes you made.

  6. Anonymous25.2.16

    This is a HUGE improvement!!!! You made it feel so welcoming and charming and like the design is intentional. Very nice!!!!

  7. It looks SO MUCH better!


Please do. I love to know what you think!