It’s very important. Whether you are remodeling your existing practice or opening a new one, choosing the right color design can have a positive effect.
There’s no disputing the psychological impact of color. Colors have historical and cultural significance. They elicit emotional responses and influence behavior. Tranquil, relaxing combinations are known for producing cheerful calm. Bright, bold schemes will likely raise a patient’s anxiety level. Though bright and bold may be exactly what you need for the staff areas, as that palette range can also invigorate and motivate.
According to Faber Birren, the father of applied color psychology, proper use of color in the workplace can improve efficiency and relieve fatigue, as well as contribute to better visibility and a more cheerful mentality.
It’s no wonder, then, that offices of all business types are opting for more color these days, eschewing common beige, gray and black for more dynamic color schemes specifically targeted for certain impacts.
So where do you start? How do you decide what colors work best for you and your practice?
Your own intuition is also a good starting point, as is input from your employees and other professionals. You may want to research the potential of color—and different color combinations—on the Web.
For detailed musings on color, you may want to read “A Glimpse Into The Meaning, Symbol & Psychology of Color,” written by color consultant Kate Smith. The author, a certified color expert, describes the various responses people have to different colors based on research and historical significance. This can give you some insight into the colors you like, why you like them, and which ones are best applied to your dental practice.
When it comes to color in the health care profession, there are certain considerations to keep in mind. You don’t want to be boring, but too much color stimulation is a bad thing.
- Orange, which used in restraint, can add a fun, whimsical, exciting touch to office décor? Yet, the same color can be overwhelming in large quantities. Pink (happy, youthful) and purple (sophisticated, powerful) are similar in this vein.
- Red (excitement, energy) is a warm color, but it may contribute to anxiety in a dental office setting because it raises body tension.
- Yellow (sunshine, cheer) is a similarly dominant color that can elicit tense reactions in large, bright quantities.
- Shades of blue and green tend to have a relaxing effect but can be boring on their own.
The way we perceive color is depends on variables such as hue, value and texture.
Sky blue (calm) is considerably different than bright blue (energy). The same goes for red-purple (sensual) compared to blue-purple (spiritual).
There’s a lot of color in color. Want to know more? The following websites and/or articles about color also provide interesting tips and offer different approaches to enhancing office space:
- ADA's Office Design resources
- Empower Yourself with Color Psychology
- Psychology Today article "Positive Design – Color!"
- Office Color Schemes: The Psychology of Productivity
- Building or Refreshing Your Dental Practice: A Guide to Dental Office Design [ADA Catalog] This dental office design book covers all the bases for building, renovating or simply refreshing your space, with vibrant photos and insights from dental architects, design consultants and practicing dentists.