The latest color trends for healthcare spaces can help architects, designers and specifiers maximize design to deliver functionality and a positive patient experience.
Color influences mood and helps shape the patient and guest experience. For example, the latest in evidence-based design research confirms the healing and calming powers of organic, natural colors when used in a healthcare setting.
By incorporating these tips, you can create a functional, aesthetically pleasing design in your facility project.
Peaceful Power of Neutrals
In an entryway, the right color can deliver a positive first impression. Soft and warm neutral hues are reminiscent of homelike spaces and communicate a sense of rest and security.
The tonal balance between warm browns and cool, alabaster neutrals works well for senior living and acute care spaces, offering a sense of sophistication that occupants find comforting. Use stress-reducing hues such as stone grays and fawn tans as a room’s main color. Pair neutral hues with hardwood flooring, ceramic tile and soft floral-hued accents for an overall design that is comfortable and inviting.
Functionality of Color
Senior care centers are designed to feel comfortable, but color can also create a functional space to help residents who are experiencing decreasing vision or stimulate patients with memory issues.
Aging eyes naturally add a tint of yellow to what they see, changing the way colors and settings are perceived. For this reason, bright colors such as sunset oranges work well as a wayfinding tool. Use oranges and other strong colors to signify a hand railing or to direct patients and guests to the dining room. Warm neutral buffs and sandy browns are also excellent choices.
For memory care centers, use color to identify common areas and influence the residents’ mood. Choose saturated rose-colored violets paired with soft-but-vibrant yellows in a kitchen, sparking activity and appetite. Pair powder blues with milky cream colors for patient rooms or calming common sitting areas.
Hues for Healing
Spaces that incorporate hues found in nature can have a significant impact on healing while enhancing the patient experience. Specify rich, earthy colors from the great outdoors, such as calming, water blue hues and refreshing grass greens. Natural colors, when paired with warm wood accents, bring a sense of organic authenticity to what can sometimes be a sterile and stark hospital environment.
Spa-like hues and a luxurious, high-end design aesthetic can also boost the patient experience. Add a gentle sophistication to patient rooms and intensive care corridors by using soft pinks and golden browns to make a strong statement that matches the high-level service provided in the facility.
For more information, tap into the latest tools and color palette recommendations from Sherwin-Williams color experts who consult architects, designers and specifiers specializing in the healthcare space.
Jackie Jordan is director of color marketing at Sherwin-Williams.