Medical Interior Design – Choosing Color for Wellness

Have you ever considered choosing a particular color for wellness? Imagine you’re attending an appointment in a hospital or clinic, for example a chemotherapy suite. You’re feeling unwell and you know that as your treatment proceeds, you will likely feel worse before you feel any better. Now imagine the walls of the chemotherapy suite are painted a vibrant shade of pink. How do you think this will impact on how you feel? Will it have a calming, fresh, anti-nausea effect? Or will it potentially make you feel sicker?

Now think back to how you remember hospitals and doctors’ offices from your childhood. You will likely remember most clearly not just the uncomfortable, ugly space, and perhaps that universal “hospital” disinfectant smell that you never forget, but I suspect you also have an image of walls painted “hospital green.”How does remembering this color shade make you feel? Anxious? Nervous? Panicky? Unwell? 

Color has an enormous impact on how we feel – our moods and also our physical response to a space. For this reason, when we consider medical interior design, we need to truly consider the psychology involved behind colors.

How Does Color Impact the Health of Patients?

Color is a powerful force in our lives. It can change emotions, moods, and cause physiological and psychological reactions. Certain colors have been proven to increase metabolism, blood pressure, and cause eyestrain. Other colors stimulate appetite; some can depress the nervous system; others can create a sense of calm and wellbeing.

The individual experience of color is very subjective, and while one person may love a color, another may not respond so well to it. Personal experiences of color have an enormous impact. There are, however, some generalizations that stand:

  • Red, orange, yellow, reddish-purple, and cream are warm colors – these stimulate and evoke feelings ranging from comfort and warmth to passion and anger.
  • Blue, green, indigo, violet and stark white are cool colors – they evoke feelings ranging from balance and calmness to indifference and even sadness.

Colors have been used to heal for millennia, including by the ancient Chinese and the ancient Egyptians.

  • Red was used to increase circulation and stimulate mind and body. It is today seen by some as a powerful agent for healing blood and circulation issues and even conquering cancer.
  • Yellow was traditionally used for purification and to stimulate the nerves.
  • Orange was valued as a lung healer and energy promoter, with a warm yet gentle effect.
  • Blue is perceived as soothing and calming.
  • Green is believed to be a very effective healer, balancing emotions – it’s all about choosing the right shade.
  • White is clean, fresh, wholesome, and bright.

What Colors for Wellness are Ideal in Medical Interiors?

The use of color in medical interior design should aim to curb stress, strengthen feelings of calm and wellbeing, and encourage relaxation. Natural light is an important part of this; however, there are some paint and décor hues that can help achieve these aims. The right color palette can transform a healthcare facility and the experience of those who use it.

  • Choose balance between harmoniously chosen colors, natural light, and controlled lighting.
  • Avoid bright and vibrant color in patient rooms – instead choose muted cool tones.
  • Physical therapy rooms can benefit from using bright warm colors that stimulate.
  • Neutral tones can be very tranquil.
  • Highly saturated reds and yellows can evoke anxiety – so avoid these in medical spaces.
  • Medical interiors like doctors’ offices and clinics benefit greatly from using tones from nature – blues, greens, and neutrals that reflect water, plants, and trees.

Choose Color for Wellness in Your Medical Interiors

The professional team at Medical Interior Design have many years of experience in all aspects of innovative healthcare design, and a profound understanding, and application of the psychology involved behinds colors. Here at Medical Interior Design, we provide our premium, top class services to medical practices, clinics, and hospitals all over the United States from New York City all the way to Los Angeles.

To learn more about how we can help customize your interior decor for wellness, please call us today at 800-258-0702, or visit our website at

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