Space Design: Create a Inviting and Calming Hospital Waiting Area

Space Design

Hospitals can be stressful places for patients and their loved ones. Long wait times in crowded and uninviting waiting areas can add to this stress.

However, with thoughtful space design, a hospital waiting area can be transformed into a welcoming and inviting space that helps to reduce stress and improve patient satisfaction.

The purpose of this blog is to discuss the key elements to consider when designing a hospital waiting area and provide guidance on how to implement them.

Design Elements to Consider

When designing a hospital waiting area, there are several key elements to consider. These include:


  • Natural light: Adequate lighting is crucial for creating a welcoming and inviting space. Natural light, in particular, has been shown to have a positive impact on mood and well-being. It can also help to reduce energy costs and improve the overall ambiance of the space.
  • Windows and skylights: To bring in natural light, consider incorporating large windows or skylights. This can be done by adding new windows or enlarging existing ones. It is also important to consider the orientation of the space and how the sunlight will enter the room throughout the day.


  • Seating options: Comfort is key to creating a relaxing waiting area. Provide comfortable seating options, such as padded chairs and benches. It is also important to have a variety of seating options, including options for individuals and groups.
  • Accessibility considerations: When selecting seating options, it is important to consider accessibility needs. This may include options for individuals with mobility impairments, such as wheelchair accessible seating.


  • Calming colors: The use of color can have a big impact on the atmosphere of a space. Calming colors, such as blues and greens, can help to reduce stress. Consider using these colors as the main palette for the waiting area.
  • Avoiding harsh or bright colors: It is important to avoid using harsh or bright colors, which can be overwhelming. Bright colors can also be distressing for individuals with certain medical conditions.


  • Benefits of incorporating plants: Adding plants to a waiting area can bring a sense of nature and life to the space. Plants can also improve air quality and have been shown to have a positive impact on mood.
  • Types of plants to consider: When incorporating plants into a waiting area, it is important to consider factors such as light and maintenance requirements. Low maintenance options, such as succulents or snake plants, are a good choice for a waiting area.


  • Entertainment options: Consider incorporating entertainment options, such as televisions or magazines, to help pass the time. It is important to have a variety of options to cater to different preferences.
  • Importance of diversifying options: Diversifying entertainment options is important as patients, family and visitors come from different backgrounds, cultures and ages and it’s important to cater to all of them.


  • Providing private spaces: Privacy is important to consider, providing spaces where patients can have confidential or private conversations. This can be achieved by creating separate waiting areas for specific departments or using privacy screens.
  • Types of privacy solutions: Privacy solutions can include privacy screens, curtains, or partitions. It can also include sound-absorbing materials to reduce noise levels.


Assessing the existing space

  • Identifying potential issues: The first step in designing a welcoming and inviting hospital waiting area is to assess the existing space. Take note of factors such as lighting, color, and layout. Identify any potential issues or areas that could be improved. This may include issues with lighting, comfort, or privacy.
  • Identifying areas for improvement: Once potential issues have been identified, it is important to identify areas for improvement. This may include adding natural light, improving seating options, or incorporating plants.

Creating a plan

  • Incorporating design elements: Once you have assessed the space, create a plan for how to improve it. Consider the elements discussed above, such as lighting, comfort, and color. It is important to create a plan that takes into account the specific needs of the hospital and its patients.
  • Budget considerations: When creating a plan, it is important to consider budget constraints. There are many ways to improve a waiting area on a budget, such as repainting walls, adding plants, or incorporating natural light. It is important to prioritize the most important changes to be made within the budget.


  • Making changes to the space: Put the plan into action by making changes to the space. This may involve repainting walls, adding plants or new furniture, or incorporating natural light. It is important to work with contractors and vendors to ensure that the changes are made correctly and safely.
  • Coordinating with contractors and vendors: Coordinating with contractors and vendors is important to ensure that the changes are made correctly and safely. This may involve working with electricians, plumbers, or carpenters, depending on the changes that are being made.


  • Regular upkeep tasks: Regular maintenance is important to keep the waiting area looking welcoming and inviting. This may involve tasks such as dusting, vacuuming, and watering plants. It is important to establish a regular maintenance schedule to ensure that the waiting area stays in good condition.
  • Importance of keeping the area clean and inviting: Keeping the waiting area clean and inviting is important to ensure that patients, family, and visitors feel comfortable while they wait. This may involve regular cleaning and maintenance, as well as making small changes to the space, such as adding new artwork or plants.


A welcoming and inviting hospital waiting area can have a positive impact on patients and their loved ones.

By considering elements such as lighting, comfort, color, and entertainment, and implementing a well-thought-out plan, it is possible to create a space that helps to reduce stress and improve patient satisfaction.

It is important to remember that designing a waiting area involves a combination of creativity, budget management and most importantly, understanding the needs of the patients, family and visitors.

Regular maintenance and small adjustments can also go a long way in keeping the area inviting and comfortable for all.

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