June 4, 2021
by Darcie Galbraith, BA, Interior Design Coach
THE WHY: Clinicians’ story
Dr. Zina Alkafaji is a pediatric dentist. As a mother of three young children, she and her loving husband share their exciting story of building their dream practice in North Vancouver, BC. Their professional journey with exploring practice ownership began quickly and immediately upon graduating from her dental school in Chicago, Illinois. She graduated on a Saturday whilst their wedding ceremonies were scheduled for the very next Sunday.
THE HOW: Planning & Preparation
Dr. Alkafaji expressed that opening a new practice and building it out from scratch required some dedicated soul searching and advanced planning. Just like treatment planning, practice planning and strategic design goal setting were an important first step. Prior to investing in her dream, she decided to take a weekend course in Texas to educate herself on the steps required to find and build her new office. This accelerated her clarity to search for the ideal place that would most support the underlying layout she desired. Upon her return, her plans began to come into fruition. Taking her time to be clear on what she wanted before beginning the search is her biggest take away.
THE RESULTS: Technical Design Features
As a pediatric dentist, she finds that enjoyable dental healthcare experiences in early childhood create lasting memories that impact engagement and utilization of dental healthcare services in adulthood. Imaginative children are especially influenced by the look and feel of the space in which their dental healthcare is served. For this reason, she wanted her practice to have an inviting but calming colour palette that would be easily recognizable, playful and imaginative in its custom elements. What makes her office so unique are the “house-like” structures inside each operatory that make kids feel like they are walking into a fun, safe and comfortable space.
THE IMPACT: Empowered Practice Outcomes
The serenely designed atmosphere has been a major attraction for patient flow. Dr. Zina Alkafaji finds that many parents begin promoting them to other parents immediately after their first visit to the office because of the relaxed atmosphere and warm care provided to their children within the new space. Slowing down to be creative in the planning stages of the practice has allowed them to design a look that represents their brand and the unique experience and value they wish to be known for in the community.
Interior Designer: Studio Liat
Branding: Nomatik Design Co.
Equipment: Dental Fix
Construction: Arborlea Developments
Photography: Luke Potter Photography
Photos were taken prior to COVID-19.
About the Author
Darcie is an interior design coach and project coordinator specializing in the field of dentistry. Darcie helps dental practices achieve their décor and space design needs. Bella Vita Designs also provides dental professionals with a large selection of office furniture solutions. She can be reached at email@example.com, @bellavitadesignsinc