Redesigning a dental office is not easy at the best of times, especially when the goal is to create a bright open welcoming space with a west coast feel.
Is it impossible? Not at all, as evidence by the recent Smiles By Design makeover. First step was to find someone with vision, and in short order Dr. Michael Lowe, owner, and Heather Slade, practice director, had hired local architect Karen Hillel for the job.
How did they do it? Key was to consider the patient at every step in planning, thinking of ways to stimulate patients’ sense of sight, sound, and touch. By doing this, they have created an ambience that is immediately relaxing and reassuring to patients who are feeling the tension of a dental visit. This is a space that comes alive with natural light and sound.
As dark colours would have made the space seem dark and small, soft white and brown-grey colours were selected instead, which, along with infinity lighting and floor to ceiling windows to give natural light, resulted in an incredibly airy spacious feel.
Being West Coast meant that a certain West Coast feel was important, and was achieved with cedar accents, artwork by local artists, and a live edge table.
A fountain in reception brings a peaceful sound of waterfall for anxious clients, along with a living wall that provides an almost tropical feel to the room.
In the end, though, designing an office isn’t just about the patient. A happy staff is important to the client experience, so considering staff comfort and ease played a role.
“I believe we have achieved what we set out to achieve. When you walk into the clinic you are immediately enveloped in the soothing sounds of waterfall, a green living wall, artwork by local artists, and seating that is comfortable and soft to the touch. Creating this has been a crazy ride, but fun.”