what I do

what I do

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Designed for kids

This past Spring I designed a pediatric office for a darling young pediatrician who was starting her first practice. I had previously helped her with her residence and she asked me if I could help her with her new office. The way she presented it to me was ... "We are trying to replicate a home, so you are perfect for us." Designing commercial spaces is not really my thing but I have done a few offices and I have to say, I really enjoy it.

When she first contacted me, she had a few requests. "... thinking of having wainscoting everywhere. Browns, greens, whites. Crown molding and baseboards. Fake hardwood floors. We want to make one of the exam rooms into a "nursery" for all the baby visits. Lots of mirrors, baskets, etc. I don't want it to look like a doctor's office at all."

Waiting room 'before'
Waiting room 'after' (table & chairs from Ikea)
Waiting room 'before'
Leather benches from Home Decorators 
Toy bins from Ikea

After a few phone consultations, we walked through the office space together and I took photographs and measurements. It was a previous dental office with 4 exam rooms and a dark room, about 1,000 square feet total. We needed to create 2 waiting rooms - one for healthy patients and one for sick patients. The office currently had only one waiting room. She also needed an office space with a desk, storage and a small seating area for consults (in a room 6'10" x 9'6"). And she needed a restroom. So space was definitely the biggest challenge.

Reception area 'before'
Reception area 'after'
Reception area 'before'
Sick patient waiting room created from previous reception area 
After the floor plan and construction was under way, I presented a color scheme to her and she approved. Everything was based on those three colors. As with a lot of my projects, cost was a big factor and it was crucial that I chose wisely. Using a dramatic paint color on the walls was one way to get the most 'bang for our buck'. I used all Benjamin Moore paints. The main wall color was Valley Forge Brown HC-74. Two of the treatment rooms were Atmospheric AF-500 and two were Grasshopper AF-415. Because the office space was so small I repeated the same three colors throughout the office and in the restroom. Using too many wall colors can create a 'choppy' feeling and I wanted the office to feel as spacious as it could be but still have a lot of color.

Hallway 'before'
Hallway 'after' (Fjallista frames from Ikea)
Once the color scheme was determined, I focused on the furniture and accessories. I used benches from Home Decorators, A faux leather settee from Walmart and most everything else came from either Ikea, Target or HomeGoods. There was a lot of wall space to cover and although I would loved to have used some wonderful original artwork, it was cost prohibitive. Instead I purchased 36" square blank canvases from Aaron Brothers and painted them in colors that would coordinate with the wall colors. I also purchased acrylic paints in colors that would work for each canvas and presented them to the client with brushes and instructions for her children to paint the canvases. They turned out amazing! 

Artwork painted by client's child!
Exam room 'before'
Exam room 'after'

Magazine rack from Ikea, chair from Target
The "nursery" (mobile from Pottery Barn)
This wall will eventually have another kid's canvas between the decals
These were decals that can be removed and the 3-D flowers are from Umbra. They were one of my favorite things and really added a lot fun to the walls. You can see them here.

Chair from Target
The biggest challenge was trying to create a restroom out of a 3.5' x 5' space. Seriously! We could not change the existing door and there needed to be storage for various items that her patients would need. I have to say, there were moments that I doubted I could make it work in such a small space with the way the door was configured. But it came out great!

The restroom before (previously a dark room for developing x-rays)

The vanity could not be any wider than 18" for it to fit. I found a 2-pack mirror set at HomeGoods and placed one at an adult level and the other at a child's level. As much as we didn't want to, we had to mount the soap dispenser and towel dispenser on the wall due to space limitations. The shelving unit was from Ikea and just fit in the corner for cups, etc. The baskets from Ikea fit perfectly.

The end result was a wonderful space where this successful young pediatrician can see her patients in a comfortable and warm environment.
Note: the colors are not really represented well with my limited photography. The green is much more intense and actually so is the blue. The day I went up to photograph was a very busy day for the office and I wasn't able to get into two of the exam rooms, and I did not photograph her office. What I am learning is that a space can look amazing in person and not look so great in a photo. I have a whole new respect for photo stylists and photographers! 


L said...

Amazing job! It looks so warm & welcoming. I'm sure it will be soothing to her young patients (& their Mommies!). Love the wall decals & the art done by her children.

Noelle at Gray Paint Decor said...

Wow!! Fantastic job! I love how it is both cozy and vibrant!!

diane@onlinefabricstore said...

Enjoyed this articled and I am sure both parents and little patients love it. Great advice on how to decorate with a very small budget.

Michelle & Todd said...

I am wondering how you got the pictures to fit in the Fjallsta frames...what size did you order? Thanks!