Corporate Art ForceHealthcare

How to Create Residential Warmth in Healthcare Facilities

What is Residential Warmth?

Residential warmth helps alleviate patient anxiety by blurring the line between home and healthcare. Creating a sense of “home away from home” has long been a standard in hospitality design, but as the effect it has on patients is being researched, this practice has shown quantifiable improvement in patient experience. As evidence based design practices have gained more popularity, leading health care providers and designers have looked to this sense of home in order to create better healing environments for their patients.

When asked what she felt stood out about the submissions for IIDA’s  2018 Healthcare Interior Design Competition, IIDA CEO and EVP Cheryl Durst stated:

“None of the projects is sterile; they invite comfort and engagement and express care in a sophisticated way.”

Familiarity and comfort have been proven to help reduce stress for patients and residential warmth has emerged as a leading healthcare design trend in recent years. Leading healthcare projects now strive to provide their future patients with not only the highest level of care, but also the best and most comfortable patient experience possible. Hospitals seeking to create residential warmth avoid clinical aesthetics in favor of residential elements of everyday furniture, furnishing and coloring. These hospitals seek to reduce “environmental stressors” that come along with a stay in a healthcare facility in order to make the patient feel at ease, and ultimately, at home.


How Can Healthcare Facilities Create Residential Warmth?

Shifting traditional designs for clinics into a more inviting environment can be a tricky and subtle art for interior designers. Hospitals in particular require utilitarian uses of space to best deliver care, but there are a few ways designers can imbue their space with hominess without sacrificing efficiency. With careful design choices, healthcare interior designers can deliver on all measures of quality, from care to patient satisfaction. Residential niceties not normally found in healthcare can be an easy and cost effective method for a facility to make patients feel at home. How patient’s rooms are furnished can play a huge role in how their stress levels and overall experience.

Including more familiar furnishings than the average hospital decor such as bedsides cabinets, nightstands, and wardrobes can help make the mental connection of home with a patient’s space. Using sets of matching furniture has been shown to further this connection with some designers even including matching headboards for the hospital beds to go along with the decor. Informal eating, visiting and relaxing spaces can further aid in patient’s ability to feel at home. 

Artwork has become an integral part in patient-centric design practices and is proven to help visitors feel more at home. It’s no surprise that art in healthcare decreases the length of hospital stays, need for pain medication, healthcare related infection rates, and even need for sedation during medical procedures (Americans for the Arts). Art can visually reduce the clinical feeling of a space and help patients better relax in their environment. Our consultants have helped countless healthcare organizations of all sizes to deliver an environment of rest, healing, and home. Connect with us through the form below to discuss how we can work together to select the right art for your next project.

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