The most drastic change in healthcare design is undoubtedly the use of colour and the type of textile used. Long gone are the days of outdated materials and boring colours.
Healthcare environments need furniture which will add visual interest and brighten up a room. At the same time, the seating options need to be comfortable and family-friendly.
Things to consider when selecting furniture in healthcare environments:
The space: Consider the space before selecting furniture pieces. What types of furniture look best in that particular space? How many chairs or sofas can fit? What colours will complement the room?
Ergonomics: Ergonomics refers to the study of people in the working environment. No two people are the same, and it’s crucial to cater to all patients when thinking about furniture in healthcare spaces. The safety and comfort of the elderly, disabled and young must all be taken into consideration. Waiting rooms with a mixture of chairs, stools and sofas often work best, as there are seating options for everyone.
First impressions: In healthcare environments, it’s important to make a good first impression to alleviate any anxiety or misgivings a person might have. Selecting stylish-looking furniture with bright and inviting colours will instantly have a positive impact on patients and put their mind at ease. People are much more likely to return to places that make a good first impression.
Upholstery/materials used: The cleanability and aesthetic of the furniture plays a huge part during the design process.
Popular materials used include:
- PVC (vinyl) and PU (Polyurethane)
- Woven fabrics which have been treated with a stain-resistant finish and fluid barriers
- Polyester woven fabrics
- Polyester resin
- Furniture surfaces should be:
- Fluid-resistant & non-porous
- Have no crevices and zips where contaminants can get trapped
- Minimal or no textures
- Easy to clean