New York Post

Healthy by design

- —Zachary Kussin

For too long, doctors’ offices have been equated with sterile décor that not only looks cold, but also causes patients to feel anxious, like they’re in a hospital. Several clinics around town now boast spiffy, homey interiors that help patients feel more at ease when it comes to medical appointmen­ts — all in an effort to make them feel healthy, not sick.

1. Soft colors

According to a study in the Health Environmen­ts Research & Design Journal, lighter colors have a pacifying effect in hospital rooms. “Blues and grays are calming,” says Andy Grover, senior director and head of real estate and developmen­t at One Medical Group, a chain of clinics with nine NYC locations. Grover also is a proponent of using natural woods in offices, for both flooring and furniture, and plush rugs to make the spaces feel “welcoming,” he says.

2. Cushy seating

“When you go to a doctor’s office and you see a row of 12 vinyl chairs, you [can] feel like a number,” says Grover. Upholstere­d armchairs and sofas covered in “fabrics you would probably have in your home” outfit the Tribeca office of One Medical Group. According to a 2002 study published in the Journal of Environmen­tal Psychology, subjects associated waiting rooms that had warm furnishing­s and décor with higher quality of care.

3. Windows

“Natural light is incredibly important,” says architect Jonathan Schloss, who designed the lightfille­d space of Extend Fertility, an egg-freezing clinic in Midtown with oversize windows. According to a 2006 study published by the Center for Health Design, “adequate and appropriat­e exposure to light is critical for health and well-being of patients, as well as staff in health care settings.”

4. Open space

Labyrinthi­ne spaces can contribute to patient stress in a medical setting, according to a 2016 report on hospital circulatio­n zones in Health Environmen­ts Research & Design Journal. Even more crucial is medical transparen­cy through design — having meeting rooms and lab spaces within view of common areas, with glass walls instead of solid ones.

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