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3 tips to inject some personality into your practice


Putting thought into the interior design of your veterinary hospital has myriad benefits.

Interior design is an easily overlooked part of a hospital design project. Hey, you're all about the medicine-why does paint color matter? But just as much as clients remember the smile on a receptionist's face, the tender care of a technician or the urgent, down-to-earth recommendations from a thoughtful veterinarian, they'll remember the color of your reception area and the lighting and what mood it conveyed.

While it's not a part of a medical protocol, interior design is just important to do well. (If you're not interested enough or up to the task, hire an expert.) Dave Gasser, AIA, NCARB, and Becky Valentine of BDA Architecture in Albuquerque, New Mexico, offer the following tips to make your interiors shine.

Who do you want to be?

From modern and contemporary to homey or traditional, the styling of your interior conveys a particular message and feeling to your clients. Consider your practice's philosophy and what your mission is-then match your style to that feeling. For example, an ultra-modern space resonates well in many urban settings, although it might not work as well in more laid-back, lawn-filled suburbia.

Central Animal Hospital has a modern design asthetic which fits the urban area it is located in.


The interior design of Central Animal Hospital continues the urban feel.


Dreaming Summit Animal Hospital is located in a residential area and its' design follows a more traditional theme.


Does your outside match your inside?

You put your blood, sweat, tears-and money-into a gorgeous exterior. Don't stop there. The interior is just as important. If you need inside inspiration, consider your exterior first. Are you on the water and used a nautical feel out front? Are you in the parched desert and can draw inspiration from all the earth tones that go into your exterior? Keep it consistent-bring the outside in.

Veterinary Associates of Cape Cod uses a nautical theme that fits well in their costal area.

This nautical feel continues inside through the use of colors and texture.

Does your design follow you everywhere?

An important part of keeping great employees is providing comfort and satisfaction on the job-happier staff stay longer. Some practitioners throw all (or almost all) their money into the exterior, reception area and waiting room, with the idea that that's where they earn money and wow impressionable clients. But it can pay off to take your beautiful design into the clinical and staff spaces. Bring those pops of color and natural light you spread out front. Just because you're “in the back” doesn't mean that interior design elements have to end.

Finan Animal Hospital has a skylight to bring in natural light in their treatment area, as well as a bright accent wall in one of the practice's brand colors.

The use of bright colors in Finan Animal Hospital continues in the break room. Just because clients can't see it, doesn't mean that the area has to be boring.


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