Keep your veterinary clinic colors easy to update

June 6, 2018
Dan Chapel, AIA, NCARB

Dan Chapel is president of Chapel Associates in Little Rock, Ark., a nationally recognized firm specializing in animal facility design. His firm has participated in the design of more than 500 veterinary hospitals, boarding kennels, and animal shelters. Past projects include two Veterinary Economics Hospitals of the Year and several Merit Award winners. Chapel is a nationally recognized expert in the field of veterinary architecture, and has served as a featured speaker on topics of animal facility design at all major veterinary conferences. He has spoken at every Veterinary Economics Hospital Design Conference since 1981 and has served on the Veterinary Economics Editorial Advisory Board since 1985. For a list of articles and video by Chapel, click here.

Plan ahead and make color splashes with more easily revamped decorative elements.

"Color is trendy," says HospitalDesign 360 speaker Dan Chapel, AIA, NCARB. For this reason, he suggests not permanently planting your veterinary clinic in time by making colors too hard to change. What does a bad choice look like?

"Obviously, if you tried to change out your entire floors of your hospital, that would be difficult, if not impossible, and it would certainly be cost prohibitive," he says.

So instead of starting with color-of-the-moment tile and building upward, Chapel suggests bringing vibrancy to the practice with components that are easier-and cheaper-to replace. Here are the items he recommends:

Clinic makeover magic

Tickled pink: Spring remodel tips.

Tiny makeover: Declutter your veterinary hospital's reception area .

Put your stamp on your practice through art.

  • Paint. "A fresh coat of paint is not going to break the bank," Chapel says, "and you can use that color to [get back] in style."

  • Artwork. Framed prints or photos can readily be swapped out to freshen up the clinic vibe.

  • Upholstery. Though you likely don't have wall-to-wall cushioned furniture, Chapel says accent pieces such as chairs can liven up the environment, with the understanding that they too will eventually need replaced.

  • Accessories. Chapel says his rule of thumb is, "I don't like anything in a hospital that's smaller than a basketball." But, he says pieces of sculpture and similar objects can add life to the environment.

So, keep your fundamental components timeless and ride the trends on a smaller scale.

Watch the video for more.

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