I recently took a quick one-hour flight from the island of Ibiza to Barcelona on my way back to California from Spain.

There was a long slow line to board the aircraft and we (the passengers) were subsequently packed inside into seats that had maybe two inches of leg room to spare.

I almost had a panic attack on that flight. Thank you deep breathing and body-centered wellness techniques. You totally got me through it. 😓

As I sat there on that quick flight, I was reminded of how far most modern-day airplane companies have come in creating extra space and comfort for its customers. Thank you GOD.

I was reminded of how far many healthcare practices and wellness services businesses have come in offering their patients and clients a deeply nurturing and comfortable experience in the waiting room.

Thank you GODDESS.

I thought about how overcrowded and uncomfortable waiting rooms with wall-to-wall chairs lined up like army cadets waiting for their drill sergeant to give them their next order are really on their way out.

I thought about the design of waiting rooms today—with home-like vignettes arranged to serve an array of demographics–your older adult pop, Millennials with young families, Boomers and now even the Z generation.

This thought made me so happy.

This year I’ve been seeing some super cool healthcare design trends popping up all over the map, influenced by our favorite 5-star hotels and the hospitality industry in general, like this stuff:

👉 Pub or cafe tables and chairs for millennials to hang out in for that cafe-like experience. It’s fun and hip and it’s what Millennials are asking for in their healthcare offices.
👉 A small to medium children’s play area near the pub area where young parents can keep an easy eye on their kiddos.
👉 Sofas and end tables with USB ports for easy smart phone plug in and access, along with free and kick-ass wifi. Duh, right?
👉 Comfortable upholstered chairs with nice arms for the older adult population to sit in, relax and get out of easily without having to ask for anyone’s help. This helps your older adult peeps feel more independent.
👉 Areas for extroverts and introverts. Vignette areas within the waiting room (this works even if your waiting room is small) that are arranged to promote socializing and other areas that feel a bit more private with plants and lamps used in the design for a perceived sense of privacy. This totally works.

Walking through Porcelanosa showrooms in Spain a few weeks ago, I noticed some of these trends popping up in a variety of lovely ways.

For example, these tables made their way into my love zone because of the curved tabletops made with Porcelanosa’s Krion antibacterial material that can be customized in a variety of ways in all the colors of the rainbow:

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Standard height dining room tables shown above.

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Pub height tables shown above.

Sure, they are shown in a restaurant vignette, and at first glance you may not understand how these could possibly make their way into your waiting room.  Think an iPad station in your dental office or an area for your Millennial patients to hang out in a cafe-like vibe. Your peeps will love it!

Here’s a picture of a dental office waiting room I recently designed with pub tables for Millennials:

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And here’s a dental office waiting room I designed over the summer with a sofa that has a built in table:

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So tell me: What are you seeing lately?

Are you feeling the pangs of a design update in your waiting room or office to better meet the needs and desires of your clientele?

What inspiration is making its way into your design heart?

Yours in smart healthcare design and beauty that boosts the immune system,
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HOW DO I DESIGN A WAITING ROOM THAT KEEPS PATIENTS RETURNING & REFERRING?
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