Crafting Calming Spaces: How Design Can Enhance Patient and Client Well-being

In the fast-paced, often stressful environments of healthcare and client services, crafting calming spaces is essential for the well-being of patients, clients, and their families. These individuals often arrive with high levels of emotion and stress, seeking comfort and assurance. Concept understands the profound impact that thoughtful design can have on reducing stress and promoting a sense of safety and hope. Here’s how we approach creating these serene spaces.

The Power of Familiarity and Natural Elements


Home-like Finishes:

Using finishes and materials familiar from home environments can significantly enhance comfort. When people recognise textures, colours, and styles from their own homes, it triggers a sense of safety and relaxation. Soft, plush fabrics, warm wooden finishes, and homey touches like throw pillows and rugs can transform a sterile space into a welcoming haven.


Natural Elements:

Incorporating elements like timber and plants brings a piece of the natural world inside. Timber adds warmth and a tactile connection to nature, while plants not only improve air quality but also provide a visual and psychological boost. The presence of greenery has been proven to reduce stress and increase feelings of well-being.

Our designer Mary Saldevar offers some insight:

“The biophilic trend of incorporating natural elements can be seen to be also filtering through into the health care spaces through materiality. Flooring companies have been introducing medical grade vinyl ranges in more earthy colours to compliment the overall organic colour palette of health care spaces. One of my favourite ranges at the moment is the iQ Eminent range by Tarkett which features pastel blues and greens and rich terracotta earthy tones in a speckled easy to clean finish”


Earth tones in a vinyl flooring product stages in a commercial space.
Tarkett North America has refreshed and expanded its iQ® Granit™ collection and introduced the coordinating iQ® Eminent™ collection within their high-performance homogeneous vinyl sheet and tile products.

White Finishes:

White finishes create a sense of openness and possibility. They reflect light, making spaces feel larger and brighter, which can elevate mood and provide a sense of optimism. Combined with other natural elements, white surfaces can help create a balanced, harmonious environment.

family health clinic reception- white walls and joinery with timber floors
Family Health Clinic’s Reception is bright and airy, providing a sense of optimism.


Designing with Purpose and People in Mind


Proper lighting is crucial in healthcare and client service environments. Natural light is ideal as it boosts mood and energy levels. When natural light isn’t available, warm, soft artificial lighting can be used to create a comforting atmosphere. Avoid harsh, fluorescent lights that can increase stress and fatigue. Instead, use layered lighting solutions, including ambient, task, and accent lighting, to create a well-lit yet soothing environment.


Colour Palettes:

Colour has a profound impact on our emotions. Soft, neutral colours like blues, greens, and beiges are calming and can reduce anxiety. Blue, for example, is often associated with tranquillity and can slow down the heart rate, while green can remind us of nature and promote a sense of balance and calm. Avoid overly bright or jarring colours that might cause overstimulation.

A six seater meeting room with sage green walls and two plants in the corners.
Is the colour choice in Sage Family Lawyers’ meeting room a coincidence? The pale shade of green creates a sense of calm.



Textures play a significant role in the tactile experience of a space. Soft, plush textures in furniture and decor can create a sense of coziness and warmth. Smooth, clean lines in architectural elements can convey order and simplicity, reducing visual clutter and helping to calm the mind.



Art can be a powerful tool for creating a calming environment. Nature scenes, abstract pieces with soothing colours, and artwork that evokes positive memories or emotions can all contribute to a sense of peace and well-being. Carefully selected artwork can provide a visual escape and a focal point for relaxation.


Real-World Examples

Example 1: Medical Waiting Areas

In many modern medical practices, waiting areas have been redesigned to include comfortable seating, natural light, and plenty of greenery. By moving away from the traditional sterile, clinical look, these spaces now offer a more homey, even residential atmosphere, helping to reduce the anxiety of waiting for news or procedures.

A waiting room/ reception area with a front desk, couch, and scattered additional seating.
Stronger Healthcare’s reception on Bridge Rd, Richmond is welcoming, calming and comfortable.

Example 2: Family Law Practice

Family law practices are often associated with emotionally charged situations. By incorporating calming design elements such as soft colours, warm lighting, and comfortable seating, these spaces can provide a sense of comfort and reassurance to clients during what can be difficult legal proceedings.

A rendered image of a reception area including a circular couch area and rattan reception desk
A recent render completed by Concept’s design team for a family law practice. A calming space.

Example 3: Therapy Centres

Therapy centres often use soft colours, warm lighting, and natural materials to create a soothing environment. This design approach helps clients feel more relaxed and open during their sessions, which can lead to stronger therapeutic outcomes.

side-by-side consultation rooms with white walls, high ceilings and soft colours.
Side-by-side consultation rooms for Clarity Health’s new Fitzroy location featuring acoustically-treated white walls, high ceilings and soft colours to instill calm.
A room with tall ceiling, floor-to-ceiling windows with full drapes, and a fold-out bed.
The treatment rooms at Clarion Health make the most of the clinic’s tranquil location in leafy Abbotsford, with ample windows overlooking the Yarra.

At Concept, we believe that design with purpose and people in mind can transform spaces and significantly improve the experiences of patients and clients. By focusing on familiar finishes, natural elements, and thoughtful design choices, we create environments that not only look beautiful but also support emotional and psychological well-being.

Creating calming spaces in healthcare and client service environments is not just about aesthetics; it’s about enhancing the well-being of those who use these spaces. At Concept, we are committed to designing with empathy and intention, ensuring that every element contributes to a more comforting and supportive environment. By integrating thoughtful design elements, we help reduce stress and create spaces where patients and clients can feel safe, hopeful, and cared for.

Have a space in mind that could use a calming fitout to reach its potential? Give us a call on 1300 126 617 to start the conversation today or reachout via email.

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