How Does Your Surgery Feel?

image_15smallWe’ve noticed that clients respond to their new surgery in one of two ways.

Some focus on how it looks.  They’ll say things like, “Ah that looks great”.

Others will say something about how the new surgery design makes them feel.

They’ll talk about the atmosphere of the whole place with comments like, “It’s got a great feel to it.”

There’s a gender thing going on here but let’s not dig ourselves into a hole on that one.

What I can say is that it’s particularly satisfying to hear people reflect on how a place feels.

That’s a more complex thing to achieve. It’s much harder than just making something pretty.

In surgery design we go after three things – the look, the function and the feel.

This means considering several layers including the architectural style of  your building, your personality and the nature of your client base.

What’s the key message about your practice?  Is it friendly and welcoming, is it exclusive and private?  What do we want patients to think and feel when they visit?  Do your patients feel comfortable and relaxed in your waiting area?

We think about you too. We think very carefully about how your surgery is going to perform for you and your team every day.

Are your tools within reach?  Is the work flow easy?  Are your personal tastes reflected?

We draw together a great number of building details to create the effects we want for your surgery.

We think about the space around people, the texture of surfaces, how the light falls and the feel of the furniture.

Sometimes good design can be about what you leave out as much as what you put in.

No single element stands alone in a fitout.  The wall colour will change with the light in the room as well as the colour of other finishes.  Elements need to work together and balance each other.

A great surgery interior design is achieved when individual elements blend together to create a pleasing overall effect.  Which might be described as how the room ‘feels’.

Sometimes we will present a set of swatches and surface samples to a client knowing that it’s going to be difficult for them to imagine how those samples might look in the finished room.

A client might point to one particular colour in a full set of finishes and say – “I don’t like that one.”

In the context of a small sample board the colour will look different from when it’s seen as part of the whole.  This is especially true when finishes are viewed from a distance.

Sometimes it’s easy to make a small change and keep the overall effect. If that’s the case then we’ll cheerfully do it.

There are other times when we think it’s important enough to argue the toss.  This is when we need to look our client in the eye and ask them to trust us.

I had such an occasion recently when a project was in its final stage.  A  pendant light was installed just before the wall paper went up.

Our client arrived and saw the light.  “I don’t like it.” he told us with some disappointment.

We encouraged him to wait until the room was finished and make his final decision then.

Once the wallpaper went up our client loved his new light. He could see how the overall effect really worked. How it made sense within the context of the entire space.

I’m describing what a professional interior designer brings to the table.

You’re after a fully integrated surgery that works for you, your team and your clients.

This isn’t about a pretty magazine picture. It isn’t about lots of little pieces that you might like individually.

Professional interior design is about hiring someone with vision and skill, to bring all the elements together, to create a highly functional space that looks and feels good.

You’ll have to trust me on that.