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The Power of Color in Dental Office Design


What’s the style of your dental office? Are the furnishings classic, transitional or modern? Does the layout support efficient traffic flow? So many design elements affect the feeling of an environment, from layout and aesthetics to decorating style. But without a doubt, one of the biggest components is color.

Color is a powerful design tool that has an impact on influencing emotion, mood and even physiological reactions. Specific colors can make us feel warm, relaxed, nervous or calm. As such, the color choices in your dental office design can affect not only your patients, but your staff as well.

Dental office design with sky blue dental chair

While there are many nuances to consider, from hue and tint to tone and shade, here’s a general overview of what color psychologists say different colors communicate:

Blue – Calm and tranquil. Blue is said to bring down blood pressure and is a soothing, relaxing and serene color. Dark blues convey tradition, loyalty and reliability. Blue is a favorite color globally.

Brown – Earthy, rich and inviting. Brown feels natural, robust and cozy, encouraging people to slow down and relax. A rich brown hue invokes a sense of intimacy and togetherness. Brown is also a color that works well with mixed textures.

Gray – Calm, sophisticated and serene. Some consider it a bit too serious, but gray symbolizes strength, and serves as an ideal neutral backdrop for brighter accents.

Green – Relaxing, restorative and restful for the eyes. Green takes us back to nature and evokes tranquility. It is believed to relieve stress, making it a good choice for medical facilities, schools and offices.

Orange – Evokes excitement, adventure and enthusiasm. Orange stimulates the appetite and increases energy. It’s considered a welcoming color for entryways.

Purple – Regal, eccentric and mysterious. In its darkest values, purple is dramatic, sophisticated and creative. Lighter shades, such as pale lilac, are considered restful and uplifting.

Red – Packs a punch and increases adrenalin. Red is a good choice if you want to stir up excitement or increase blood pressure, appetite or passion. That makes it great for a restaurant; not so much for a dental operatory.

Yellow – Cheery, uplifting and energizing. Physiologically, yellow stimulates the mind and increases the analytical processes. While an attention-getter for dark hallways, too much yellow can produce feelings of frustration.

How do you choose a color for your dental office design?

Many interior designers recommend selecting one color from the largest pattern in the space, such as a painting. Others suggest taking a cue from the colors you personally like to wear. And of course, consider the things that inspire you and bring you joy. Whether it’s spring meadow green from your favorite hiking photo or an azure blue that reminds you of tropical vacation waters, color can create a space that reflects your style… and feels just right.

Want to explore your options before you choose? Visit A-dec's upholstery color sample ordering tool to see a wide range of operatory colors.