I’m sitting in a medical waiting room looking at a boring picture/photograph from 1974. It’s a nice scene of a sailboat with a lighthouse probably from Lake Michigan or something. But it’s seriously faded and has that generic waiting room look. Boring.
On the other wall is a dated and very faded watercolor print of something that I’m sure looked like a plant at some point. I saw a similar print one time in some
cheap hotel somewhere on the Gulf Coast. It was the kind of hotel where they paint the walls to give everything that tropical touristy look. I confess it didn’t make the scrambled powdered eggs and chewy waffles taste any better.
I’m almost desperate now for some form of visual satisfaction as I scan the room for anything, any visual comfort other than the fact that some guy is hacking up his lungs and I know at least I’m not that sick. So, what do my weary eyes rest upon? Why, it’s a fake bronze picture of an Indian Elephant complete with trunk, tusks, and an awful old patina. You know the kind. You find them in every asian buffet or greasy spoon noodle shop. I can’t help but wonder why?…
Now, I don’t expect my doctor to have the latest prints off the wall from the National Gallery. I need a great doctor, not an interior decorator. That being said, 70’s New England, 80’s tropical and some unknown asian noodle shop elephant patina thingy. Really? This is decor? This waiting room is on life support hooked up to that mysterious machine going Bing…Bing… Bing…
I get it, why should a doctor spend money on art? Honestly, it’s a simple matter of holistic care. Good art makes people feel good. It shows confidence and style. Old out-of-place art on your waiting room wall doesn’t tell people you’re a traditional experienced doctor that’s been in business successfully so long the art has faded. No, it says, your outdated and tired. If your art is still displaying the decaying remains of some glory year past, what is that going to say about your practice?
The second is pick a theme that inspires. Follow that theme by adding artwork that match your taste and budget. If you want a classical look then look to Black and White prints in a nice frame. If you are looking for more color and a more modern edge, going to the metal or acrylic prints is a wise strategy. Whatever suites your needs best.
With a little investment, you will make a boring and depressing patient waiting room into a vibrant classy room that inspires your patients, and subconsciously tells them their physician is on the cutting edge.