Over the years, hospital aesthetics have drastically changed. Where they were previously very clinical, cold and uninviting, the industry as a whole has identified the benefits of using bright colours, contemporary designs and comfortable furnishings to reduce anxiety that can surface when visiting hospital settings.
With this in mind, it’s important that furniture in hospitals is considered from every aspect. It must look inviting, be comfortable and serve a purpose and often, some of these considerations are overlooked. Read on to see the common mistakes we have seen when facilities invest in furniture.
When looking for a piece of furniture it’s imperative to identify the specifications. Ask yourself where will it be housed? Who will it be used by? What is the main functionality of the product? It’s important not to overlook user needs and end up with an item that might look great but does not meet the demands and purpose required of it. Considering most healthcare furniture applications will need to be used by individuals of all ages, sizes and abilities, it is imperative that any furniture selected can accommodate the needs of these people practically while providing an attractive and dignified environment.
Choosing price over value
Finding the balance between a good price and good value is something every industry comes across. Wanting the best cost but not compromising on the quality of the product can make sourcing furniture stressful, however there should be a sweet spot where the items you purchase cover these bases. Sometimes it may mean spending a little more to guarantee the quality is up to standard, but in a facility where people’s health is at the centre point this needs to take priority.
With healthcare settings evolving and adapting the way they have to become warmer, more inviting places, it’s important that the furniture complements this. Warm colours, soft seating and curved angles all give a friendlier approach than cool tones, hard seating and harsh corners. Keeping this in mind is something that will help create an inviting impression, but keep in mind ergonomic designs will always be critical in healthcare, no matter what the furniture looks like.
Selecting an attractive fabric is important but can be rendered useless if it doesn’t meet the needs of healthcare facilities. It’s essential that soft furniture is made using healthcare-grade materials so they can withstand strong cleaning solutions that eliminate pathogens and bacteria. Looking at upholstering in general too, opting for products which don’t have seams or gaps between cushions or arms can be a great feature for controlling the spread and harbouring of germs.
At Knightsbridge, we have helped thousands of architects and contractors specify furniture for every healthcare environment, in many cases designing and redesigning pieces alongside the specifier teams to ensuring the very best solutions and budgets are achieved.
What is something you think is overlooked when selecting hospital furniture? We would love to carry on the conversation on our social media @knightsbridgefurniture on Instagram, LinkedIn and Facebook.