Your lobby or reception area is the first point of contact for your patients. Upon entering your office, patients should feel welcome and the seating area should be inviting. After checking in, patients should know where to sit on their own as well as feel comfortable in the space.
You may hear us say that the design of chiropractic offices is a blend of both healthcare and hospitality design. We want your patients to return and your lobby space can either encourage or discourage them from becoming repeat patients. The design elements used in hotels, restaurants, and retail stores are selected with specific purposes to affect how people feel about these environments.
The atmosphere of your lobby is often dictated by the furnishings you choose. Think of hotel lobbies. A boutique hotel or 5-star hotel often has larger chairs and sofas in interesting configurations and fabric patterns. You feel encouraged to lounge around, enjoy, and stay awhile. A budget hotel or chain usually has a few armless chairs in rows or even back-to-back, and they’re usually solid (boring) black. You don’t feel like hanging out there for a long period of time.
We are often asked, “how do I know what style/size chairs I should have in my lobby or reception area?” The type of chair is dependent on a few key factors. Your seating should reflect the type of your practice.
“I have a high volume practice. My patients don’t sit in the reception area long.”
“I would like my patients to feel comfortable in a chair that’s not too big but not too small.” (Goldilocks)
Medium-scale/dining room seating
“I want my patients to feel at home and feel like they can hang out all day.”
Large-scale/living room style seating
Sometimes, secondary seating is needed for overflow or other functions. Benches and ottomans are nice options that offer flexibility in seating, but aren’t usually the first choice because they don’t have the support of a chair with a back.
“I want an area for new patients and a different zone for existing patients.”
Mixed-style seating (standard chairs for new patients in lobby/hot seats for existing patients near adjusting)
“I need to be able to use my lobby for presentations and/or after-hours functions.”
Small-scale/high-density seating (especially light-weight stackable chairs for easy relocation and storage)
Once the exact function of your seating is determined, we at CrossFields can help you specify the style of the chairs, and then the details such as the colors, fabrics, and patterns that will again reinforce your image and help elevate your success.