This mix of aquatic earth tones incorporates a series of blues and greens to build tone-on-tone layering that offers contrast and visual depth, Martinez says. Mixing warm and cool hues of blue and green make the space feel warm and comfortable. (Animal Surgical Clinic of Seattle)
Primary color choices, including red, blue, and yellow, play particularly well in high-activity areas, Martinez says. They’re bold and dramatic. “We often identify these playful colors with children—and you see these choices often with animals, too,” she says. (NorthStar VETS)
Both men and women should find this mix of neutral earth tones pleasing, and the balance reduces inherent contrast between dark and light colors. Earth tones are also relatively timeless, rather than being a trendy color choice. So they won’t age in the same way a mauve pink or powder blue did in the 1980s. (PetCare Veterinary Hospital)
Everyone responds to color, so the choices you make will affect your team as they work every day and your clients' impressions of their practice visit. You clearly want to develop spaces that everyone will find comfortable, regardless of their gender or age, says veterinary architect Wendy Wheeler Martinez. And you need to consider your practice type and what image you want to project.
For example, pink is perhaps too feminine to appeal to male clients; brown is more masculine. "A combination of the two could be nice as accent colors to a neutral backdrop and would be more likely to appeal to your entire clientele," she says.
A bold, bright color, when used sparingly and balanced with neutrals can provide an uplifting atmosphere. You might consider a choice like that for a cancer treatment specialty center. "Of course, you want your environment to remain professional, but, at the same time, that doesn't mean you need to project an image that's somber or bland," she says.
Photos courtesy of Cammie Owen, Hugh Loomis; Dan Hedden, Daniel Hedden Photography; Tim Murphy, Foto Imagery Ltd.