6 Waiting Room Ideas to Create a Relaxing Environment

Estimated Read Time: 6 minutes

Is your waiting room optimized for relaxation and stress reduction?

Patients are often anxious when they arrive and there isn’t much time to put them at ease. This is extra crucial in dentist offices and healthcare facilities, where a well-designed waiting room can significantly improve the quality of care.

In this post, we’ll explore creative and practical waiting room ideas for dentists and healthcare facilities!

Decorating Your Waiting Room

You can probably think of many decorative ideas for your space.

Of those options, which will be the most beneficial to your patients?

Will they promote a calming ambiance or contribute to a stressful one?

Are these decorations for viewing purposes only, or do they offer more than meets the eye?

Keep those thoughts in mind while you read our 6 tips to get the most out of your waiting room!

1. Soothing Colors and Natural Elements

waiting room with a fireplace, comfy chair, and a serenity aquarium

One of the key elements for a calming atmosphere is the choice of colors.

Soft, neutral tones like pale blues, greens, or earthy tones like beige are excellent options.

These colors evoke a sense of tranquility and help reduce anxiety in patients.

Also, consider incorporating biophilic design elements like green plants, colorful flowers, and indoor water features.

This waiting room decor adds visual appeal and contributes to a soothing, healing ambiance.

2. Comfortable Seating Arrangements

comfy chair and sofa in a modern waiting room

Comfortable seating is crucial in waiting room decor, as some patients may spend most of their time there.

Moreover, longer wait times can heavily influence a patient’s perception of the quality of care.

Consider choosing ergonomic chairs with supportive cushions and armrests.

Also consider various seating options, like individual chairs, sofas, and some creative options like bean bag chairs.

Ample seating choices are important because an older gentleman may never dream of sitting in a bean bag chair, but a child may prefer that seat to anywhere in the building.

3. Calming Artwork and Decorative Accents

corner of a waiting room with wall decor and comforting decorative accents

Create a visually appealing waiting room with artwork and decorative accents.

Hang artwork that reflects a calming theme, like pictures of serene landscapes, pictures drawn by local students, satisfying sculptures, etc.

Abstract art is also a popular waiting room decor idea, but be careful when implementing it. Data has shown that abstract art can be overwhelming for some and can even cause feelings of fear, anxiety, and stress.

Landscapes, on the other hand, are comforting by nature and easy for the brain to grasp.

4. Engaging and Living Decor

Serenity aquarium in a medical waiting room

Use your waiting room decor to create an engaging, time-passing experience.

Consider incorporating decor and activities like:

  • Informative posters
  • Magazines covering a variety of topics
  • An area with toys for children
  • Coloring books and card games
  • TVs broadcasting popular channels

But maybe you’re looking for a more therapeutic experience.

Consider a fish tank or bird aviary!

Studies show that watching fish can lower stress and even increase pain tolerance for patients.

Additionally, observing birds can also lower stress, induce relaxation, and improve mental wellbeing!

At Serenity, we offer fish tanks and bird aviaries for healthcare facilities.

We also offer an extensive cleaning service to maintain the displays for our clients!

Interested in an aquarium or aviary for your waiting room?

5. Thoughtful Lighting Choices

well lit waiting room with open windows, warm lighting, and a serenity aquarium

The proper lighting promotes relaxation and creates a cozy and inviting atmosphere.

Avoid harsh, fluorescent lighting and strive for a soft, warm ambiance instead.

For the best results, use a combination of natural light, if available, and ambient lighting fixtures.

Dimmer switches can also be installed to adjust the lighting according to the time of day or specific needs.

6. Functional Layout

spacious waiting room with a serenity aquarium and a serenity aviary

While the colors of your decor are important, an organized and functional layout is essential.

Ensure ample space for patients to move freely and provide easily accessible seating.

Provide charging stations and Wi-Fi access so patients can use their cell phones, laptops, or tablets.

And keep in mind that in some cases, less decor is better. A well-decorated waiting room can elicit positive emotions, but a cluttered one may result in the opposite.


Creating a welcoming and relaxing waiting room is crucial to ensure a positive patient experience.

For a waiting room that puts patients at ease, strive for functionality and comfort first, like the seating, WI-FI availability, and entertainment options. Then, focus on the design aspects of colors, paintings, living displays, lighting, etc.

The waiting room is the first point of contact for patients, and a well-designed space can significantly impact the quality of care they will receive.