6 Waiting Room Ideas to Create a Relaxing Environment

Estimated Read Time: 6 minutes

Arriving patients are often stressed, so clinics and dentists must provide a relaxing waiting room experience.

After all, a well-designed waiting room can make a significant difference in how patients perceive their quality of care.

In this post, we’ll explore some creative and practical waiting room ideas that cater to dentists’ and doctors’ offices.

How Should I Decorate My Waiting Room?

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

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

Will they help create a calming experience or a stressful one?

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

Here are 6 tips to help you get the most out of every inch of your waiting room.

1. Incorporate 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 such as 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 not only adds visual appeal but also 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 the majority of their time there.

Not only that, but 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 adding a variety of 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, such as paintings of natural scenes and pictures of serene landscapes.

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 patients 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. Implement Engaging 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 deploy a team of experts to clean and maintain them!

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 right lighting creates a cozy and inviting atmosphere, promoting relaxation for patients.

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 and styles of decor are important, an organized and functional layout is essential.

Ensure that there is ample space for patients to move around 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 dentist or doctor’s 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 your seating, WI-FI availability, and entertainment options. Then, focus on the mental aspects of colors, paintings, aquariums, lighting, etc.

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