Article Date: 8/1/2001

Office Design
The Office Without Exam Rooms
The main feature of this office is the open architecture examination module. Here, doctors and technicians work side-by-side for the ultimate in efficiency. Staff move freely between stations to reduce the need to shift patients from room to room. Equipment and supplies are pooled and accessible to everyone.
BY SHELDON H. KREDA, O.D., F.A.A.O., Lauderhill, Fla.

Coloring Time
Sheldon H. Kreda, O.D., F.A.A.O.

One of the most frequently asked questions I hear is, "What colors should I use in my office?" I usually suggest that the doctor pick colors he likes. This rarely satisfies those intent on choosing a color palette based on extensive scientific research and marketing analysis that's guaranteed to fuel positive subliminal undertones. Lighten up. Picking an attractive color scheme is no more difficult than dressing yourself for work.

Avoid too many colors. Two coordinated colors with a single accent color is plenty. Use color to project an image. It can bypass the intellect and work directly on emotions. Make color work for you by delivering your marketing message. Color schemes can say professional, high fashion or budget. Trendy colors can give you a cutting-edge look, but can go out of date quickly, so be prepared to redecorate often if this is your choice.

Select neutral colors such as grays and tans for cabinetry to prevent costly remodels when it comes time to update your look. Be daring with wallpaper and paints, which are easily renovated. Wood veneers are now in vogue, but may look dated as styles change. Refinish displays and cabinets rather than replace them when you want to update your look.

White and black are two colors that never seem to go out of style. Combine them with virtually any color to present a clean, updated look. Choices can have negative consequences. Wild combinations can look magnificent, but can put off more conservative patients.

Choose colors you like and don't think too much about it. My current office matches one of my favorite ties. Look through design magazines such as Architectural Digest. Take a field trip to the mall -- you'll see virtually every color combination. If a particular store in the mall evokes a feeling that you wish to convey within your practice, then you should copy that color scheme. Observe how other businesses use color and texture to convey their images. Banks and jewelry stores select fine woods and marbles to project an image of quality. Stores such as the Sharper Image use metallic finishes to create a high-tech look.

Muted colors, woods and leather create an atmosphere consistent with the professional image of doctors and attorneys. Glitzy colors such as red and yellow provide sizzle to convey a youthful, on-a-budget look. Primary color combinations of red, blue, yellow and green are ideal for pediatric specialties.

Just pick your favorite and copy it -- I guarantee you'll be showered with compliments. 



Elegant: Black + White ; White + White;  White + Natural Woods; Taupe + Mahogany + Gray Marble; Cherry Wood + Tan Walls + Gold Metal Trim; Green Marble + Mint Green Walls + Cherry Wood

Natural: Greens + Wood; Coral Stone + Almond + Wood; Taupe + Cream + Wood

Hi-Tech: Mint Green + Stainless Steel + Taupe; Black + Aluminum

High Fashion: Black + Blonde Wood; Light/Dark Wood Combination + Copper + Almond; Gray + White + Chrome; Red + Navy; Gold + Navy

Send your design questions to Dr. Kreda, c/o Optometric Management, 1300 Virginia Drive, Suite 400, Fort Washington, PA 19034. You can also fax them to (215) 643-3902 or e-mail them to

Optometric Management, Issue: August 2001