The design of a medical spa should be viewed as an important aspect of the market position and brand message of the business.
The starting point to a great medical spa design is to have a clear understanding of your mission, concept and program. This should then dictate all of the design elements within the spa. Remember that the interior design communicates your brand message on a very personal level, a level where clients are intimately interacting with your brand using their five senses.
In addition, the moment you attach the word spa to medical, as in “medspa” or “medical spa,” you build client expectations that need to be met through many facets of the brand, especially the design.
Communicating a brand is about taking the intangible and presenting it in a tangible form that can be perceived easily by your clients. And what better form than the interior design elements of color, texture and shapes?
But before you begin with the look and feel of your medical spa you need to adhere to the old adage: form follows function. To accomplish this you must clearly identify all of the functional areas of your medical spa, such as skin rejuvenation, laser hair removal, body treatments, body sculpting, retail, etc. After that is complete, take it to the next step and identify your sales forecast. Clearly you will build a medical spa with projected annual sales volume of $1 million very differently than one with projected annual sales volume of $3 million, even if the program is exactly the same. Your sales forecast will predict the number of treatment rooms and retail space needed to achieve the forecast.
Once that is complete, it is essential to identify the appropriate square footage for each resource identified. A typical treatment room in a spa ranges from 90 to 120 square feet. If you plan to have a laser in that room, it is essential to increase the size from 120 to 140 square feet.
Consult rooms need to be comfortable but feel cozy to achieve a sense of privacy and intimacy with the client; 90 to 110 square feet typically works and if you add diagnostic equipment to the room then add an additional 20 square feet.
Here is a review of the most common resource areas within a medical spa and a few helpful design tips for each:
Lighting: This is a critical component of any great design. Use lighting to provide visual impact with wall washing, sconces, up lights and more. Retail should be lit from the front with directional lights. Treatment rooms need to be appropriately lit with task lighting (lights to clean and to perform a medical procedure) and ambient lighting.
Waiting areas: Make these areas as private and comfortable as possible. Always include a refreshment area with a sideboard or built-in millwork to accommodate beverages and light food service. The area should be carpeted and strategic use of fabric as wall coverings or partitions helps dampen any noise. Floor and table lamps make for a comfortable, relaxed environment.
Treatment rooms: In a medical spa, clinical equals clean. An accent wall with complementary color tends to work well to draw your client into the room and provide dimension. Do not accessorize medical spa treatment rooms with plants, flowers or decorative objects. Wall art should not be medical charts and illustrations but prints that match the overall décor. It is critical to have sufficient air flow, since medical equipment can throw off excessive heat. Check the specs on all equipment to ensure the proper electrical requirements are met. A good rule of thumb is to wire each room with one 200-volt outlet.
Consultation room: This should be a place where private conversations can take place between a sales consultant and the client. Typically, a love seat and chair in this room works well accompanied by a side table and cocktail table. It’s important to have a sideboard with storage for information.
It is also important to have a flat-panel TV/video in the consult room. The floor should have carpet, and lighting should be inviting, using floor and table lamps to complement any necessary overhead lighting.
Retail: This area works best when adjacent to the reception area. Built-in shelves combined with freestanding units add interest and makes for a more interesting shopping experience. There should be no chairs in this area, because no one shops sitting down. The proper lighting of your retail area can increase sales by at least 20 percent, so it’s worth bringing in a lighting consultant, especially for this particular area of your medical spa.