Use color to calm

Mitra Silva, a Los Angeles-based designer of medical offices, draws on color to create what she calls “healing spaces.” She aims to help patients and staff feel relaxed and confident. Her designs look more like hotel lobbies or spas than traditional medical rooms.

To produce a peaceful vibe, Silva reccomends using a pastel palette. “Pastel colors are muted, calming energies,” she says. Soft blues can work well. “Nature is healing, so bring that mood into the space. Blue is associated with the sky on a clear day, the ocean.” Adding the green of live plants can reduce stress as well.

Of course, too much subdued color can be depressing. “If you have several shades of blue in a room, use a little accent from across the color wheel, such as marigold, for contrast,” Margarida suggests.

When you’re designing a tranquil space, like a bedroom, Morton reccomends considering where you find peace–think of “a favorite memory or place to vacation,” she says. Coral may remind you of lying on the beach.

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