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Enhance your space for next to nothing

May 20, 2015
by Julia Brown, Associate Editor
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According to BWBR Architects, in St. Paul, Minn., you can enhance a behavioral space for virtually nothing.

De-clutter work spaces: Sticky notes, piled-up papers, makeshift labels on drawers and stray holiday decorations are all examples of day-to-day, often unnecessary items that can create visual noise for patients. Clearing the clutter is an easy way to make a space less chaotic and more therapeutic. Another tip from BWBR is to bundle or secure any long or stray electrical chords, which will also minimize risk of trip-and-fall accidents.  

Clean and fix up the easy stuff: Patching cracked walls, damaged corners, torn upholstery, grimy armrests and broken chairs can go a long way. Regular cleaning will even help address the dreaded “hospital smell.” 

Reduce noise: Noise often causes stress and raises tension among patients in crisis. Although some sounds are unavoidable, BWBR says ringing phones, overhead paging, noisy mechanical systems, slamming doors, televisions and loud talkers can be managed. Consider reducing volumes, implementing door stoppers, and posting signs that encourage quiet voices.