chiropractic front desk

Before a patient even meets you, or assess your skills as a doctor, they will be judging you by something else: your environment. The success of your practice is directly related to the quality of your space. The lobby is the first impression of the environment you have created.

There is no magic formula for developing an ideal lobby space. Sure you can spend a ton of money on fancy chairs, or adjust the lighting “just so” but there are a few important things that you may not have thought of.

Build an efficient and effective floor plan and flow

Form follows function. Like the alignment of a spine, your floor plan  affects the way you and your staff function in a space. The most important element of your space is efficiency and ease of use. It doesn’t matter how beautiful your cushioned chairs and sofas in the lobby are, if they impede movement or make the room feel crowded.

Click here to download 15 FREE Floor Plans that we have created for doctors like you.

Your space conveys a message of your practice and represents your image

Before deciding on the environment you want to portray, consider what services your practice will offer. Who is your target patient? Are your clients looking for a peaceful, zen atmosphere or a more clinical approach? Will you be selling products? Perhaps you’ll want an area to display them, connecting your company with exclusivity and style. Understanding your end goals will help you determine what culture you want to create and which then how to appeal to that audience.

View our portfolio to get ideas for the look of the space you will create.

Creating a culture effects the behavior and feelings of your client

Your chiropractic office represents you, so think of how you want your patients to perceive you. Do you want to appear prosperous? High-end? Warm, caring, and gentle? Or expert and clinical? Also, consider how your space impacts client behavior. If you plan to have a high volume practice, for example, you may not want to give your patients “hang out for a while” comfort because you could end up with a crowded lobby.

Your space will speak volumes before your patient even meets you personally and can impact the tone for their entire experience. Before you start considering your culture, contemplate the history of your patients and what they will expect. Consider your own theory of chiropractic wellness delivery and how you want to express that in your culture.

To illustrate the concept of creating a culture, let’s explore two contrasting mega corporations: Starbucks and Walmart.


Starbucks created a cultural phenomenon. Unlike fast food restaurants, which are designed for dozens of customers to come, spend a few bucks, and leave quickly, Starbucks changed the mold. They built small, cozy areas where people could come, spend only five or six bucks a person, and stay for hours.

Starbucks created an environment that people wanted to hang out in. Everything about their culture says: Linger. Congregate. Read, write, and relax with friends. I still meet with chiropractors every day who say, “I want my environment to feel like a Starbucks. I want it to feel comfortable, relaxed. I want people feel invited to just hang out.”

Each Starbucks makes different use of their space. They’re not all alike, but they do create the same culture. Culture isn’t about being cookie-cutter. It’s about creating the energy you want for your business.


Not all cultures are the same, and very different environments still each serve a specific purpose. What do you think of when you walk into a Walmart? Everything feels inexpensive, not luxurious, and it certainly doesn’t give off the “Stay and hang out” vibe.

When you walk into a Walmart, do you think about what you wear or how you look? While people may feel out of place in a T-shirt and jeans at an extravagant restaurant, one appeal of Walmart culture is the acceptability of dressing down. Walmart is appealing to a culture that matches what they’re trying to do. Knowing this, it’s important to recognize your demographic and the culture you want to set up.

How CrossFields Can Help

There are a lot of competitors out there. How are you going to differentiate yourself? Schedule your Complimentary Consultation to learn how we can bring your ideal enviroment and vision to life!

Carolyn Boldt

With over 30 years of experience, Carolyn has gained complete understanding of every aspect of the commercial interior industry. Her experience includes turnkey, full-service architectural interior design; extensive program development studies (PDS), feasibility studies, design programs , planning studies and space planning; development of facility standards and master plans; creative impact statements for retail, hospitality and corporate; graphic identity packages; sustainable design; as well as complete facility start-ups and relocation management.

She has a Bachelors of Science – Interior Design, University of Texas at Austin, 1980, is a Registered Designer, a LEED Accredited Professional, NCIDQ Certified, and Professional Member of IIDA/International Interior Design Association and GAIDP/Georgia Association of Professional Interior Designers.