Therapy Office Décor and Budgeting

By Maureen Werrbach, LCPC on June 21, 2022

One aspect of starting a group practice that many folks don’t always consider up front is how to approach decorating your office space. There are so many other things to figure out—hiring employees or bringing on contractors, deciding whether your practice will accept insurance or not, getting your systems set up—so figuring out how you’ll decorate and budget for décor is overlooked.

While it’s inspiring to watch people post pictures of their gorgeous offices, it can also be intimidating. It can be tough to figure out your style and what your office space should look like as a group practice. It’s also hard to determine the financial investment for décor, especially if you have a whole suite of offices to furnish. It’s easy to set a budget, but sometimes it's difficult to stick to it and not use all the money on a few nice pieces. This isn’t something that just new practice owners have to deal with either, decorating decisions come up often as you expand into new spaces or rebrand your business, so this isn’t just a one-time task.

I am currently building out my fourth location right now, so I’ve had some opportunities to tweak my processes. One of the things that I do is set a budget per office room every time we move or grow. If you tend to be more budget-minded, it can be a game changer to set your budget per room instead of only looking at your overall décor budget. This strategy helps me stay more focused on what I’m spending so I don’t overspend. Once I decide the maximum amount per room that I’d like to spend, I can start pulling the pieces together, like furniture, lighting, artwork, and rugs.

When thinking about furnishing an office space, there are some things practice owners are willing to spend more on. Some folks prefer to have high-quality pieces in their office and others are more budget-focused and thrifty. Then there are the folks like me who are somewhere in the middle. I’ll splurge on certain items, but then I'll find less expensive ways to finish off each room and bring it all together.

However, the one thing that I will always splurge on is a good therapist chair. I find that since our staff is sitting all day long in the same chair, it matters to have a quality seat for them to use. Clients, on the other hand, are sitting for just an hour before they leave. So, while I want the client couches to be comfortable, I spend a little less on them knowing that they will likely need to be replaced more often than other pieces because so many folks will be using them. Clients are constantly sitting down and getting up, families sit on them,  and spills happen (you know how it goes), so it just makes more sense to buy an affordable couch.

Once you know which pieces you want to focus on most, you will then know what remaining pieces to purchase and what your leftover budget is. Our mission statement is to make wellness a down-to-earth practice, so our office very much fits that vibe. It becomes kind of a game to me to find the thriftier pieces that will go with the rest of our décor. There are a lot of creative ways to approach decorating and it can be fun to display your artistic side.

Typically, we budget around $2,000 per room for décor at my practice. Like I mentioned, setting the budget per room at the start of the process helps me stay within or under budget, so I don’t feel like I’ve gone off the deep end financially at the end of the process.

Decorating can feel overwhelming for a lot of people, especially if decorating or interior design isn't your cup of tea, but I find that having a go-to process helps to ease that anxiety.

* The content of this post is intended to serve as general advice and information. It is not to be taken as legal advice and may not account for all rules and regulations in every jurisdiction. For legal advice, please contact an attorney.

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