Clients at Kelowna’s Okanagan Interventional Pain Clinic are not inclined to wait around. After all, referral usually only comes after a significant period of patient suffering, says Arlette Weyger of Ma Maison Interior Design. “If I could have found a way,” says the Begian-born designer,“ I would have forgone a waiting room altogether.” With that not an option, she has used her long family history in textiles, her experience as a successful European actor and her love of materials to fashion a softly mid-century-modern clinic, with waiting room/reception area, enlivened by colour and just a little bit of whimsy. The result, on a very modest budget, is a comfortable and engaging space, which also exudes, Weyger maintains, the patients’ desire for a “firm sense of action and change.”
The linear dimensions of the waiting room are softened by the strong curve of the reception desk topped by a thick Corian slab. Delicately embedded lamps scored from IKEA and refitted with custom silk shades sprout from its white surface. The space’s defining element, without a doubt, is Art & Deco Italia’s whimsical mid-century wallpaper: a full-wall seascape graphic of blue, orange and beige stripes populated by the single figure of a young boy watching an equally solitary sailboat. “I wanted that little bit of humour so often missing in modernism,” says Weyger.
Vibrant orange is also found in the upholstery of the waiting room’s banquette as well as in the many woolen acoustic panels found throughout the clinic. These panels, each a different variation of Mondrian-like collages of orange, blue and white geometric shapes, are intended to improve inherited acoustic challenges; but their colour and tactile qualities also ensure “a warm and cosy feeling to the clinic.” Orange works particularly well in Kelowna’s long grey months caused in part by the mist that continually rises from and lingers over Lake Okanagan, says Weyger: “Orange turns the dominant grey-hued light to a more appealing blue/grey.”
Through a series of simple and cost-conscious interventions, Wegyer provides a supporting hand to people who have already suffered too much. cI