When this suburban hospital was conceived in 1970, it was state-of-the-art as a women's hospital. Over the course of 30 years, numerous renovations were done, but many without professional guidance. Looking too much like a small-town hospital because of lack of planning or previous interior designer involvement, the hospital was on the decline.

NB Interiors, Inc.

The seating area in the original lobby was undefined and appeared to be part of a corridor, with cold and uninviting colors. To make the most of difficult building constraints, the lowered ceiling and large columns were incorporated into the new design to create an intimate seating area. The New Orleans-style windows and architectural wall detailing create a homelike atmosphere. Wood flooring and traditional elements, such as moldings and mullioned windows, appeal to the broader audience that this hospital hopes to attract.

The administration areas, including admissions, accounting, and a cashier and business office, as well as a new executive boardroom, were reworked utilizing many existing walls. The new layout of the boardroom, previously square with an oblong, doughnut-shaped table, now has a dignified and more impressive appearance when presented to new doctors.

Colors were selected to offer a warm, inviting atmosphere. Use of natural motifs of leaves, trees, floral artwork, and leaf-patterned carpets psychologically provide a relaxing tone to the facility. The playful mix of patterns and an up-to-date palette of earth tones attract a younger clientele, including patients receiving the hospital's well-known new-mother care services.

Project category: Remodel/Renovation (completed February 2003)

Chief administrator: Shirley Stewart, Chief Administrative Officer, (504) 780-6500

Firm: NB Interiors, Inc., (504) 831-2668

Design team: Nancy Bounds, ASID, Senior Interior Designer; Millie Dardar, Senior Interior Designer

Photography: NB Interiors, Inc.; Joe Bergeron

Total building area (sq. ft.): 30,000

Construction cost/sq. ft.: $13

Total cost (excluding land): $400,000