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The Optical. Co
Columbus, OH

Here’s a practice that understands that the coherent aesthetic you’ve developed for your showpiece optical doesn’t have to end at the door to the exam lane. Explains owner Dr. Craig Miller, “The custom designed Baltic birch paneled wall in the exam room was designed with two purposes in mind. One, we needed the wall to, in essence, ‘glow’ to provide subtle lighting during an exam, while at the same time create a piece of art that captures your attention as soon as you walk into the room.” The jigsaw wall is the piece de resistance here.


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Todd Rogers Eyewear
Andover, MA

“If you poke a small emotion inside someone … they are going to remember you.” Owner Todd Rogers Berberian was talking about his marketing strategy, but he could’ve been talking about the exam lane at Todd Rogers; a room that carries on the feeling that you first get when you walk in the practice’s front door: that you’re being told a story. This is a place that conveys charm and authenticity through details; in fact many of the cool little touches around the place come with their own museum-like place cards telling you where they came from. In short, the exam room at Todd Rogers, combining fancy tech with cheeky touches — whether it’s the giant blue hand-shaped seat or the retro, wall-sized chart of the functions of the eye — demonstrates that the medical side of your practice can have personality.


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Eye Care Center of Colorado Springs
Colorado Springs, CO

After nearly 20 years in its first location, Eye Care Center Of Colorado Springs decided it was time to move, mainly because it wanted to add more exam lanes, but owner/optometrists Sara Whitney and Reed Bro didn’t like the medical buildings they were being shown. The practice now occupies a historic building dating to 1902. It was first used as a commercial carriage house and a number of original fixtures were preserved, including the original 12-foot sliding barn doors, which now serve to separate the business’s retail and clinical spaces — a brilliant touch that manages to preserve the heritage of the site while conveying, along with the exposed brick, salvaged wood and other chic finishes, a sense of style that’s industrial but never clinical.


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Eye Care Center of Colorado Springs
Colorado Springs, CO

The entrance to the exam area shows the strong design ethos of the business that’s classic and industrial, and the farthest thing from clinical.


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Ziegler Leffingwell Eyecare
New Berlin, WI

For their exam rooms, Ziegler Leffingwell selected six iconic sites from Milwaukee and had full sized wall murals made for each. The murals are duplicated on plaques outside the exam rooms, and each room is named for that specific Milwaukee landmark. “The images were custom colored to match our interior colors,” explains co-owner Dr. Dave Ziegler. It’s the kind of touch you’d expect from a practice that dispenses eyewear in branded cloth shopping bags with a case that is personalized with the patient’s name embossed on it and a piece of Ghirardelli chocolate. But it’s the unique chair time that folks really seem to remember. “The themed exam rooms are the most talked about feature by our patients,” Ziegler says.


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Spring Hill Eyecare
Spring Hill, TN

Spring Hill Eyecare is adorned throughout with artifacts reclaimed from an 1870 farmhouse originally on the property, or found elsewhere. Many of these have found their way into the exam rooms, each of which is themed: travel, garage (the practice’s logo painted on a 1940s truck door), trains (working light and crossing signs); music (with 100-year-old instruments), science lab (microscopes and periodic tables). The dry eye treatment center is named ‘The Greenhouse’ after an actual one on the original property. “We decorated it with all the rusty tools we found in the old greenhouse,” says owner Rob Szeliga, OD.

Swell Vision Center
Leland, NC

According to its owner, Dr. Craig Scibal, his office was designed so that somebody would come in and feel at home — not at a doctor’s office. Using a lot of neutral colors, polished concrete, metal and brick, the office design relays a relaxed and professional atmosphere.


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Swell Vision Center
Leland, NC

The idea, owner Dr. Craig Scibal says, is that from the moment a patient calls the practice, they start to wonder if they are even talking to a doctor’s office. “With questions like, ‘What would you like to drink upon your arrival — water/beer/wine/soda/tea/coffee?’ to ‘Are you cool with dogs?’ to ‘What kind of music do you like?’ the patient realizes this isn’t just another office. The area outside the practice’s exam rooms emphasizes this approach.


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Wink Family Eye Care of SLP
St. Louis Park, MN

This compact exam room stands out for its well-organized fixtures as well as the usage of Wink’s signature brand color — lime green. The store’s cool feel, sleek materials and careful, efficient use of space offer a lesson in how to make the most of a smaller space. Says owner, Dr. Roman Gerber: “With our young hip demographic, we focused on a classier optical. The walls are lined with stinkwood and showcase our frame lines beautifully. We have a small, 1,000 square foot, flag-shaped space. We wanted to fit a pre-test room, exam room, office, and future edger without sacrificing our optical. Our architect worked tirelessly to fit all of these components and to allow a natural flow.”


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Eye Candy Optical Pinecrest
CLEVELAND, OH

In building their second location, owners Steve Nelson and Anton Syzdykov sought not to duplicate the success of the first, but to build on it. “We had built a store that could compete with the best New York, LA, London or Paris shops,” says Nelson. “Sadly, many industry people, neighbors, competitors said we would fail. The shop was ‘too funky, futuristic and weird’ for the Midwest. Fast forward to today; we are very successful and have opened a second location.” Incorporating their five years of experience, the new location takes the strengths of the first store to the next level with added creature comforts, a superior lab and the latest in exam-room gear.


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Eye Candy Optical Pinecrest
CLEVELAND, OH

Behind the center wall is a hallway that leads customers “back stage” where they find a first-class lounge with designer couch, bar seating and fridge with drinks and snacks. This area houses the state-of-the-art exam and pretest rooms, plus the “sexiest bathroom in optical with techno music and lights.”


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Clear Eye Associates + Optical
Fort Worth, TX

One fun detail of Clear Eye Associates is the inspiring eye slogans they use in many places around the business — including on the wall of their exam room. Dr. David Moore says it’s all part of creating a memorable experience for customers: “Our intent is to cater to people that want to feel special, where their time is valued, and their needs are met.”

9 Close-to-Perfect Exam Rooms for Opticians and Optometrists

9 Close-to-Perfect Exam Rooms for Opticians and Optometrists

Swell Vision Center
Leland, NC

According to its owner, Dr. Craig Scibal, his office was designed so that somebody would come in and feel at home — not at a doctor’s office. Using a lot of neutral colors, polished concrete, metal and brick, the office design relays a relaxed and professional atmosphere.