The DHMC Quiet Room Mural: Our Environment’s Influence on How We Think and Feel
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Leandrea Henderson

Research surrounding the effects of aesthetics on the mind is pretty interesting. One University of Minnesota study demonstrates how our environment can contribute to high stress levels and low work productivity.

Yet, once we know this information, what can we do with it? Creating the perfect environments for living and working is at the core of what I do when creating murals and interior finishes.

When I was commissioned to complete a mural for the “Quiet Room” at Dartmouth Hitchcock, I wasn’t sure exactly what was needed until I did a bit of research. The room’s purpose was to provide patients who need a low-sensory environment an appropriate place within the busy Emergency Room.  

After doing some reading about psychology and clinical aspects of aesthetics, I got to work. I evaluated the furnishings and selected calm, muted colors, and developed a neutral composition of New England mountains and lakes. The result was a soft, realistic mural done in soothing violets, blues, and greens.

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