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Gone are the days of walking into a doctor’s office and being met with uncomfortable plastic chairs and questionable gray carpets—the vibe shift has (finally) reached the health-care industry. From a first glance at the wavy chrome reception desk, it’s clear that Modern Age isn’t your typical physicians’ center and it’s not trying to be. Founded by Melissa Eamer, the studio’s mission is to help women take control of their aging, from their bones to their hormones. 

Madelynn Ringo (the brains behind Glossier’s and Studs’s perfectly Instagrammable spaces) was enlisted to design the brand’s first physical outpost in New York City’s Flatiron neighborhood. Her plan: layering materials that would make patients comfortable the second they arrive, including handmade terracotta tiles, chartreuse throw pillows, and not-so-prescription powder blue walls. And they’re not painted, they’re a plaster finish applied with a putty knife rather than a paintbrush. Traditionally only seen in beigey or off-white hues in the likes of farmhouses and historic European homes, the wall treatment brings warmth to a modern (and often intimidating) environment. “Every person has their own unique imperfections that you grow to love about yourself,” Ringo explains of her conceptual narrative.

The shade, Faded Flax Flower by Sherwin-Williams with a Portola Roman Clay finish, is a contemporary take on ubiquitous “health-care blue.” “We wanted to find a slightly different tone; translating the hues through natural materials as opposed to graphic colors,” Ringo says. Blue isn’t the only fresh option for textured walls, though—take a look at a few of our favorite experimental colors. 

Dark and Not Stormy

In this Todos Santos, Mexico, hotel, one of the guest bedrooms gets a graphic punch with a graphite-hued accent wall. Paired with coordinating black bedding, the moody shade reads cozy rather than claustrophobic. 

Pretty in Pink

In a playful Louisville, Kentucky, bathroom inspired by Greece, where plaster is everywhere, a pale pink version covers all four walls. “We didn’t want to overwhelm the senses, and we wanted it to have a feeling of serenity as well,” says designer Amanda Jacobs. 

Going Green

Soothing sage green, the It color of 2022, gets a textural twist on the curving walls of this Australian family home. The handcrafted strokes even help to disguise a hallway storage closet.