Many businesses have a reception area, and they want it to be inviting and set a specific tone. The reception area is what creates that initial first impression of your organization, and there are some critical components you want it to have.
From choosing the furniture for an office reception area to deciding on a layout, the following are some key things to keep in mind.
Decide On A Mood
When you’re initially thinking about the design or the redesign of a reception area, waiting for area or lobby of a business, you want to think about a general mood you’re trying to create. This mood should be in-line with your businesses’ overall brand.
Some of the general moods you might go with include:
- Warm and comfortable: if you go with this option, it’s all about making people who visit your business feel welcome. You’re not trying to give off a feeling of anything other than being inviting and calming. You’ll see companies such as lawyers’ offices often going with this route because when people go to these types of businesses, they tend to be nervous.
- Tranquil: Tranquil isn’t the same as warm and comfortable. Tranquil tends to have a minimalist atmosphere, and it can be useful if your business is focused on the environment and sustainability because it often incorporates natural features such as live greenery or water features.
- Prestigious: If you have very high-end clients, you might want something that feels elevated and luxurious. You might wish to the people who come to your office to contact as if they are VIP.
- Bright and energetic: An intelligent, creative, and dynamic reception area works well for modern businesses such as tech companies and other organizations focused on innovation.
Once you have an overall mood you’re trying to achieve, then you can start considering more of the design details for your reception area.
Some of the significant, overarching components of reception design you need to think about include:
- The seating: Is there enough seating for the number of people who could be waiting in a reception area at any given time? Is it comfortable and inviting, and will it suit the needs of the people who are most likely to be visiting your business? Are the furnishings durable and easy-to-clean as well?
- Receptionist seating: If you have a receptionist you will have to think about the desk that person will sit at, how their work items will be kept looking tidy even when they have paperwork and other things to store, and will there be a way for your receptionist to have privacy if necessary?
- Color palette: Your color palette is going to be based quite a bit on the mood you want to achieve. You want to make sure your colors are timeless, and they’re not going to go out of style quickly.
Other things you’ll have to consider include the lighting and accessories you’ll use, as well as whether or not you’ll have technology such as a wall-mounted TV.
Choosing The Seating
This was touched on above, but perhaps the most important things you’ll have to decide to choose when designing a reception area is the seating. You want seating that is going to look professional but also aesthetically pleasing.
You need to think about the busiest day your business may have at any given time and include seating that will theoretically accommodate that day.
While you need enough seating, you also want to make sure that it doesn’t feel cramped or crowded and that your furniture isn’t going to block the flow of traffic in the space.
You need to think about comfort with the seating and accommodating clients of different sizes.
Upholstery is important too. You want to choose upholstery with a tight weave because that tends to last longest. Engineered and combination fabrics are often a good bet in waiting and reception areas.
Finally, when you’re in the process of designing a reception area, you want to avoid a few things.
First, you never want to leave room for confusion. You want to have signs and design solutions that help people coming to your office to understand what they need to do and where they need to go. This might include helping not only clients but other people who come to your office, such as delivery people.
You should also avoid anything that could be intimidating for visitors, particularly if you have a vast space. A large reception area can be extremely overwhelming, so in your design, think about user-friendliness.