As the front of your business, your reception area can be incredibly telling. After all, it is the first room that your clients, customers and employees will see, so it’s important that it leaves a favourable impression and sends out the right message. With that in mind, if your front of house is looking dull and worn out, now might be the time for a revamp. However, with so many design elements to consider - from comfort, to style, to practicality - it can be difficult to know where to start. Luckily, help is at hand. Here are five design tips that will transform your reception.
- Plan your layout carefully
As the entrance and exit of your building, your reception is likely to be one of the most used areas of your office. To make the most of the space on offer, you will need to give the layout some careful consideration. Your reception desk should be the focal point of the room and it must be clearly identified so that it is easy for visitors to find. Ideally, it should also be facing the seating area to allow for easy communication. It is also important to make sure there is enough space between the chairs and that they are positioned away from the door so that your guests are as comfortable as possible when waiting for their appointments. You also need to establish a clear walkway to accommodate for the constant flow of traffic and ensure there is enough space for deliveries.
Storage is another issue to consider, as it can help to maximise the square footage available and keep your reception looking neat and organised. To avoid cluttering the room with too much furniture, desks with integrated storage compartments are a great space saving option and can be used to keep office supplies out of sight. If you are struggling to plan your space, you may want to consider using modular reception desks and seating options that can be arranged in a number of configurations to suit the layout of your room.
- Invest in comfortable seating
Another essential design element is the seating area. Whether you’re interviewing potential employees or hosting a meeting with your clients, your choice of seating can have a significant impact on people’s experience of your office. After all, the last thing you want is for your visitors to have to wait around for their appointment without anywhere comfortable to sit. To make your guests feel instantly relaxed, provide a selection of high-quality, ergonomically designed chairs. You may decide to opt for a mixture of cushioned armchairs and plush sofas, and if the room is lacking in square footage, you could opt for space-saving stackable chairs. It is also worth having a few extra visitor chairs on hand for when you have a large number of visitors and need some extra seating.
- Use branding
Your reception area provides the perfect opportunity to showcase your company’s personality. When designing the space, think carefully about the message you want to send out. What is the story behind your business? What are your core values? Use the answers to these questions to guide your design choices. Everything within the space should reflect who you are as a firm and communicate a clear brand image. Even the colours of the walls and the choice of furnishings can be used to reinforce your company culture and set the tone for the rest of your office. For example, if you are a young, creative business, choosing innovative furniture designs and bright colour schemes can help to convey a sense of fun and high energy. Alternatively, if you are a more traditional business, classic wooden desks and leather seats could be more fitting.
The reception area is also the perfect place to show off your achievements as a business. Hanging framed certificates or pictures of projects you are proud of can help to give the space some personality while projecting an air of success.
- Don’t opt for style over substance
While you will no doubt want your reception area to look the part, it is important to take practical considerations into account. It is surprising how many companies choose style over substance when it comes to decorating their workspaces, and this can prove to be a costly mistake. After all, when you consider how many people pass through the area every single day, this part of your premises is bound to endure a lot of wear and tear. With that in mind, it is a good idea to opt for hard wearing, easy to clean materials if you want your reception area to stand the test of time. Plastic and leather upholstery are among the most practical options, and you can also get chairs and tables with rubber feet for added floor protection. By buying high-quality fittings and furnishings now, you won’t have to worry about forking out for another refurbishment a few years down the line.
- Don’t overlook the smaller details
When it comes to making your guests and visitors feel welcome, the finer details can make all the difference. For example, providing a selection of relevant industry magazines for your visitors to flick through while they wait can create a good impression and make them feel at ease. Having a drinks cooler, coffee machine and offering complimentary snacks can also be a nice touch and it will keep your guests refreshed. Even small decorative details like artwork, coat racks and a few plants can go a long way towards giving your reception a friendly, welcoming feel. It is also important to make sure the room is well lit and ventilated for maximum comfort.
At Furniture At Work™, we understand how important it is to have a well designed reception. While it is not always easy to get the design spot on, by following simple suggestions like these, you stand a much better chance of succeeding. Browse our website further and take a look at the range of stylish and practical reception furniture we offer.