Reception desks

How to Create a Welcoming Reception Area

Table of Contents

First impressions count for everything, especially when it comes to your business. There is no second chance: what they see is what they remember.

Within just seconds of walking into a place of business, whether it’s a shop, an office or the reception area of an industrial unit, we all make our minds up in a flash as to what we think about a company. We’ll decide whether we trust it; whether we would like to do business with it, and whether we’d want to work for it.

This is precisely why it’s vital to make sure your company’s reception area is geared towards making that all-important positive first impression.

There is so much you can do. Bowls of sweets are great, as is a comfy sofa, but there is so much more to creating the perfect reception area. Here we take a look at a variety of ideas you can explore in your quest to make an impression that lasts for all the right reasons, all of which can be adapted to your individual budget and space.

Furniture First

If you can get it right with your choice of reception furniture, you will be well on your way to creating the perfect welcome area for your visitors.

Reception Layout

Layout is king with any reception area. It really does pay to spend time planning how you can make best use of your space. You’ll need to consider things like the placement of the main reception desk. When a visitor comes through your door, they’ll want to see a smiling face to welcome them as soon as possible. If someone needs to look around and try and work out where it is they are supposed to check-in, they will be on the back foot from the off. So be sure to place the reception desk in such a way that a visitor instantly sees where they need to be.

Reception Storage

Another incredibly important consideration when choosing reception furniture is storage. Many waiting room and reception desks come with built-in storage solutions, and there will be matching cabinets too that will provide the space to keep everything your reception staff need to hand: all neatly hidden away so that the welcome area doesn’t appear cluttered. Conduct a storage audit before you make any decisions on your furniture so you are in the know about precisely what you need space and access wise.

Working Space

It is always important to consult with your reception staff when designing your new reception area. They are, after all, the people who will be using the newly refurbished space. Gather opinions on the likes of required space for the ultimate in efficient working and the clear surface area needed to deal with paperwork. Discuss the important issue of ergonomics: staff must be comfortable at all times and their workspace must fall in line with safe and healthy working. If your staff feel they would like the option to both stand and sit during their working day, seek out options that will allow for this: it is certainly possible. But do think about eye-lines and how this will work with your visitors. Also be sure to incorporate ample and well-placed power and tech points.


Under the Equality Act 2010, you must make all areas of your workspace accessible for people of all abilities. This means incorporating wheelchair friendly areas into your reception set-up. There is ample choice when it comes to wheelchair friendly reception desks, and you should also consider routes of passage for visitors from your reception area to other parts of your premises. Automated entry systems fitted to doorways are a great help to anyone who finds it challenging to push or pull a door open for themselves. It’s far more dignified than having to ask for help.

Visual Appeal

Functionality is of course important, but the way your reception area actually looks is a major consideration. Your choice of finish will depend upon the type of visitors you have and what it is your company does. For example, if you tend to deal with a high-end clientele or work in an industry where image is everything, it’s likely you’ll be drawn to something visually striking, such as Italian reception furniture. If on the other hand your customers are more the traditional type, you may be more inclined towards a sophisticated wood-veneered finish. The stunning Laser range for example could be just the ticket, with finish options including cherry, oak, walnut, wenge and birdseye maple. This particular range can be embellished with an optional company logo too.

So there you have it with your considerations for the furniture side of your reception design. If needs be, call in an expert interior designer to help you get the very best out of the space you have. It really does pay dividends to invest in getting it right from the start.

What else to consider?

Now let’s take a look at a few other factors to consider when planning out your new reception area.


Good lighting choices are essential. On the one hand, a dark, dingy reception area will never offer the right welcome. However, go overly bright and you may dazzle your visitors to the point where they feel they are under the spotlight. Be sure to cast light into dark areas where visitors sit to read your literature, and highlight focal areas such as logos and wall art. Choose lighting that not only serves a purpose, but that looks great too, and is easy to maintain.


Use technology to your advantage. Think about providing charging stations for your visitors to use while they wait. It’s a helpful addition to any reception area. A TV screen on the wall set to a news channel shows you’re up to date with current affairs, or you could use it to run promotional videos or inspirational imagery. A digital check-in system is a great idea for data collection. It shows you are an up to date company embracing technology, and it saves receptionists’ time too.

Branding and Literature

Never miss an opportunity to promote brand presence. A reception area is the ideal place to share your branding through things like giveaway pens, notebooks and sweets. Be sure to create literature display areas and keep them well-stocked with brochures and information guides.


A water cooler or hot drinks dispenser helps visitors feel at home and keeps them refreshed while they wait, not to mention ready for their interview or meeting after their journey. A chiller cabinet with bottles of water or juice is a good alternative.

Create Reception Perfection with the help of ADD office

ADD office supplies a range of reception furniture including a variety of desks, storage and seating. If you are seeking tailored advice on choosing reception furniture that perfectly suits your requirements, why not give us a call or drop us a line? We’re here to help and look forward to hearing from you.