Clichés abound when it comes to first impressions, but there’s a grain of truth in there. People form opinions the moment they see — and experience — your business’s reception area. From visual appeal and comfort to function and technology, an effective reception design is both welcoming and comforting — and sets the tone for what is beyond: the heart of your business.
What Makes an Effective Reception Desk Design?
Where does a useful and aesthetically reception desk area design begin? The anchor is the reception desk.
What words describe your ideal office and reception spaces? Your reception desk should reflect your brand aesthetic. Are you going for elegant, sleek, warm, rustic or classic? Consider a reception desk that elevates the space and embodies your brand.
There’s more to reception desks than beauty. Design should never interrupt operation. A marriage of form and utility allows your front office staff to carry out multiple tasks by both supporting workflow and making that workflow seem effortless to your guests. Depending on the nature of your business, your reception staff might be welcoming visitors, taking calls, booking appointments, processing payments, offering customer support or performing administrative tasks. Maybe your reception area flows into your business space, and the desk also serves as a workstation.
Does your business have a dress code? Your reception desk should. Storage options should be sufficient to contain necessary documents and materials without creating clutter. Cord management should accommodate power cables and wired connections without exposing them to guests.
Your reception area design speaks volumes about your corporate culture in subtle ways. Is the front office staff comfortable? Does the reception furniture reflect your concern for employee health and happiness? Alternatives to the traditional desk and chair, such as counters with stools or standing desks, suggest a modern sensibility and tell your visitors you think outside the box.
How Can You Enhance Your Reception Desk Design?
Environmental graphic design — sometimes referred to as experiential graphic design — incorporates interior, architectural and industrial design to affect how people navigate, interact with, and feel when they are in your space. Color, sound, and texture all affect the human experience.
Your reception desk design plans should take audio visual (AV) installations and other technological elements into consideration. An LED infotainment display or large-scale video wall offers a vast range of options and adds drama to your space. Murals, wall graphics, wayfinding and digital signage can create a dynamic and engaging physical space. While looking at your AV and technological options, don’t forget to plan for the necessities that provide courtesy and professional polish, such as sound diminishing and visual masking.
Bring nature into your space! It’s okay to think beyond the tired image of the potted plant tucked into a corner. Add interest, appeal and health benefits with succulents in terrariums, floral arrangements or wall gardens if your space allows. From desktop fountains to wall cascades, aquatic features are always a crowd-pleaser.
10 Trends in Reception Area Design
Not every reception design trend will work for every business, nor will every trend give your space evergreen appeal (that’s why they call them trends), but there’s nothing wrong with drawing inspiration from what’s hot in the moment. Here are 10 trends we’re seeing for 2022 and beyond:
- Sustainability. Go green with responsibly sourced and recycled materials, high-efficiency tech and lush greenery.
- Natural light. Ditch those heavy window treatments, and let in the sunlight. If you don’t have windows, be inspired by natural light and choose smart lighting solutions that bring the feel of daylight to your space.
- Nostalgia. Evoke a specific moment in design or pop culture history that contributes to your brand narrative.
- Rethinking unused space. Embrace your space’s nooks and crannies and make them work for you.
- Bold colors and prints. Don’t be afraid to make a statement with vibrant accent colors, geometric patterns and unique art — especially when it’s “on-brand.”
- Concierge-inspired style. Think luxury and elegance that makes your guests feel pampered.
- Tech-enabled furniture. These options include wireless charging tabletops for guests.
- Playful shapes and textures. Complement those bold colors and prints with whimsy and pleasure by choosing unexpected accent pieces and fabrics.
- Real art — not mass-produced prints. Seek out artisans, creatives and makers whose work will enhance your space and lend authenticity to your brand.
- The residential aesthetic. Comfort reigns. Make your visitors feel at home in your space with design elements that suggest a well-appointed living space.
A unique, brand-enhancing reception desk area not only welcomes visitors but also gives guests a preview of your business. Your well-appointed reception desk area begins with a vision; the right professional partnerships will bring that vision to life. For your communication needs, from environmental graphic design to AV installations — and all the necessary support products and services those installations require — DGI will partner with your business to bring your reception desk vision to life.