Designing the Reception Desk:How to Create a Welcoming Atmosphere Right on the Doorstep

The reception area is essentially the face of your business: it is the first thing people see when they walk in. As such, it is of the utmost importance that you create a professional reception area that will accurately reflect your brand. You only get one chance at first impressions!

Read on to hear about some of the things that you can do to create a welcoming atmosphere from the moment your clients set foot in your business.

Designing the Reception Desk
Photo by David Fintz on Unsplash

Clutter-free and professional design

It is very important to present your company in a professional light, so that your clients feel that they are in good hands and comfortable with you. Additionally, you will definitely want to have your company logo on display somewhere in your reception area – above the reception desk, for example.

Another important aspect of looking professional is keeping your reception area clutter-free. A messy reception area could give the impression of poor organisation and management. To keep clutter to a minimum, consider smart storage solutions such as cabinets or coffee tables with built-in drawers.

And remember, organisation and cleanliness apply to the spaces behind the reception desk, too! Giving your receptionist the optimal working space ensures that they can perform their duties to the best of their abilities, ultimately resulting in the smooth operation of the entire reception area.


But clutter-free does not have to be synonymous with bare-bones! Do consider adding some decorations to your reception area to make it feel more personal and welcoming.

Plants are always a great option, and there is so much variety. A tall plant is fantastic for filling an awkward empty corner, or a little potted plant does wonders to brighten a coffee table. Paintings or prints are also a good choice for livening up the walls of your reception area. You can of course tailor your decorations to your brand as well.


The colour of your reception area is instrumental in representing the kind of business you are. Different colours carry different meanings. Bright colours might be excellent if your brand is vibrant and cheerful, whereas muted tones would be more appropriate if you are aiming for a more serious and professional impression. 

A quick glance at a colour wheel might be useful here, to help you pick colours that will go well together. And even if you end up going for neutral or muted tones, you can always inject a pop of colour with your choice of decorations!


It is better to avoid harsh fluorescent lighting in your reception area. Natural light is best here – so if you are lucky enough to have large windows that let in plenty of natural light, make the most of it! If you are limited in terms of how much sunshine your reception gets, there are lamps that mimic natural light.

Photo by Nathan Van Egmondon Unsplash

By this point, you will have a welcoming reception area that looks fantastic and accurately reflects your brand. But you have to make sure that it is functional and caters to your clients’ needs, too! Here are a few more things to consider.


Your reception area should be welcoming for disabled as well as able-bodied people. Keep in mind that some clients may not be able to walk, read signs, or hear announcements, for example. Some things to consider include installing ramps or lifts next to any stairs, having an accessible toilet, and signs written in Braille. Of course, this is not an exhaustive list. You can also hire an accessibility inspector to audit your building and let you know what else you can improve.


It is a good idea to provide a seating area, especially if your clients might be waiting a little while. Make sure the seats are comfortable! To optimise the comfort level of your reception area, you might want to provide an umbrella stand, a coat rack, a coffee table, etc.

Photo by insung yoonon Unsplash


People like to have something to do while they wait, for example watching TV. Even though not everyone will necessarily watch it, some people may enjoy having some background noise while they do something else. Either way, a little entertainment never hurts.

Catering to needs specific to your business

Is your business a place that people are likely to bring young children or pets to? If so, you might want to consider setting up an area specially designed for them. A play area for children, all decked out with toys could be a good idea. You could also provide a water bowl for dogs.

Resistance to wear-and-tear

Your reception is a place that will have a lot of traffic. As such, you will want to make sure you use materials that don’t require too much upkeep. Tile floors instead of carpet or vinyl, and leather seats instead of velour, for example, are strategic choices you can make that will make the upkeep of your place much easier. This plays a big role in appearing to be professional. 


Your reception area is the first thing that clients see when they walk into your business. And everybody knows thatthe first impression is what counts. Don’t neglect such an important area as your reception. As you now know, there are several things you should pay attention to when designing a welcoming reception desk for your company. Practical aspects such as accessibility and seating are just as important as aesthetic aspects like lighting and colours. And remember that the receptionists working behind the desk play an important role, too! They should adopt a dress code and demeanour that reflect your brand, whether it be serious and professional, or more laid-back.

Now that you have all the information you need, go ahead and design the perfect reception area for your company!And if you are looking for further insightinto the essentials of office design, visit Wema Raumkonzepte, a German company with tons of experience in this field.

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