How to design a perfect reception area for your office

01 EX blog 5

For your customers, first impressions matter. Your reception area in your office is the place to welcome guests and begin relationships with your clients. That’s why it’s so important to think about what your waiting area says when a client visits you for the first time. It’s an opportunity to be memorable.

At 01EX we have vast experience with office design, and here are our top tips on how to create the perfect reception area for your office which will exceed your clients expectations.


Take a step back and think about your waiting area as an outsider. Even better, ask a friend to visit. Ask yourself the following questions:

  • Are the chairs provided comfortable? If a client is waiting for a while then comfortable chairs are a necessity, not a luxury.
  • Are there enough chairs? It’s best practice to plan for more than you need to ensure one of your guests are never left standing.
  • Are your seat fabrics & textiles easy to clean? There’s nothing more off-putting than big stains. Vinyl or tightly-woven fabrics ensure that your waiting area is hygienic.

Reception Area:

The reception desk is the focal point of your waiting area. The desk should give your staff enough space to do their job efficiently, whilst keeping the area clear of clutter. There are a few key points to consider when choosing a reception desk.

  • Do receptionists need to complete private phone calls? A floor to ceiling glass divider can keep private conversations confidential, whilst a half-height divider allows for some privacy whilst keeping the space more open and inviting.
  • Does your receptionist need to use appliances such as copiers or filing cabinets regularly? Having most-used equipment near the reception space ensures that your staff is never too far away to miss somebody’s arrival.


Colours can affect people in different ways. Bold colours such as reds, oranges & yellows may feel a bit too ‘in your face’ and agitating. What would a neon pink or blue say about your business? The options are infinite, but remember - this space isn’t about your personal favourites. It’s more about reflecting trust & professionalism. Try out softer, more neutral colours and injecting some personality through art, cushions & rugs.


If your office is fortunate enough to have large windows with lots of natural light beaming through, capitalise on it! Try to keep shades & blinds to a minimum.

If natural light isn’t something you have in abundance, choose soft lighting from table lamps or wall fixtures. Overhead fluorescent bulbs can often feel sterile and uninviting. Overall you want to make your reception area feel warm, clean & relaxing. This will send a great first impression to your clients.


Take a walk through your reception area. Which small touches would make a client feel much more welcome? Perhaps a coat rack to hang jackets, maybe a coffee machine? Think critically about how much surface space you have to work with too. Is there a coffee or end table for people to set down drinks or a handbag?

Finally, build trust with your client as soon as they walk in. If you have awards or media clippings, frame them on the wall proudly.


Sitting in a waiting area with nothing to do is not only boring, it’s unproductive. Consider setting up guest WiFi to allow your customers to browse through their emails or check up on the news. A mounted television is also a great option to keep people entertained as they wait.


If you are currently thinking about an office redesign or you are thinking of re-doing your reception area - get in touch with us.