Hey friends, while going through my posts some days back, I realized that I haven't actually written a blog post about the reception area. Whether it is a corporate office, a bookshop, school, or a church as long as it is a workplace, the reception area is the first point of contact. Just like the family physicians, they offer first contact care. The impression a client gets of your reception area is lasting and can determine a lot of outcome. For instance, if the potential client will continue to visit and become an actual client and the level of respect you attract to your person and company.
Depending on the type of organization, the reception might be just a point of inquiries as seen in many corporate offices, hotels and banks. There usually is no provision for seating unless the waiting area is incorporated into the reception as have become the current trend in reception designing. Any design theme can be used to design your reception area. However, the most commonly used type of theme is the modern or contemporary style with clean lines.
As with designing any space, we think of the following;
- Colour: The colours required for a reception need to be bright but not shouting. (If you get the drift). The tendency is always to go safe with colours like white or cream. Don't forget that you can pull it off with a feature wall. The colours in this case may be a bit toned down. Sharp, shouting colours can be brought into the space with the furniture, lighting and accessories.
- Furniture: Most reception areas these days come with a waiting area attached to it. Care should be taken when picking out furniture for this space. Remember it is a public place. Different categories of people will come in and pass through. Also remember, an idle mind is the devil's workshop. People carry out a lot of antics while waiting. Which is why you can see tears on some reception chairs and writings on the coffee table. Leather or metal chairs are your best bet. They are also both durable and comfy (especially leather ones). The coffee table could be marble, metal or glass. (Avoid glass tables if children are involved). The chair for the receptionist should be comfy. (She/he will be spending lots of time in that space, you don't want them developing back pain because of a bad chair). The desk should serve both the purpose of desk and security barrier without appearing so.
- Lighting: This needs to be bright and subtle at the same time. You don't want lights blinding people that step into your corporation. Lighting systems can be achieved through the use of chandeliers or multiple single bulbs placed in strategic locations to give the necessary illumination.
- Ventilation: This is an aspect of design I have never really bothered with in my former posts. Guess I just left it to the architects in my subconscious mind. Ventilation is very essential to any space. If the original architecture of the space doesn't give you much, you can add air conditioning and regulate the temperature to suit your needs. Besides you don't want to have clients sweating or freezing while they wait. Something else of utmost importance is odour control. If possible add air fresheners to the space. (Not on display though).
- Accessories: These are not the typical accessories found in the home. For your reception area, you can have a neatly arranged rack for recent magazines and newspapers to keep your clients occupied while they wait. (Mind you, it also helps prevent unnecessary damage to your furniture). A flower vase can be used to decorate your receptionist desk. If you opt for a sofa, then you can add a few throw pillows. Artworks or paintings would do if you have a free wall space and it won't overcrowd the area.
So have fun redecorating guys.
Photo reference: posturepeople.co.uk; http://www.fusionofficedesign.co.uk;