Creating a favorable impression is an organizational goal that can be accomplished in a number of ways. One of the most effective is having a reception area that conveys a message consistent with the corporation’s mission and self-image. Achieving that optimal look and atmosphere requires a plan that incorporates various design elements. That might sound complicated but it can be readily accomplished by dividing the project into smaller tasks, selecting details that add up to the desired outcome.
The first step is to decide the overall atmosphere that you would like to create. It should be consistent with the type of work you do, while communicating important aspects of what you would like your customers to know about you. For example, one wouldn’t expect to walk in to the offices of a toy manufacturing company and encounter a formal setting. If you’d like to be regarded as a friendly, approachable organization that values customer interaction, strive to design a receptioon area that makes visitors and clients feel at home. Conversely, some organizations want to signal that they are aware of the gravity of what they do and may choose more imposing furnishings and colors accordingly; a law firm, for example.
Next, choose a specific style. Would you like the area to be traditional, formal, contemporary, transitional, or eclectic? Select colors, fabrics, finishes, flooring, and furniture that fit into your overall scheme.
It’s often helpful to designate a focal point in the room and select other design elements to coordinate and contrast with it. In reception areas, the reception desk or station often assumes that role, making that choice an important part of the process. It should be aesthetically pleasing, with sufficient features that facilitate the work that needs to be done there. You might also want to consider if guests will be able to see the surface of the desk. If so, make provision to hide clutter.
Seating is also an important component. In addition to style, colors, fabrics, and finishes, you’ll need to consider other factors as well. How often will the seating be used and by whom? If there are many visitors or clients each day, attention should be paid to how readily surfaces of the chair can be cleaned.
You should also leverage the opportunity to showcase what you do and to promote your brand. Feature your logo in a prominent place in your reception area. Also, consider framed art that depicts examples of your products or services.
Above all, create an environment that prompts visitors to want to return. Regardless of style or design elements, an updated reception area signals that your organization is current, thriving, and invested in its clients and customers. Regardless of how much real estate it consumes, it’s certain to make a big impression.