Reception desk design – first impressions matter

The reception desk is the face of a company. It comes as no surprise, then, that it should help promote its values and philosophy.

They come in all shapes and sizes and their materials range from wood, through concrete, to marble. Some are minimalistic, others are extravagant but they all share one goal – they must communicate the values of a company.

Reception desks dictate the tenor of your workplace and as such, the rule is simple: if you want to make a lasting first impression, do not neglect them.

Here is a selection of eye-catching reception desks that feature a bold use of materials and captivating sculptural forms.

GDF Suez & Simply Energy, Melbourne, Australia

contemporary reception desk for GDF Suez Simple Energy
Artillery. Photography Andrew Iser

Reminiscent of a thunderbolt light, strips of light evoke currents of electricity for Australian energy provider GDF Suez.

Atelier Krikos, Punjab, India

sculptural reception desk at Atelier Krikos in India
Studio Ardete. Photography: Purnesh Dev Nikhanj

Asymmetry, sharp angles and a play on textures define the upscale reception area of Atelier Krikos. The two-tone reception desk stands out against the black mirror granite flooring.

10 Brock Street, Regents Place, London

A sculptural bronze reception desk stands proud as the centrepiece of a nine storey atrium. Its dynamic geometry is inspired by the faceted external facade of the building.

bronze reception desk at 10 Brock Street
Reception desk manufactured by Terence Conran's Benchmark Furniture company. Architect: Wilkinson Eyre.

Trading Technologies, Singapore

office reception desk at Trading Technologies
Software company Trading Technologies Singapore office. By Kyoob-id

An interesting blend of materials and styles makes for a striking reception desk built on contrasts. The wooden counter is fitted with a minimalistic cream panel that conveys warmth with a hint of modernism.

Satchi office, Guangzhou, China

sleek reception desk at Satchi office
Feeling Design. Photography © He Yuansheng

White prevails in this lobby and its crispness is highlighted by a deep blue carpet and sculptural lighting. In this reception area, less is definitely more.

Aberdeen Asset Management, Uxbridge, London

chic reception desk design
Laser cut screens by Miles & Lincoln

Miles and Lincoln created weave-patterned, laser-cut panels which add a golden touche of luxe in this corporate reception area.

Analog Folk, Shoreditch, London

cork reception desk
DH Liberty. Photography: Quintin Lake

The waiting area inside Analog Folk features a distinctive chipboard reception desk and polished concrete flooring, thus drawing inspiration from the digital advertising agency's love of traditional values and digital technologies.

Opening photo: Giant Pixel office by O+A. Photography © Jasper Sanidad

Creative restroom signage goes a long way

Restroom signage is a great opportunity to break away from traditional communication tools and convey individuality.

Wayfinding is crucial in public spaces - not only does it help users navigate through the built environment, it also gives the latter meaning. A successful wayfinding system relies on human behaviour and as such, particular attention should always be paid to restroom signage.

There are several reasons why universal toilet signs are not always the go-to choice for offices, restaurants or hotels.  

flamingo restaurant in Istanbul

Indeed, brands that opt for creative toilet signage are given a great opportunity to convey character and individuality. Likewise, landlords looking to up the value of their commercial property can rely on well thought-out restroom signage to stand out from the market. 

Photo source

In the design world, everything is in the details and smart commercial interiors have proven how critical those small, ostensibly insignificant design choices are.

In commercial real estate more than anywhere else, the magnitude of a well-kept restroom is not to be underestimated and a well-designed washroom goes hand in hand with a creative toilet sign. 

To prove it, here are several more images where restroom signage has been taken to a whole new level.

Mulini Beach, Studio 3HLD. Photo by Joao Morgado
Photo source
Novotel Hotel, Paris by Christophe Remy
PHOS Edelstahl Design
The Working Capitol, by Foreign Policy