The Rio side table will lend warmth to your office waiting area

Luxurious and comfortable, the Rio side table strikes the perfect balance between corporate and homey.

Current design trends show that commercial and residential design aren't as far apart as they may seem. With 35% of our waking time spent at work, feeling at home while at the office is becoming a necessity for our wellbeing. 

Unsurprisingly, furniture can play a big part in making employees feel more at home. Instead of corporate tables and chairs, more and more offices are adopting a residential feel. Think soft seating, plush pile carpet, paintings and sculptures, anything that exudes warmth and comfort.

Office receptions, waiting areas in particular, can greatly benefit from said warmth. A careful selection of the furniture will ensure that clients and prospects are greeted with care and attention. With its textural feel and dynamic shape, the Rio side table might do just that. 

Originally designed by Charlotte Perriand for Jacques Martin's home in Rio, the Rio table was re-released by Italian furniture designer Cassina. A round side table constructed from six wedges of alternating sizes with a hole at the centre, the Rio table will lend warmth and character to your office waiting area. 

It is available in three different finishes: natural oak with a Carrara white marble top, black-stained oak with Marquiña black marble top, and natural oak with Viennese cane. 

Photos via Minima Home

Wallpaper Games – transform the common areas of your office

Have you ever sat in a room, trying to fight boredom? Your clients probably have too. 

Design can fix boredom. This is the premise behind Wallpaper Games – an ingenious concept that promises to change the way we see the wallpaper.

Forget aesthetics, geometric patterns and colour combinations. Instead, choose a partner and play a game of tic-tac-toe on the wall of your reception area or waiting room. Take your pen on a journey across thousand-and-one pathways and try to exit the labyrinth covering the walls of your washroom office. Spend some time searching for words among a grid of jumbled letters in your office breakout area.

Aptly named, Wallpaper Games provides an ever-changing playground where interaction fights the stillness of your average wall-covering surface. The interactive range of wallpapers was designed by Paris-based 5.5 Design Studio for spaces where boredom may strike (think washrooms) but we think Wallpaper Games would also be welcomed in collaborative spaces such as office breakout areas and informal meeting rooms.

Far more than a wall covering surface, Wallpaper Games acts as a bridge between design and its users, encouraging people to interact with each other as well as with their surroundings. It is less about choosing a pattern and more about creating your own. 

Wallpaper Games is available in three designs – tic tac toe, maze and word search – all three of which are to be purchased blank, and it is only with time and several contributions that various patterns start taking shape. It is no doubt that such creative design solution would set you up as a progressive business.

Photo credits: 5.5 Design Studio

How can a detail oriented waiting area transform your office reception?

A reception space with a neglected waiting area is as ineffective as it is senseless. 

By definition, a reception area is designed to receive, be it clients, business partners, prospects or visitors, it is the gate to your office and the reflection of your business.

Now, let's imagine you enter a spacious reception area with a sleek reception desk, striking lighting features, maybe even a bit of branding in the shape of a logo carved in the desk. You're a little early for your meeting with the sales director, no problem, you never finished that Business Insider article you were reading on the tube, you'll just take a seat and — oh wait.

Marketing agency Gravitate office, Vancouver, Washington

Uncomfortable seating, worn-out upholstery, or no seating whatsoever, the waiting area in commercial properties is often neglected when the budget is tight. Yet, the reception area is likely to be your client's first interaction with your office space - in other words:  not caring for your waiting area is bound to yield terrible first impressions, which will, in turn, yield terrible business. Not what you want.

So how can you make a great first impression?

The waiting area is part and parcel of every reception space. By providing a quiet, comfortable space, you're giving your clients the opportunity to appreciate your business (don't worry, a bit of judgement is good for business growth,) and your affinity for design, a.k.a., how closely you're paying attention to detail.

Google Amsterdam's office. Architect: DDOCK

Answer the following. Is your business detail-oriented? Do you care for your clients and do you want them to know that you care? Are you looking to set yourself apart from the crowd? Chances are, you answered yes to all above questions, and the good news is: it all starts with a swanky reception area, complete with a functional waiting area.

Ergonomic, durable furniture items that have met BIFMA standards, built-in VS. modular seating, bespoke designer furniture... From modern ottomans and soft seating to lounge chairs and low tables, decisions might prove difficult, so here's an inspiring selection to get you started.

Zimmerman Advertising, Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Architects: Gensler 
Adobe London office in The White Collar Factory. 

Low-Teknion-dna-Lounge-Seating.jpg
DNA seating, by Teknion

Opening photo: Headquarters schlaich bergermann und partner, Stuttgart, Germany. Architects: Ippolito Fleitz Group. Photography: Zooey Braun