5 Things to Consider To Create the Best Impression in Your Office Lobby

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When decorating a business lobby, there are many important factors to consider. What type of business does the lobby represent? Is it professional, family orientated, or casual? Think about client comfort when selecting and arranging pieces. Having a functional but yet appealing lobby can be a challenge. Here are the top five areas to focus on to create the best first impression in an office lobby.

 

1. Furniture

One method to impress the clients immediately when they walk through the doors is to have a high-quality receptionist desk. Designer reception desks express the tone of the company. Modern desks made of glass and metal can represent an edgy or technology driven company. A deep, rich wood desk can convey a sense of professionalism and trust. A white minimalist reception desk sharply stands for organization. When designing an office lobby, start with the reception desk and build out the design concepts from that focal point. It makes the process easier and flow smoother.

Chairs are the next logical piece to select. Couches mixed in with single chairs are appropriate for many offices. Material selection will make a difference in comfort and cleaning. Leather, faux leather, and vinyl are easy to maintain and come in a variety of colors. Fabric chairs can come in bold patterns, such as plaid or abstract prints.

If there is enough space, a center table can occupy the waiting area. Other options are to use end tables placed by chairs. This can make a comfortable and cozy sitting arrangement for the visitors. The tables should complement the receptionist desk. If the reception desk is wood, try to find tables made out of natural products also, versus using metal or glass.

Don’t forget a coat rack if there is no coat closet available. A coat rack needs some space for umbrellas and hats. It can be free standing or attached to the wall as long as it flows with the theme of the lobby.

 

2. Colors

Colors create mood and influence feelings. As reported by Psychology Today color evokes an emotional response and people are more at ease in rooms with some color. Two main factors draw our eye’s attention, which are saturation and brightness. Saturation stands for the purity of the color. Is it white, or is the white tinted with hints of gray? Shades that are purer but not too bright excite the senses. For a calming effect, choose lower saturations that are brighter.

Certain colors create a warm feeling, such as burgundy, while white can feel cold. Factor in the exterior climate when selecting a lobby color. If the weather is mainly hot, choosing a cooling color scheme will be inviting, and the same holds true for colder areas. A warm feeling office will be comforting. Color Meaning reported on the psychological effects of colors in interior rooms. The author noted that some colors should be used sparingly or as accents only because of their negative associations or depressing effects. These colors are:

  • Black
  • Purple
  • Blue

 

3. Decorations

Lobbies that receive a lot of natural sunlight can benefit by having healthy plants thriving in the sitting area or tucked away in corners. Office plants take some extra work to keep them looking green, but it can be well worth it. Fresh flowers are another option to plants. Flowers can be replenished weekly, and the selection can change to match the seasons, like daffodils in spring and poinsettias in winter.

Mirrors add space. Adding them in is an easy way to make a smaller lobby feel more open. A useful mirror decorating tip from HGTV is to be mindful of the color of the wall across from the mirror. It will be magnified, and this could change the effect you were going for.

Is it clutter or decoration? Minimizing knick-knacks can keep the lobby looking clean and organized. If the lobby needs brochures and magazines, keep them in designed holders or racks. If the client sees where magazines are neatly stacked or held, they will most often return them to that area. This will help keep the space from feeling cluttered but still leave it functional.

 

4. Lighting

Lighting creates physical moods. Research completed at the University of Toronto demonstrated that well-lit rooms made people feel more intense or aggressive towards many situations. If you want the guests to feel calmer, lower the lights. Ambient lighting or soft glows can add a peaceful feeling. If you need them energized, think about strategic light placement to increase the overall brightness of the lobby.

If you have the luxury of natural light, utilize it, but have lamps and overhead lighting available for low light seasons. The reception desk should have functional lighting that does not distract from the decor, but instead, the fixture should blend in seamlessly or add to the overall features in the room.

Some light fixtures that work well in lobby settings are:

  • Recessed lights
  • Wall sconces
  • Floor lamps
  • Pendant lighting

 

Flooring

There are a variety of flooring materials suitable for an office lobby. Issues to consider are how much traffic will be moving across it and maintenance. Some commercial-grade options are:

  • Carpet – Carpet comes in all shades and price ranges. Professional cleanings are recommended from time-to-time depending on foot traffic.
  • Tile – Ceramic tile can withstand heavy traffic and is easy to clean. The Spruce suggests mixing and matching patterns to add interest and richness.
  • Laminate – Laminate can look like hardwood or tile, but it is less expensive.
  • Hardwood Wood floors are strong and relatively low maintenance. After years of wear, the wood may need refinishing.
  • Vinyl – Vinyl is inexpensive. Quality pieces of vinyl are very durable and easy to maintain.

High-end spaces should use carpeting, tile, top-quality laminates, or have hardwood floors installed. Space can be defined with area rugs. Busier lobby spaces may benefit from the laminates and vinyl coverings because of the products durability.

Using all of these design suggestions or incorporating a few of them in your office lobby can change the look and the feel. Some alterations may even change the moods of visitors.

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