The reception desk is the first thing visitors will see when they enter your business. You may be aware that many studies have proven that we create an often-unconscious opinion about a person or place in the first seconds we see them.

The often repeated statement still holds true that “You don’t get a second chance to create a first impression”. Thus, choosing the right reception desk for your business is very important.  Once such a first impression is created, it influences how we act during the events that follow. For example, a successful outcome is more likely if the visitor’s first impression of the business is a positive one.

There are several points to consider when choosing a reception unit, and we will cover them below. Sometimes what you need is not available as an off-the-shelf solution but rather a customised unit. To solve such an issue B2B offers a free consultation service to identify the suitable reception desk for your business and if necessary, have it customised.

blog reception desk
blog reception desk
blog reception desk
blog reception desk
blog reception desk

What to Consider When Buying a Reception Counter

blog reception desk

The aesthetic of the reception counter is the first item on your list, but functionality is as important.

It needs to look impressive while still in harmony with the rest of the office’s design. For example, if your office has a minimalistic design with slim white office desks, placing an oversized, heavy, and dark reception unit will confuse the visitor’s unconscious perception.

How we design the office will reflect the client’s vision and best convey the desired impression

The list below covers the characteristics of reception desks, but we can apply the same principles to any other office furniture you want to buy.


There are many material options, from solid wood, glass, metal, and laminate. The wood reception counters are more traditional, transmitting the idea of elegance, solidity, and trust. Glass or metal options are more modern and convey the concept of modernity, creativity, and boldness.


Colours have a symbolic meaning and transmit different sensations, influencing our thinking, inspiration, and mood. The colour choice of a business says a lot about it. Therefore, the reception desk must match the business’ palettes.

Red, for example, inspires action, strength, and passion. It has often been used in the food industry because it seems to make us hungrier, however, it can also stimulate anger and irritability, so businesses which are seeking to transmit calmness need to stay away from it.


From an aesthetic point of view, the size has to be in harmony with the size of the room. More prominent and higher desks are more imposing, while the smaller ones transmit tidiness and simplicity.

The crucial point to consider when deciding the size is related to functionality. For example, if more than one receptionist works simultaneously, the desk must accommodate them well.


The rectangular reception units are the most common and for some time now have been the shape of choice and convey a traditional feel as against the more fluid and rounded shapes that look modern and bold.


The reception desk needs to be functional for employees and visitors. As we mentioned before, if two receptionists are working at any given time, your desk will need to have space for them. But you must also consider the number of visitors at the same time.

For example, a restaurant’s reception can be small and high because the host will welcome the visitor standing, check the booking and bring them to the table. It is also unlikely that they need storage space in this area. The contrary is true for a hotel’s reception, which often requires some items for guests stored at hand, more room to serve several guests simultaneously at check-in/check-out times, and a lower and higher surface area as the staff work both seating down and standing.

When chosen efficiently, the desk will enable employees to maintain the area in a clean and well-organised manner. A messy and cluttered space will always create a negative first impression.

When we consider the functionality of a reception counter, we must consider more than the desk. For example, a good ergonomic office chair is essential for the staff, and laptop risers can also improve the quality of work, depending on the office equipment used and the flexibility of the tasks.

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Breakout Furniture for Waiting Area

The reception desk is the component that will draw the most attention, as some visitors may not wait long before proceeding to the next room. However, in some cases, people are required to wait, and how we accommodate them will have a bearing on the impression created.

Setting up a waiting area with comfortable seating and extra tables, depending on the available space, can make a significant positive impact.

blog_breakout furniture area
blog_breakout furniture area

Coffee and Water Station

Serving water and coffee while visitors are waiting is polite and influences the person’s mood. Depending on the number of visitors, you can choose a functional and cost-effective coffee machine.

Most businesses will offer at least a glass of water, and having to collect it from the kitchen/canteen is not ideal, while bottles of water are more expensive and damaging to the environment. Installing a water filter and water cooler is cost-effective and minimizes your business’s environmental impact.