How to Create a Welcoming Reception Area

welcoming reception area with blue sofas and red chairs

They say that when you are meeting a person, first impressions subconsciously count for more than you may consciously think. But it is also a similar story when you are entering a building for the first time. Whether it is a café, a restaurant, an office, a hotel or any other business, those first steps into the reception area or room can make a big difference as to how the person entering will feel about their overall experience. Thankfully, there are lots of ways in which you can decorate and style the reception area of any establishment so that you turn this moment into an opportunity to welcome your guests, visitors or clients in the most effective way possible and therefore get off to a flying start.

Introduce Flowers & Greenery

One way of creating a lovely atmosphere is by adding some stunning blooms or uplifting plants to your reception area. Whether this means opting for natural flowers or top-quality artificial flowers and plants, the added element of colour and texture will create a beautiful feeling which in turn will make whoever enters the room relax into the space.


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Opting for gorgeous artificial plants, trees and flowers means that they last much much longer than the real thing and you will not need to put so much effort into their care and maintenance. You can also experiment with plants that might usually be out of season if they were real. If are looking to include the fragrant element that comes with living flowers, then perhaps a combination of the two can work excellently as a design strategy. For example, an artificial living wall can be a consistent feature, and then natural flowers can be added to the room through the year to complement that permanent base.

Comfortable and Stylish Seating

Providing an adequate seating area is often an important part of creating a comfortable and welcoming reception area. These seats will need to be high quality and preferably match the overall look and feel of your business. This will mean that people will be able to wait for their appointment, for their meal or for their room in comfort and style. Setting their expectations for the rest of your business from the start.

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The seating area offers you an opportunity to add some gorgeous design touches to the room. For example, coffee or side tables would be a perfect feature to add into the mix as they can help to enhance the design and layout of the space. Use them to arrange the seating into groups and to break up a space to make it feel less like just a line of chairs in a waiting room. Furthermore, these features will create a space for magazines, newspapers, and, of course, tea and coffee!

Set the Scene with Lighting

A huge part of creating the perfect mood for the room has to do with the lighting of the reception area. By being strategic with your lighting you will be able to give highlight the areas you would like people to focus on and hide the areas you would rather they didn’t look at. This may be bringing attention to the reception desk area and steering eyes away from a less attractive architectural feature.

You can also create moods with the lighting in the room, such as a delicate and relaxing feel for a spa reception or a sophisticated and contemporary look for a new hotel.

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As well as using larger more general lights (such as ceiling or wall lights), it is worth considering how small LED light features can be added to the corners of the space to give the reception area more character and texture. Particularly good for wrapping around pillars, covering wall space or even for filling clear bottles or vases as an eye-catching piece to brighten a dark alcove.

Experiment with Scents

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Creating the perfect ambience is not just about taking care of what people can see and feel, but also what people can smell, and that is why it is also important to choose some exquisite scents for the reception area. This is a simple step, but it can have significant benefits, as something which seems to be a small and effort-free addition can nevertheless elevate the feel of the room in a huge way, enhancing the already welcoming, relaxing and impeccably elegant style of the space.

You can match the scent with your type of business, such as a spa reception may want to include relaxing and perhaps exotic fragrances, whereas a contemporary hotel may be looking for something fresh and uplifting. From candles and reed diffusers to purifying lamps, there are various options for bringing fragrance into your space depending on your requirements.