Cindy Gibbs Interiors
Cindy Gibbs
Reception Areas

Does your reception area welcome your clients and make them feel important or does it look and feel like an after thought?

When you have five minutes or so, go sit in your reception area.  How does it make you feel?  How do you think your clients/customers/patients feel while they are waiting?  This is the "ultimate test" to find out if your reception area paints a negative or positive image of you and your business.

The reception area is your company's first impression about your business.  You want it to be right.  So what is right for you?

Notice as you are sitting in your own reception area, is it clean, is it neat, does it make you feel welcome.  Is the fabric on the furniture clean?  Does the carpeting have soiled traffic areas?  Does your receptionist have a warm and friendly personality?

The following list of ideas will help you create a restful spot for welcoming clients and visitors.

"MUST HAVES" in a Reception Area


This person is your single most valuable asset.  Is she friendly, calling your visitors by name and with enthusiasm?

Coat racks and hangers

Do you have a specified place to hang coats and hats?  This keeps the reception area from being cluttered and it makes people feel more welcome.

Seating and tables

Is your furniture comfortable?  Does the style of the furniture project the image you want for your company?

Tables can divide seating so that your clients may have more privacy.  They also hold lamps, reading material, phones, and plants, helping to warm the space up and give it some personality.

Phone and computer

Your visitors will be grateful for the convenience of being able to take care of those calls that just can't wait while they are sitting there.  Your receptionist will be grateful they are not asking her to use the phone at her desk.   Be sure to have phone books handy too.

The computer can have games on it (did you know that adults are bigger gamers than children) or it may have software on it that is pertinent to your business/practice, such as orthopedic knowledge updates.  This can help patients understand diagnosed conditions, medical tests, medications and treatment.  It starts your visit with them in the reception area and compliments their intelligence.


Have magazines and periodicals for your visitors to read.  Make sure they are current, not torn and appropriate as to what you want your business to be perceived as.  This is also a great opportunity to display literature about your company; guests who are waiting are a captive audience.

Reading Lamps

Floor and table-top lamps are essential for any reception area, even if you have lots of natural light coming in.  Lamps can help out on cloudy days, or soften the natural light, creating a relaxing effect.

Music creates a soothing environment for your visitors.  It also gives your visitors a little more privacy as they converse.

Snacks and beverages

Set up a beverage station stocked with coffee, tea, hot cocoa, water and soft drinks.  Have individual bags of pretzels, popcorn or cookies at the beverage station, they will enjoy your thoughtfulness and feel more welcome.

Trash bins

Place them around your reception area to keep it neat and presentable.

Office Art

Colorful and inspirational art can actually put your clients in a positive mood.  Along with art don't forget wall color.  It has been proven that color affects people in subtle ways.

Make your visitors feel important every time they come to your office.  The reception area should give visitors a pleasant memory of their visit and make them want to come back.

Even if the entrance into your office space is very small, only accommodating a small entry table and some art, make it an important space.  Make a statement by painting the walls, having memorable art and having a place to hang their hat....make it say WELCOME, we're glad your here!

Elegant expressions for Lasting Impressions
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