First impressions – we all know their importance. The lobby is the first impression of the building, it is perceived to reflect the personality of its owners and residents, essentially, it is the face of your company. It’s a great first impression on new clients, potential customers, future employees, and other people that you do business with. There are two main things to remember when you are designing your office lobby – it needs to be both functional and aesthetically pleasing. It doesn’t do anyone any good if your beautiful lobby doesn’t’ allow you to conduct business with ease, nor is it a good idea to have a functional office that is dull and boring. Here is a checklist to consider before embarking on any lobby renovation projects.
A well-designed reception area is a focal point within your lobby. The reception desk and the wall behind their desk should act together as an anchor point within the lobby design. This area should reflect a level of quality and professionalism that you show to your clients and should be impressive enough to visually cue your visitors to approach it and check in. In this reception area, the company logo should be displayed prominently, either on front of the desk itself or on the wall behind or parallel to the reception desk. . This is the first time your visitor will see your logo upon entering the building, so investing in this piece – you can add specific lighting or even just the finishes.
While talking about reception, maybe the most important thing to consider is the personality and customer service the person sitting behind the reception desk has. They are the first person that a visitor meets coming to your facility. How they interact with your visitors affects how they will feel about their overall experience when visiting and interacting with your organization.
Designs for Lobby
Now that we talked about your logo hanging above or around your reception desk, it’s time to take a look at the rest of your lobby area. Are there a lot of blank walls or are they covered in outdated photography or art work or maybe the frames need an update? Random papers taped to the wall or cork board? Do these communicate clearly to your visitors that you are innovative and forward thinking as a company? No need to plaster your lobby with every product or concept your company offers, but this is a great opportunity to make an impactful, long lasting and positive impression on your visitors.
The way in which the lobby space is lit can have a dramatic effect not only on our first impressions but our emotional response to it as well. There is nothing worse than entering a poorly lit lobby. Outdated fluorescent grid ceiling lights can produce a dim yellow tone that is drab and makes you feel stuck in the past. Too dark and it may appear dingy and small, too bright though and the space could feel clinical and uninviting. Updating your ceiling lighting to LED fixtures that mimic natural light helps to provide a more welcoming and refreshing experience. Adding accent lighting, like wall-washing fixtures and low-voltage display lighting, can bring key areas into focus that you want your visitors to notice. This will help highlight and add visual complexity to your company logo, award displays and certificates or just the wall art.
Everyone loves natural light. It can greatly affect airiness and open feel of your lobby design and promote positive feelings within the space. But too much sunlight can cause glares and can make your clients uncomfortable at certain times of the day. No one wants to be staring into the glaring sun. If you do get a lot of sun, it would be worth investing in blinds (programmable mechanical ones if possible) to help cut down on the amount of direct sunlight at the peak times throughout the day.
Trends are always changing, but it doesn’t necessarily mean that you can’t incorporate a few current looks into your lobby. Just choose looks that are relevant and attractive for years to come. The rustic look is very on trend right now but it can also be made into a classic look that will create a calm, natural ambiance in the office. A few ways to incorporate this look is stained concrete flooring, nature-inspired art, upholstery and patterns, plants, a small water feature and using reclaimed wood.
Before deciding on anything just a few elements to incorporate at the very least: your company logo that has prominence in your lobby, appropriate artwork, styles and designs that compliment your building, and furnishings that are comfortable, beautiful, functional and high-quality.