How to Design a Reception Desk (How To)


How to Design a Reception Desk (How To)

Danielle Walton

This, of course, is always one of the first questions a reception desk shopper has when starting the research process for a custom-made Reception Desk. And here at Colinton Furniture, I’d like to imagine that we get this question hundreds of times throughout the year, often in the first conversation.

But we understand Designing (along with many other factors) matters. And it can be one of the most important factors to consider when buying a Reception Desk.

As you might be able to imagine though, the problem with answering this question is that there are so many options available. And it can be very tough to decide what is going to best suit you. This being said, I am going to discuss the different options and questions that must be answered when you are designing a Reception Desk.

Planning Your Reception Desk

When planning your Reception Design it’s important to start your project with clear objectives on what you want to Reception Desk to be doing. If you get this right in the first stage, it will not only make you less stressed but will end up saving you valuable time and money. So start thinking what you actually want your reception desk to do. Forget about how it should look (that all comes later) and focus on the environment your reception desk will be in, and how it will function.

Wood Veneer Reception Desk - Heart of Hawick - Colinton Furniture

Wood Veneer Reception Desk – Heart of Hawick – Colinton Furniture

Key Questions to Address

These are some of the key questions you should consider when designing. Bear in mind the answers to these are what are going to shape your Reception Desk.

  • How many people is it going to seat?
  • Are the people behind it going to stand or sit?
  • How many customers at one time will be at the Reception Desk?
  • Do you have specific electronic equipment that it needs to accommodate such as PCs, Printers, and Phones etc.?
  • If yes, do you want the electronics to be visual or concealed?
  • Will it need to be accommodating for wheelchair usage?
  • Will you need a high level counter to allow visitors to sign in?
  • Does it need to accommodate storage of some kind?
  • What type of storage do you want?
  • What is the room it is going to be situated in?
  • Is it an awkward space?
  • Are there columns or low ceilings?
  • Is it to be freestanding and centres or joined to a wall?
  • Does it need to be straight or curved?
  • Do you have a budget to work to?

Now, once you have answered these questions the shape of your reception desk will begin to form. These also help you become more aware of the options available to you, and what is going to be the best use of your space.

Reception Desk Style Considerations

We all know these days how much style and branding can affect our customers, it can both attract and repel different people. So, with this in mind it’s important that you get a style for your Reception Desk that is in keeping with your Brand.

For example, Apple didn’t go for a more traditional style, but instead opted for something more sleek and modern that reflects their brand and their customers can identify with. You should be thinking the same. Is there a specific style that is more relatable to your company?

White Corian Reception Desk - CMS - Colinton Furniture

White Corian Reception Desk – CMS – Colinton Furniture


 Your Likes and Dislikes

Now is the time for you to go out hunting for the inspiration for your new Reception Desk. You probably already have some ideas in mind, but this time it is time to get deep and explore all options.

I recommend using Pinterest when looking for images that might inspire you; try searching for Boards specific to Reception Desks. Why not have a look at one of our Boards, where we have compiled only the best pictures of lots of different styles here.

I suggest making a board of your own personal likes and sharing this with your designer so they can also understand clearer what you are going for. In addition to finding styles and designs you love, keep track of what you don’t like and voice this and any worries you may have.

Important Design Questions to Consider

These are some more questions to consider, allowing you to become clearer on the style that you want or even don’t want. The answers to these are what are going to paint the picture of your Reception Desk.

  • What kind of impact do you want it to make on your customers?
  • Does it have to be in keeping with your original style/room?
  • Do you want it grand, modern or traditional?
  • Or do you want something more abstract?
  • Do you have any materials in mind you like, or would like to use?
  • Are there any images of desks that you like and don’t like?
  • Do you want it to appear floating?
  • What lighting will be around the desk?
  • Do you want lighting embedded in the desk?
  • Do you want it to include your branding, i.e. logo?
  • What colours do you want to use?
  • Do you want it to be light or dark?
  • Should it all be one level or two?

Do you have an image developing in your mind of what it’s going to look like? Great! All these questions are things we make sure our customers answer before we start designing, because they are so vital!

Wrap Around Wood Veneer Reception Desk with LED Underlighting - King Sturge - Colinton Furniture

Wrap Around Wood Veneer Reception Desk with LED Under Lighting – King Sturge – Colinton Furniture


Reception Desk Materials: How to Choose

When designing, this is probably the second biggest question we get due to the vast array of materials available to everyone. By this stage a few materials will probably have been ruled out due to the style and situation of your Reception Desk, there might even be some you want to use.

When it comes to choosing materials for your Reception Desk, the options really are endless. Here is a list of materials that we compiled to help you narrow down your choice.

  • Solid Wood
  • Corian
  • Marble
  • Glass
  • Veneers
  • Tiled
  • More Creative materials like
  • Concrete
  • Live wood
  • Stacks of crates
  • Even Books!

Just because you have to choose a material for your Reception Desk doesn’t mean you have to be limited to one. Some of the best designed Reception Desk’s we have seen artfully combine two or more materials.

For instance, a White Corian Desk with a Walnut Veneer higher level at one side, or a more creative option has been a white Corian edged flat desk with a coloured contrast LED front panel or even a live wood, tree trunk, varnished Reception Desk.

Meeting with Your Designer

Now that you have an idea about the materials you are thinking about using, you are at the stage where meeting with a designer will now further project. It’s best to come equipped with your own pre-developed thoughts so you can get the best out of your time.

You can both discuss the best options available to you, and you will be able to share all your ideas to the designer who is going to help bring them to life.  They will be able to help you in ways you couldn’t have known, suggesting better options or materials or ways to shape the Reception Desk around your needs and space.

What is Your Reception Desk Budget?

If you have a budget that you are working with, make sure to tell your designer as this can affect the materials that you will ultimately use. They will be able to advise you on options that can keep it more affordable and may be more suitable in order to keep your design no compromise to what you need.

The Combination of Style and Need

The combination of style, situation, budget and usage of your Reception Desk are what are ultimately going to be the basis of your design. This is the part where all the bits come together to create a design that is exactly to your needs and your desires.

A design drawing should be made that fits your criteria. Now, this wont be the final design, so don’t be afraid if it’s not exactly as you envisioned. Go through your likes and thoughts with your designer so they can go back and create something that is more exact to your needs until it is perfect.

Wood Veneer Paneled Reception Desk - Orchard Brae House - Colinton Furniture

Wood Veneer Paneled Reception Desk – Orchard Brae House – Colinton Furniture


Final Concept

Now that you have your final design drawing that you’ve agreed on its time to take it to the next step. Production.

Why is designing so important?

Designing the right reception desk for you is incredibly important. It’s key to spend time at the beginning to figure out what you really want and need and how you can get exactly that. It’s also vital because it can save time and money in the next steps of the creation of your product.

Even if you haven’t given the design of your Reception Desk any thought, and are working from a clean canvas, this is always a great place to start. This process is something we ask all our clients to do, as it gives them clarity of mind and a starting point to work from.

We can easily create you something that is beautiful, but we want to create something personal to you, and exact to your need that’s really going to make an impact on your customers.

Putting it all together: How will you design your perfect Reception Desk?

To sum it up, there are many stages that go into designing a Reception Desk. This is just one way we know works that can save you time and ultimately money, but most importantly leaving you with a design that works for you.

So there you have it: designing Reception Desks in a nutshell. If you want to find out more information about Reception Desks, check out the links below for more useful articles.

Or, if you’re ready to think about going ahead with your design, why not give one of our designers a call to see how we can help you.

Maybe you have already created a concept and want to see it brought to life, do you have drawings already? Why not give one of our team a phone call to see how they can help take your project to the next step.


Danielle Walton