First impressions matter, right?
That’s why some of the world’s most innovative companies also have some of the most innovative reception desks and reception areas.
For many years – decades in fact – the reception desk of an office was a relatively uninspiring extension of the office itself. Design wasn’t always the key to a good reception area and functionality reigned supreme.
However, the reception desk and the reception area have enjoyed a renaissance over the past few years as office-design trends have transformed and modernized.
We did some research and found four of the world’s coolest reception desks. The research for this article was the fun part. It’s amazing how creative companies are getting with their first impression.
Airbnb Dublin: The Reception Area That Turned into a Bar
It’s hard to visit Dublin and not sit down in a wood-laden, seasoned bar to down a hefty pint of Guinness. In fact, it’s hard not to sit down at a bar.
Airbnb took the pub concept to heart when designing its reception area and reception desk. Instead of traditional desk, the company decided to go with a culturally relevant design.
The company’s reception desk is a bar, completed with bar chairs, a rich wooden countertop and a drop-down ceiling lined with bottles of booze. Watch out for the suit of armor sitting at the bar – he’s positioned perfectly, with one arm on the bar holding a bottle of booze.
While the concept is definitely cool, it’s also appropriate. Airbnb is a company who offers people a home away from home, and what better way to communicate that than with a reception area reminiscent of your favorite place to hang out?
Kaspersky Labs, Beijing: Security and Safety
While Airbnb is in the business of lodging, Kaspersky is in the business of providing security. While protecting its clients is certainly their foremost goal, there’s a trickle-down benefit of feeling comfortable and secure when you use your computer.
We see that combination of tech and comfort in the reception area of their Beijing office. The reception desk is clean and sensible, but the addition of plants around the desk, a wall with wood accents and the cool aquamarine façade of the desk give you the sense that you’re in a safe and approachable place.
Cisco, San Francisco: Mix of Modernity and Colors
We really like Cisco’s reception area and reception desk because it’s a minimalist’s paradise and it employs color with understated skill.
Imagine yourself standing in their reception area looking at their desk. Before you actually get to their desk, there’s a pair of off-white couches facing a light-colored coffee table between them. The coffee table is made from one piece of wood with beautiful strategic irregularities in the surface.
Past the couches and the coffee table is the reception desk, which sits in front of a simple white wall adorned with an LED version of the Cisco logo.
The reception desk itself is a masterpiece of color and shape. Designers chose a deep green-blue color that really stands out amid the white, grey and wood tones of the reception area.
The shape of the desk is also interesting. It reminds us of what a staircase looks like if you view it from the side. There’s a higher side on the left with a descending transition in the middle that terminates at a waist level desk surface on the right.
The desk and reception area communicate the sensibility of the company’s software and its modernity.
Giant Pixel Corporation, San Francisco: Art or Furniture?
Our last reception desk on this list comes to us courtesy of startup lab Giant Pixel, a San Francisco-based company with what we considered to be one of the most stunning reception desks we’ve ever seen.
The desk itself is U-shaped, with one side facing the reception area, one side facing a floor-to-ceiling windows and one side facing a wall.
Its color is pure white and, instead of implementing a series of conventional legs to support it, it uses natural, flowing forms that culminate in two inverted, rounded off pyramids that hold up the table.
When we see this reception desk it reminds us more of an art piece than a piece of furniture.
Make a Great First Impression with Your Reception Desk
Reception desks don’t always have to be a work of art, but they do need to communicate modernity and professionalism along with friendliness and warmth.
If you’re interested in finding a new reception desk for your office, take a look at our reception desk page. What you see there is part of a large inventory of desks we can offer to fit the environment and tone you want from your company’s reception area.
*The four reception areas we mentioned here can be viewed on Decoist.com or OfficeLovin.com.