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Reception Room Furniture Buying Guide

The first impression of most businesses originates in the reception area. The reception area should be an extension of your brand. It should make customers and visitors feel welcome, comfortable, and pleased to have chosen to do business with you. It is important to provide enough furniture to host guests and customers, but not overcrowd the space. 

To accurately set up your reception room, consider the following:
  • How large or small is your reception room? Have you taken measurements?
  • ​How many people will be using this area at any given time?
  • Do you have any furniture to start with?
  • How will you decorate the space?
  • What is the budget for this project?

Read on to learn about everything your reception room needs to provide the best service.

Reception room equipment and furniture to consider:

  • Reception Desks
  • Reception Seating
  • Tables
  • Literature Racks
  • Coat Racks
  • Lighting
  • ​Décor

Reception Desks

The reception desk is typically the focus of the space. The receptionist should be visible from the entrance and every seat in the room, so each guest is greeted and will not feel like they will be overlooked. Reception desks are available with wire management, keyboard trays, drawers, hutches, and cabinets to provide organization and maintaint a neat appearance. Popular styles include wood, laminate, metal and glass. Many reception desks are also elevated so that guests can stand comfortably while speaking to the receptionist and fill out paperwork without having to lean over.

Standard Reception Desks

From simple to ornate, the standard reception desk is often rectangular and made of wood or laminate. These are available in cherry, mahogany, brown, espresso, maple, and gray. These are typically a simple desk with workspace but some have drawers, cabinet storage, and a privacy shelf. 

Price: $250-$4,000

L-Shape Reception Desks

L-Shape reception desks often offer double the work and storage space compared to standard varieties. These desks combine two desks into one in the shape of an "L". This is a perfect option for receptionists that will need to have more equipment than just a computer and phone, such as a fax machine, printer or scanner. 

Price: $300-$4,200

Bow Front Reception Desks

Bow Front reception desks offer a practical and stylish option. They provide room for display materials and writing room for guests. For offices where the guests and receptionist are filling out confidential paperwork, this elevated shelf provides privacy. This style also helps to maintain the tidiness of the room, by masking paperwork and files at the reception desk. 

Price: $500-$7,000

U-Shape Reception Desks

By combining the workspace of up to three desks, the U-Shape reception desk provides the most space for work and storage. These desks often provide a hutch for storage and display. U-Shape desks are ideal for reception areas that will process a great deal of paperwork on a daily basis. These are also the largest reception desks and many not work in every reception room. 

Price: $700-$4,200

Reception Seating

Reception seating comes in contemporary, modern, and traditional styles and many fabrics options. These options can be formal or casual and are available with a variety of features including armrests and wheels. Most options seat between one and five guests. It is recommended that you check weigh capacity and consider care and maintenance directions before purchasing. Make sure that you provide an array of seating options for your guests; such as sofas, chairs, and tandem seating.. For healthcare facilities, it is recommended that you use materials that can withstand anti-bacterial cleaners; treated microfiber, plastic, and vinyl. 

Tandem Seating

Tandem seating provides a uniform look for the reception room, with two to five conjoined seats. Some are available in single units and are customizable. Other available features include tables attached between seats, and comfortable deep cushioned seats. 

Seat Materials: Fabric, Mesh, Vinyl

Frame Materials: Metal, Plastic, Wood

Price: $100-$4,000 each

Reception Sofas 

Sofas provide comfortable seating and should especially be considered if guests will be waiting for a significant amount of time. Some modern reception sofas are equipped with power and USB ports for guests to charge and connect their devices while they wait. 

Seat Materials: Fabric, Leather, Plastic, Vinyl

Frame Materials: Metal, Plastic, Wood

Price: $200-$10,000 each


Available with or without arms, benches provide a versatile seating option. Guests can sit on either side of benches or use them as tables. Benches are easy to clean, as well. 

Seat Materials: Fabric, Leather, Vinyl

Frame Materials: Metal, Wood

Price: $50-$2,000 each

Stacking Chairs

Stacking chairs are available in styles meant for banquet, schools, and offices. Features include padded seats, armrests, and leg options; such as sled bases (pictured right) in addition the standard four leg option. Stacking chairs are available in sets, and some sets provide a cart to easily transport the chairs.

Seat Materials: Fabric, Leather, Mesh, Plastic, Vinyl

Frame Materials: Metal, Plastic, Wood

Price: $20-$1,000 each

Guest Chairs

Guest chairs are typically sturdier than stacking chairs,
although some guest chairs can be stacked. Guest chairs are
available in many styles and patterns. Some have wheels for
easy moving and cleaning. 

Seat Materials: Fabric, Leather, Mesh, Metal, Plastic, Wood,

Frame Materials: Wood, Metal, Plastic

Price: $50-$2,500 each

Reception Tables

To enhance the comfortable seating you have provided, coffee and side tables are both stylish and functional. Reception tables can bring the reception room together with a uniform style. Many reception tables provide storage, drawers and shelves for guests to use. These tables can display magazines and reading materials, and provide a working and writing surface. Reception tables are available in just about every style from modern to coastal. The options for shapes and sizes of these tables is vast, to fit any reception room.

Materials: Glass, Metal, Plastic/Acrylic, Wicker/Rattan, Wood

Price: $40-$6,000

Literature Racks

Literature racks showcase and organize reading materials such as magazines, brochures, documents and pamphlets. These are available in small sizes, like desktop and wall file pocket versions, up to large sizes, like wall units and freestanding versions. Literature racks also keep the reading materials in good shape. Some can hold many items, with more than 70 pockets. Additionally, some literature racks are rotating or have wheels for added convenience.

Materials: Metal, Plastic, Wood

Price: $10-$2,000

Directory Boards and Stands

Directory boards and signs provide information to your guests such as directions and news. These can be wall mounted or freestanding, with single or double pedestal, and can be used indoor and/or outdoor. Directory boards can be incredibly helpful for guests, and come in many colors and some can be locked. 

Sizes: Range from 18"' up to 4'

Board Materials: Bulletin, Changeable letter board, Markerboard, Menu Board

Frame Materials: Wood, Aluminum

Price: $50-$1,500

Coat Racks

Coat racks provide a convenient place to hang belongings while visiting your office. You can purchase these as individual hooks or as a whole rack, and as freestanding, over-the-door, or wall mounted. Some freestanding versions have casters or wheels for added mobility. Other features include umbrella racks, coat hangers, mirrors, and shelves.

Manufactured wood, metal, plastic, wood

Price: $5-$3,000


Lighting in your reception room can set the tone for visitors. You will want to strike a balance with lighting; too bright can feel clinical, while too soft can make it difficult for visitors to read or fill out paperwork. Natural daylight is ideal, but you can supplement with ambient light via overhead, table and floor lamps. 

Price: $15-$7,000


Decor should show your brand in a focused way; it should be professional but that doesn't mean it has to be lackluster. Look for artwork, photographs, and accents that represent your business. Mirrors, clocks, indoor plants, bookends, fountains, and rugs are just some of the options for styling your reception room. Many businesses highlight company achievements and history in the reception room with items such as framed awards and logo iterations. 

Price: $15-$13,000

Reception Room Tips

  • Always keep the reception room clean and organized. Guests should feel comfortable and welcome here, and the time spent waiting is not a nuisance. 
  • Door mats can help to keep dirt and debris from the reception room.
  • Make sure all refreshments and amenities are nearby; water fountain, restrooms, and refreshments.
  • Fresh flowers and plants can brighten up the space.
  • Set tables between every few chairs to provide space and privacy between guests.
  • Music and TV can entertain guests, as well as muffle sensitive conversations.
  • Don't forget that this experience may be your guest's first and last impression of your company, so go out of your way to make it a positive one.
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