A business’ lobby plays a very similar role to its homepage. It is the first glimpse prospective clients and vendors get of the business, with the lobby acting as the business’ public face offline and its homepage playing that role online. With this in mind, business owners often prioritize their office lobbies’ designs to make a positive first impression on everybody who walks through their front doors.
Designing for a Business
Good lobby design ideas for small homes are not necessarily good lobby design ideas for a small business, even if it is a home-based business or in a building that was once a private home. The reason for this is simple: a business’ lobby has to communicate that it is a professional space. Although a business’ lobby can communicate that it is a comfortable, inviting, home-like space, looking exactly like a home’s lobby can turn potential clients away.
However, valuable lobby decoration ideas can come from a search for lobby design ideas for small homes. These ideas might just have to be modified to fit a commercial environment appropriately.
Lobby Decorating Considerations
When determining how to decorate his office’s lobby, a business owner needs to consider the following:
- The budget.
- The size of the space.
- Lighting sources, both artificial and natural.
- How foot traffic flows through the lobby.
- How much time clients typically spend in the lobby.
A lobby where clients often wait for five minutes or longer should be outfitted with comfortable seating. If clients typically wait in the lobby for 10 minutes or longer, having coffee or water available to them can make the wait much less tedious.
One of the most important considerations to make when designing a lobby is where the receptionist sits. The receptionist’s desk should be positioned so clients entering the front door see it immediately and can easily walk up to check in or make an appointment with the receptionist. In the lobby, there should be no confusion for clients – where to go, who to speak to and where to wait should always be obvious. Well-thought-out lobby design makes these points obvious.
Design for Your Brand
A business’ lobby decoration plan should accurately reflect its brand. At the basic level, this means the design should underscore the brand’s personality. Put into more practical terms, this could mean a playful, colorful lobby design for a toy brand or a children’s clothing company, a refined, sophisticated design for an upscale event planner or a warm, comforting lobby for a mental healthcare provider. The lobby’s design needs to connect with the brand’s target audience, whoever they may be.
While determining the right lobby decoration scheme for a brand, it is important to consider the latest lobby design styles and trends. Business owners can get ideas by looking at competitors’ lobbies and determining what these lobbies communicate about their respective brands. Some brands are best served by staying on the cutting edge of lobby design, while others are better represented by timeless or even retro design schemes.
Get the Latest Lobby Design Trends
An effective way for a business owner to ensure that her lobby’s design communicates everything she needs it to communicate to clients is to work with a professional interior designer. Specifically, she should work with an interior designer who works with small businesses and stays up-to-date on the latest lobby design trends for commercial spaces, rather than the latest in lobby design ideas for small homes.
A professional interior designer can accurately assess a space during his initial walkthrough and then give the business owner suggestions based on the space’s shape, the business’ needs and the business owner’s design budget. He can also work with contractors in his professional network to modify the space to serve the business’ needs better, like having an electrician install new lighting fixtures or a plumber create a custom water feature.
- Hotel lobby with a couch and two armchairs at night image by Alexey Stiop from Fotolia.com