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Making First Impressions with a Reception Desk

Adam StacksBy Adam Stacks
~ 7 minute read
August 3rd, 2022

In life, first impressions are everything. In our relationships both personal and professional, it is more often than not the first impression that makes the biggest impact. These once in a lifetime moments carry extreme amounts of weight for us all. That’s why we spend so much time “primping” ourselves before big occasions such as a blind date or a job interview, we know that first impression is the biggest tool to get a positive response.

This is truly a principle that most of us live by. In a professional office a first impression is a must. When we enter a typical office, we are greeted by a reception area. It is an area designed to allow a smooth flow of guests to enter and leave while also providing a comfortable place for them to sit and wait with various office furniture. At the heart of the reception area is the reception desk.

The reception desk is the largest piece of office furniture in a waiting area. A smartly laid out receiving area will usually have the reception desk placed at the natural line of sight for anyone who is entering the building. This ensures that the guest immediately knows where to go to announce their arrival. Likewise, each guests first view is of the reception furniture that will make an instant impact on the guests thoughts of the office. It is at this moment that the guests first impression is made, largely due to the reception desk in their line of sight.

While the reception desk plays the largest part of this moment, it is coupled in with the rest of the waiting furniture and office style that completes the first impression of the office. That is why it is so important to select the right desk for the area. If you’re overall office is designed in a traditional setting, but the reception desk is an ultra-modern piece of office furniture, it will have a negative impact on the desired impression. So, selecting the right office furniture for the reception area is very important.

With this in mind, I want to state at the beginning of this guide, that our staff at Madison Liquidators has many years of customer driven service, with a focus on ensuring that our customers are completely satisfied with their office furniture and the experience of the entire process. Our staff is well known for assisting our customers through every step of the process from budgeting, layout and design, assisting with selection of office furniture, to shipping and installation. We pride ourselves in building relationships with our customers through a close partnership that ensures complete customer satisfaction. Should you have further questions or are ready to purchase, give our staff a call at (888) 831-1012 to get started.

When it comes to a reception desk, there are five distinct shapes. They are rectangular, L shaped, U shaped, curved, and T shaped. Below, I will give an example of each, and discuss the strengths as well as how they best fit within a reception area. When it comes to most modern office furniture, they will use the latest building practices and materials. Nine times out of ten, that means using commercial grade laminate instead of traditional wood. This is to the benefit of the consumer with reduced manufacturing cost, as well as positively impacting shipping costs as well. As far as the material is concerned, it is a very strong alternative.

Let us begin with a look at the traditional office desk shape

#1- Rectangular Reception Desk

Reception Desk With Transaction Counter

Starting Price- $605.00

A smart looking, and straightforward approach to a reception desk from Harmony Collection as part of their exceptionally popular PL Laminate series. The desk measures at 71”W x 30”D x30”H with a 42” high transaction counter. The ability to customize the workstation for the receptionist is a key feature as well with seven storage drawer options, seven keyboard tray options, and five power module selections. These features are for the functionality for the benefit of the user. As for style, Harmony Collection has selected six unique finishes which look great in a professional setting. They are- Aspen, Cherry, Espresso, Mahogany, Modern Walnut, and Newport Gray. The manufacturer also gives a five-year warranty on their office furniture.

#2- L Shaped Reception Desk

L Shaped Reception Desk With White Transaction Counter

Starting Price- $1,525.00

Many people consider the L shaped desk as an upgrade to the traditional rectangular shaped desk. It is a modern twist for a desk as it provides a two-sided workstation for the receptionist. However, it still has all the class that is expected to fit within a traditional setting as well. This desk measures at 72”W x 78”D x30”H. Corp Design brings this desk as part of their Potenza series and offers an upgrade option to make the furniture pop- a glass transaction counter. This glass upgrade provides an interesting contrast against the available Corp Design custom finishes of Blanc De Gris, Espresso CD, Grigio CD, Miele, and Noce. This L shaped reception desk is also packed with customization options. They are- six drawer options, six organizer tray options, seven keyboard tray options, and five power module selections. Corp Design provides a ten year warranty on their office furniture.

#3- U shaped Reception Desk

Two Person Reception Desk

Starting Price- $1,710.00

Express Office Furniture provides this U shaped reception desk as part of their Express Laminate series. This U shaped desk is actually a two receptionist desk each with their own L shaped desk with a divider between them. This U shaped configuration is exceptionally popular for the reception area of a larger office. The desk measures 142”W  x 77”D  x 30”H with a 42” transaction counter. Even though a U shaped reception desk is considered a modern design, Express Office Furniture has given three traditional finishes that allow the desk to seamlessly fit within either style. These finishes are- Dark Walnut, Gray Woodgrain, and Modern Walnut. With six drawer configurations, and four keyboard options available, the desk is completely customizable for the need. Express Office Furniture provides a five-year warranty on their office furniture.

#4- Curved Reception Desk

Curved Reception Desk

Starting Price- $6,850.00

Curved reception desks are a modern spin on reception office furniture that is often found in a modern style. One of the leading features of a curved reception desk that can be expanded easily for multiple receptionists. For example, this Corp Design Potenza series comes in sizes for one to five receptionists. The sizes for each are as follows-

1 Person Reception Desk: 60"W x 24"D x 29/42"H

2 Person Reception Desk: 120"W x 24"D x 29/42"H

3 Person Reception Desk: 180"W x 24"D x 29/42"H

4 Person Reception Desk: 240"W x 24"D x 29/42"H

5 Person Reception Desk: 300"W x 24"D x 29/42"H

When it comes to customization there are many options for each of the following- drawers, credenza storage, and wall mounted storage. Each with options for expansion depending on the size of the desk selected.  The Corp Design custom finishes of Blanc De Gris, Espresso CD, Grigio CD, Miele, and Noce have been selected for this curved reception desk. Again, Corp Design offers a five-year warranty on all their office furniture.

#5- T Shaped Reception Desk

2 Person Reception Desk

Starting Price- $2,040.00

Harmony Collection provides this T shaped reception desk as part of their PL Laminate series of office furniture. The T shaped desk is a strategic selection of two L shaped reception desks placed together in the opposite way of the previously stated U-shaped reception desk. The desk measures  142”W  x 72”D x 30”/42”H. This two person T shaped reception desk has several drawer configurations, keyboard trays, and pencil drawers for customization. The finish is chosen from the previously stated Harmony Collection selections of- Aspen, Cherry, Espresso, Mahogany, Modern Walnut, and Newport Gray. The T shaped two-person reception desk is a modern take on reception area office furniture and will fit well in a modern/ contemporary setting. Harmony Collection provides a five-year warranty on this T shaped reception desk.

Additional Reception Desk Resources

Two person reception desk ideas


White reception desk ideas


Curved reception desk ideas


Reception desks for a large office


L shaped reception desks ideas


A guide to reinventing the front office with a new reception desk


Final Thoughts

Matching a good reception desk and style to the overall office design is the key to ensuring that you set the tone for the first impression of anyone stepping foot in your office. This process can be like threading a needle; difficult but not impossible. The office furniture should compliment the office style and provide that ever important eye catching focal point that draws the guest attention instantly. To do this, the reception desk needs to be attractive and fill out the waiting area space that it sets in. For example, a small desk sitting in a large space will seem off just as a large desk that dominates a small area will. The small desk will best serve a small waiting area just as the large desk will nestle into a large reception room better than the small.

To accomplish this task, I once again want to highlight our customer service staff. They have all the knowledge and tools needed to assist in getting the right fit for your reception space. Our team can provide floor planning through AutoCAD layouts. This will show the perfect setup for the entire office space with the desk set perfectly in place. This will take all the guess work out of the desk selection process. It is my hope that through this guide that you find the exact office furniture you need to create a great positive first impression for all your guests that enter your office. Also, it is my hope that you reach out to our customer focused staff should you require assistance in your search. Once again, our phone number is (888) 831-1012 should you feel the need to use our expertise.

Adam Stacks
About The Author

Adam Stacks, came to Madison Liquidators at the start of 2021 after several years of freelance writing for local newspapers, magazines, and websites. His passion for writing began at an early age by writing personal works of fiction. Since joining Madison Liquidators, he has dedicated himself to studying office furniture and relaying his insight to the consumer in hopes of helping them in their search for quality office furniture.

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Reception desk, L Shaped Reception Desk, U shaped reception desk, curved reception desk