That First Impression: Decorating The Lobby Of Your Office (Or Home Office!)
Decorating the Lobby Or Entrance Area / Greeting Area Of Your Office
First impressions say a lot. A first impression can make your office seem younger, fresher, more professional, or conservative. The first thing that people see when they walk through the door will help them to make up their minds about who you are and how well you do what you do. Therefore, if you feel like you don't want to invest in office furniture for your employees, such as desks, chairs, and computers, make sure to invest well in your reception area. If you have to budget, try to make your price cuts in the back of the office and not the front.
There are many places that sell a variety of furniture, from fun to distinguished, but your best chance is to find something online. Unless you live in a very populated city, it will be hard to find a retailer that can suit your needs. So, where do you start? Alibaba.com is sort of like EBay, but without the bidding. The company is an exporter of goods in different countries around the world. They have products in every category, but as far office furniture, you may be able to find a hard-to-get-item at a lower price. Another company, based in the UK, is Somercort. They carry everything from fast food counters to office accessories. They do provide free delivery and installation if you live within the UK, but if you don't, you can still order hard to find items from this company and they will help you to locate what you need.
If you are looking for a more modern spin on your reception station, there are so many revolutionary designs out there. Spacify.com specializes in modern contemporary furniture with sleek, clean lines. They have more retro furniture including a computer workstation that looks like a flower from an aerial view with glass and wood combined. The company will offer free shipping, and they have a catalog that is downloadable with Adobe Acrobat software. Another choice is modernoffice.stores.yahoo.net. They have many different reception desks that range in prices from $1200 to $4000. They also carry sofas, recliners, and tables for waiting areas, so you can one stop shop with this store. They do have a catalog, and you can join their mailing list if you are not ready to make a commitment right away.
When you get done with buying your reception desk, you might want to think about your waiting area. Most people choose sofas, chairs, and coffee tables. The more comfortable that your waiting area is, the less likely people will become irritated with waiting. There are several places that can offer your place of business with comfortable and style. For sofas, most people will go with a nice leather sofa. The wear seems to be more minimal than a cloth sofa, and even though we are talking about adults, there will be the occasional spill of coffee, tea, etc. If you are looking for an overstuffed sofa, which will be more comfortable than a standard sofa, try Overstock.com. Overstock has very low shipping rates, for instance this sofa has a shipping price of $2.95. Their overstuffed, leather sofa only comes in brown and costs $2,399, which is the lowered price from the original $4,399, allowing you to save 45%. The sofa is a low inventory item and will sell out periodically, so make sure that you have a back-up sofa in mind. Overstock also has a feature, which will allow a salesperson to assist you with your shopping needs online. If you don't want your guests to get too comfortable, you may want to pass up comfort for sophistication. High Point makes a sofa (product # 53544) by the Chesterfield Collection that is literally all business (it is even called the Leather Reception Sofa). The sofa is $2,295 and comes in a variety of colors including Mahogany, Midnight, Blackberry, and Black. Make sure that you check the colors before you order because they may not match with their name. For example, one might assume that blackberry is black when, in fact, it is a deep shade of red. The High Point Sofa, along with other executive choices can be found at Nationalbusinessfurniture.com. If you are craving a more retro, contemporary choice to take over your office dÈcor, don't worry; this style is becoming more and more popular. You cannot beat Scandinavian furniture when you want modern. There are many Scandinavian furniture retail outlets nationwide, but if you still want to browse online, try visiting Scandinaviandesigncenter.com. This site has great sofas, like the Kennedy sofa for $3,517.65, and it comes in black, grey, pink, orange, and aubergine. Another piece that screams style is the BD: 5 Easy Chair, which is by designer Bjorn Dahlstrom, and it comes in fabric or black leather for $2,375. Office furniture can be very expensive, but you should decide how you want to allocate your company's funds before you blow all of your money on a reception desk or a sofa.
The next thing that you need to decide for your reception area is what type of tables you are going to buy. The trick with office coffee tables is that you want them to look expensive without having to spend a lot of money. People are going to literally beat up the wooden furniture in your lobby, so don't waste time spending excessive amounts because you are going to have to replace the tables more often than you do any other piece of furniture. Office Liquidators is a company out of Boulder, Colorado that sells new and used furniture. You can look at their showroom online, or you can call in an order that you want. Another obvious choice is to shop at Home Depot or Staples to get a laminate or stained table. You can always put accessories on the tables such as lamps, magazines, brochures, or vases, and no one will notice whether the table is real oak or cherry. Most people try to keep themselves busy while waiting to be seen. Another retailer that offers discounted furniture is abcoffice.com. They actually have a specific category that is set aside for lobby seating and tables. They are worth checking out, but again, remember that you get what you pay for. If you have your heart set on spending a lot of money, or if you have to because the rest of the furniture looks so expensive, try a furniture store. Even though furniture stores cater to the home environment, they do have nice, solid furniture that often times comes with warranties and discounts. However, you should take into account the size of your business because ordering in bulk from a furniture store will get costly very fast. If you need a modern look to go with all of the mod, retro furniture in your lobby, you have to try spacify.com. Granted, spacify can be expensive, but if you want to try them, a coffee table or an end table would be a good thing to try from their company without having to pay a lot.
Obviously, everyone is on the quest to find the best accent pieces for their business. You can try places that are generic like Pier 1, Target, or Pottery Barn. However, be careful with the artwork. If you are a collector, and a true admirer of art, then you can appreciate a good selection of artwork. Artprintcollecton.com is a perfect site if you want your artwork to appear more like an authentic piece of work because their prints are framed canvases. They will not come with a glass or acrylic finish, and they have themes such as photography, floral, humor, and nautical. If you want a poster imitation try the website allposters.com, and choose from over 50,000 selections. Remember that when you frame a print, you should have it matted, which will give the appearance of a real painting and not just a print. Make sure that you bring the matte in as close as you can to the actual picture.
If you have ever been a customer, of any kind, you know what kind of impression a lobby area can make. It is the equivalent to going to a bathroom in a restaurant and comparing it to how clean the place is. Generally, people will be in a better mood the more comfortable that they are. It is hard for people to escape their human nature and judge what they see. Make sure to remember that where you greet, stick, and hold people says a lot about your workplace and what you can offer as a company, whether you like it or not.
Related Tags: business, online, discount, commercial, office furniture, chair, desk, home office furniture, lobby
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