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The reception area is the first room your customers see, so it’s important it looks exceptional. After all ‒ first impressions really do count! This crucial area is often given no thought or attention and yet they are like ‘the window of your company’s soul’. However, with careful thought, you can create an impressive space that not only reflects your organisation but can be used as a valuable marketing tool.

So, is it time for an upgrade?

Start With the Walls and Floor

Ensure your flooring is practical as well as hardwearing ‒ there will be plenty of traffic, so it must always look clean and in good condition. Wood looks homely, whilst tiles look smart and efficient. Whatever you decide, choose a neutral shade, but don’t be tempted to add a rug as these can be a trip hazard. 

Think neutral colours for the walls too, for example, white is crisp and clean looking but can look stark. Softening the colour with an ivory or cream works well and you can always break this up by having one ‘statement wall’ in your company’s colours. 

Choose Great Artwork…

More than anything else, the artwork you hang on the walls will define the character of your reception area. Many companies use artwork to enhance their branding by incorporating either the colours or a large framed picture of the company logo. In restaurants and hotels, the artwork can be bright and contemporary or classic in style. This all depends on the character and ambience you are trying to create.

Floresy - Hotel reception art

…and stylish Furniture

The reception area is where people first arrive, meet company representatives, wait for meetings or their table reservation. It is really important to ensure that this area is attractively furnished and has comfortable seating. There are a variety of styles to consider; the clean minimalistic lines of Nordic furniture and the beautifully curved shapes of classic styles – plus all those in between!

It’s important to remember that the furniture should be good quality and well made as it will be constantly in use. It’s also very important to have furniture that can be easily cleaned as mud and split drinks will be common occurrences. A large central coffee style table will prove very useful too!

Assess Your Lighting Needs

Lighting is an aspect of interior design that frequently gets forgotten but is so important from a practical point of view. Carefully placed lamps and spotlights can create pools of light helping to develop the room’s ambience. Adequate lighting in a reception area is vital, as many customers will want to read whilst they wait and staff will need to carry out duties such as taking payments etc.   

Other Points to Consider

  1. Do you need somewhere for people to hang coats and jackets? An enclosed wall cupboard with plenty of hanging space looks smart.
  2. Do you need a stand for rain-drenched umbrellas?
  3.  If you are welcoming visitors to your company, consider investing in a coffee machine.  A complimentary coffee whilst they wait can be a popular addition.  Pay careful consideration to dirty spoons and condiments left around, especially in these times of COVID.
  4. Would customers enjoy reading a magazine? But only keep a few fresh copies available rather than a huge pile of tatty old ones!

The Final Touches

By now your new reception area will be looking very stylish but may feel as though it is missing something important – and it is, but this can easily be put right. 

Include Plants!

…better yet artificial plants.

 A single large plant in a corner can look dramatic, or a large planter with a variety of different houseplants should do the trick! If the reception desk or coffee table looks dull, a beautiful plant arrangement in a stylish container will definitely make all the difference. Trailing plants can be cleverly used to add interest to a plain section of wall or to disguise an ugly staircase.

Meyer Davis designed hotel lounge

Hotel lounge uses low planting to offer seated privacy.

Divide seating areas with colourful climbing plants can work well as light can still pass through. When it comes to artificial plants you don’t have to worry about high maintenance, and they’ll look great all year round.

Creating a smart new reception area will pay dividends as customers will feel warmly welcomed and it won’t be long before they return again!

Do you remember the time “faux” plants looked…fake?

Nowadays, with advancements in manufacturing techniques and new materials, it’s often easy to mistake artificial plants for the real thing!

But when did the use of faux plants actually become part of home and commercial life? And what exactly are their origins?

Back in Time

No one can quite pin down the exact timeframe of artificial/faux plants inception. However, they can be traced as far back as the Egyptian and Roman era. The materials used back then would have been radically different, but the art and ingenuity of production were just as intricate as the designs that you see today. Floral wreaths were made using thin stained plates of animal horn. Materials such as copper, silver and gilt were also utilised to represent flora and fauna when deemed symbolic or appropriate. 

It is fitting that China is a major producer of faux plants. According to historians, this was where they originated from. Although early artificial designs were somewhat crude —  using twisted ribbon and wire — the Chinese then went on to harness the use of silk in their productions to add an unrivalled flourish at the time. The mini-masterpieces were only enjoyed by the privileged few who could afford such artisan wares.

Often, the ladies of the Imperial Family ordered them to be worn in their hair. The trend spread beyond the confines of the palace walls, influencing the masses who were desperate to emulate their social superiors.

Origins of the Artificial Plant

Moving Ahead

With each century came more developments and from many of them in Europe. Over in 12th Century Italy, various groups of Artisans begin crafting unique and eye-catching faux flowers using silkworm cocoons. 

Then — in the 15th Century — the French began crafting their own faux-fauna and surpassed the workmanship of their other European rivals. After the French Revolution, some of these Artisans fled to Britain and found a gaggle of wealthy patrons eager to purchase their wares.

The Victorian era was another benchmark for faux-fauna. Dazzling and opulent arrangements were made using a combination of both fresh and faux flowers. Whilst still utilising silk, other materials (crepe, velvet and muslin etc) were also brought in to embellish the ever-expanding range of designs.

Florists in the 1920’s used faux-fauna to supplement fresh arrangements. When certain flowers were out of season,  this was a great way to meet demand.

Silk - Origins of the Artificial Plant

Present Day Faux

With modern-day production techniques, we’re now in the enviable position of being able to create a sophisticated product that offers durability and long life whilst emulating live fauna.

The future journey of artificial plant and flower production is likely to mirror its illustrious past. Especially as it allows people to be enveloped by a beautiful representation from nature — without the hassle of constant upkeep.

What’s not to like?