Making a great first impression with your reception desks is crucial to the longevity of any business. One way to do this is through maintaining a professional environment with interior design and aesthetics. Since a reception lobby is the first area that sets the standard, it’s important to choose a reception desk that will make guests feel welcomed and relaxed. A reception desk will also carry over a professional demeanor throughout the rest of a business or office space. There are many aspects to consider when choosing a reception desk, so it’s important to factor in the type of business you own and the needs of your clients.

Here are a few things to consider when shopping for your next reception desk.

Shapes & Sizes

furniture factory modern reception desk internal view

Reception desks come in a wide range of shapes and sizes for a variety of businesses. When thinking about how big the desk needs to be, consider the size of your office space, how many files need to be stored, and how many receptionists will be stationed at a reception desk. Some desks are best suited in the center of an office, while others fit well in a corner, so it’s important to consider where the reception desk will be placed. Below are some common shapes and sizes of reception desks to think about.

Single surface reception desks

small reception desk with single surface

Image via Furniture Factory, with permission

Single surface desks are built with a single writing surface. These types of reception desks are usually small and are ideal for restaurants, salons, and smaller establishments. Shapes include curved or straight-edged for easy corner placement in an office space. It’s also important to note that single surface desks have a limited amount of storage space. However, when factoring in a small budget, single surface options are an affordable choice for those that need a simple and effective reception desk.

L-shaped reception desks

L-shaped reception desks provide ample room for a receptionist and includes both a main desk and a return (which attaches to the main desk). These also provide adequate storage and counter space for computers, files, and office supplies. These types of desks are ideal for law or medical offices that require ample file storage space and can fit in either small or large office spaces. Both corner and center placement are also suitable options when deciding where to place an L-shaped reception desk.

L-shaped reception desk

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U-shaped reception desks

U-shaped desks include up to three work surfaces and are ideal for use by multiple receptionists. These are typically curved and are best for businesses with large waiting rooms, such as a hospital setting. These also include a dual writing surface for both the receptionist and the guest, as well as ample file storage space, legroom and a large workspace for office supplies. These types of desks are also ideal for businesses with a large budget and are best placed in the center of an office.

Round reception desks

Round desks have either a curved or round aesthetic and may come in both large and small sizes. These are also made with limited storage space for files and office equipment and typically hold up to one receptionist. The curved edges allow for privacy for the receptionist, and can easily fit within small areas of an office. A dual writing surface is often included for both the receptionist and the guest. These types of desks are also ideal for businesses with a small budget.

ADA-reception desks

ada reception desk

Image via Furniture Factory LLC, with permission

ADA-reception desks are ADA compliant for guests in wheelchairs, and typically include multiple work surfaces for both the guest and the receptionist. Requirements for an ADA compliant desk includes a height range of 28″ to 36″ with a minimum of 12″ of leg space underneath. These can also come in either curved or straight-edged shapes. Ample legroom is also an added benefit of an ADA compliant reception desk. However, these typically do not come with cabinets or drawers for office accessories and files.


Reception desk material is ideal for both durability and aesthetic purposes regarding an office space and comes in a wide variety of options. Consider factors such as scratch-resistance, frameworks, and ease of maintenance and cleanliness regarding reception desk material. It’s also important to note what tone your business is trying to convey, as certain desk material is reflective of the nature of your business. Here are some examples of popular reception desk material to consider.


Laminate material is made from a particle board which typically includes a wood grain print. It’s also resistant to scratches and dents, and it’s one of the most affordable options for office spaces. Ideal for customization, laminate usually includes keyboard trays and file pedestals. Laminate material is also considered to be highly durable, as it involves placing multiple layers of material together. It also typically comes in a wide variety of colors and design choices for your business needs.

Wood veneer

Similar to laminate, wood veneer is also made from a particle board with a thin layer of real wood on top. This option is ideal for businesses who require the look of “real wood” without paying the associated high costs. These also give a vintage appeal to an office and are considered to be the most readily-available compared to its counterparts. Pricing varies with wood veneer desks, and are most popular with round and L-shaped desk shapes.

wood veneer desk

Image via Furniture Factory LLC, with permission


Metal desks are often made from metal frameworks, as well as glass or wood tops. These are some of the most stable and durable types of desk material available and usually come in a chrome finish. Metal pieces also give an office a modern and professional appeal. These can also be lightweight, depending on the type of framework used. Other benefits include easy cleaning and low maintenance.


Glass reception desks are shatter-resistant thanks to the tempered glass material and are typically easy to clean and maintain. These may also come with a wood or metal overlay and are ideal for modern office spaces. However, glass reception desks can be expensive and heavy depending on the type of glass used. These also typically come in straight-edge shapes for easy corner placement.

In Conclusion

Whether you’re looking for small reception desks, modern reception desks, or reception desks for sale, think about shape, durability and size when seeking to make a great first impression with a reception desk. Be sure to factor in not only the aesthetics of a reception desk, but its storage space, and most importantly, your budget. Consider all of these aspects when shopping for your next reception desk to form long-lasting relationships with future clients.


Featured Image: Furniture Factory LLC, with permission

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