The reception area is usually the first thing a person sees when they enter an office. It’s in these
initial moments where guests and employees typically form an automatic judgement of a
workplace or company.
Judging something on first impressions isn’t a myth – it’s scientifically proven. Research from
psychologists at Princeton University reveals that it takes a tenth of a second to form a first
impression. So, how can you make a reception area as engaging and welcoming as possible to
ensure that this first opinion is a positive one? Incorporating biophilic design principles – tapping
into humans’ innate need to connect with nature – could be the answer.
In this blog, we discuss the biophilic design options worth considering in creating a correlation
between the work environment and the natural world, and foster memorable first impressions.
Colour is key
A splash of colour goes a long way. Coral, in particular, is a colour we often find in our natural
surroundings through things like flowers and sunsets. It was also named as Pantone’s 2019
‘Colour of the Year’ – chosen for its “animating and life-affirming” hue which “energises and
enlivens with a softer edge”. For office designers who want to improve the natural feel of a
space, injecting coral into wall materials, fabrics and accessories should have a positive and
uplifting effect. Guzmania and Anthuriums are plants that produce coral-coloured flowers and
would look great in your reception space.
Plants are an aesthetically pleasing addition to any lobby or reception area. Incorporating large
potted plants by the entrance, complemented by smaller potted plants on shelves or on the
reception counter itself is a great place to start for an instant natural feel. As entrances are prone
to drafts, robust plants that can be exposed to the elements and require little maintenance will
have a longer shelf-life. Peace Lilies, Snake Plants, Kentia Palms and Ficus’ are perfect
Living green walls are a wonderful solution for those offices interested in making a powerful
connection to nature, but where reception space is limited. They’re made up of panels of plants
grown vertically using hydroponics, on structures that can be either free-standing or attached to
walls. They are visually striking and sure to make a positive first impression.
As styles and requests for living walls evolve, and businesses look for solutions that are even
more natural, moss walls are also becoming increasingly popular. As well as reflecting the
natural environment, moss can be dyed a variety of colours so brands can express their
personality by incorporating an image or logo design into their structure. The perfect solution for
creating a reception area that is both visually appealing and also celebrates the brand it
The reception is the face of an office, so it’s important to ensure it represents the company’s
values and feels welcoming. By considering the biophilic design elements, you will notice clear
benefits to the way people perceive your business, and how your employees perform.