How’s your handshake game? Maybe a little rusty, but we’ll bet that overall, it’s pretty strong. How about your elevator pitch? “Wow” inspiring, no doubt. You’ve got those things dialed in because you know first impressions count.
But what about your office lobby?
First impressions are important, so you want to make sure your lobby is amazing. All the more so as the world re-opens and businesses scramble to make their office spaces as safe and inviting as possible for employees and customers alike, to make it a place worth leaving home for.
Today we’ll give you some office lobby inspiration, offer tips for deciding what’s right for your business, and hook you up with great upholstery option ideas to help you really pull together the look you’re after. Let’s get your office entryway design style really working overtime for you.
Getting Started Designing An Office Lobby To Fit Your Unique Needs
Like any entrance, your lobby is for welcoming. But unlike the entrance to, let’s say, your home, it’s got more work to do than just that. It’s the frontline of your sales team — whether you have an actual sales team or not. It’s tasked with addressing a wide spectrum of needs.
For potential customers or clients, it needs to evoke something and speak immediately to who you are in the context of what they need.
For your existing clients or customers, it needs to say, “Welcome back! We’re so glad you’re here and we’re psyched and privileged to be serving you.”
And to your employees, it needs to say, “Welcome home. When you’re here, you’re family. We care about you and we’ve got you covered.”
Yes, that’s a lot to ask of your company and your space. But it’s totally doable. And you’re the world’s leading expert on how to do it.
Because it’s about knowing who you are and who you serve. Think about it like this, have you ever walked into a truly amazing hotel or resort? They know exactly who they are and — critically — who their guests are and what they’re yearning for. They make sure the moment of arrival itself is transportive. You’re really just two steps away from knowing how to elevate your design style to those heights:
Step #1 – Focus On Feeling
We’ll talk through fabric textures, colors, and styles in the next section. But first, let yourself feel into the space. What do you want it to feel like when your customers or employees walk in?
- Do you want it to feel crisp and professional and have them feeling like they’ve finally found a place that matches the seriousness of the task they’re facing?
- Do you want it to hit them like an afternoon triple espresso, crackling with energy and pop, positively oozing creativity?
- Or perhaps you want it to feel calming and cozy like an immediate deep breath and gently welcome you like a micro-moment of meditation?
Get the idea? It’s truly about getting clear on the outcome — the experience — you’re creating that aligns with your vision for what you do and then backing up from there to the design and upholstery that will rock that for you. So put yourself in the shoes of your clients and employees. What do you want them to feel?
Step #2 – Focus On Function
Take a moment to get really clear about how the space will need to function. Imagine wandering through the lobby at the height of the day on a typical Tuesday, or on a super busy day, and you’re greeted with nothing but contented-looking folks. What’s there? Loads of chairs? Couches? Breakout spaces for meetings or focus?
Depending on the goals and nature of your business, you’ll want to offer details that serve your unique needs. That may be creativity-inspiring objects, stellar Wi-Fi and stations with external monitors for working, a coffee bar, and so much more. The greater clarity you have about how your space will actually be used, the easier your design style choices become.
The Fabrics You Choose Can Help Your Business Welcome And Win
Now let’s explore some ways the fabrics you choose can help you create the feeling you want and set the stage for the function you need — your way.
Professional And Confident
Perhaps your business is a law firm, accounting office, or some other fairly structured and serious environment. You can exude professionalism without being cold.
Keep it classic with leather tufted armchairs in rich red Merlot — made from Cryton treated aniline leather. Or if you’d prefer faux leather, try a deep rust-toned recycled leather like Port with classic leather vibes and 21st-century sensibilities. Either way, your furniture will be durable, easy to clean, and clearly offer a confidence-inspiring welcome. Add a couple of sofas facing one another in a textured Navy performance-grade velvet to create a space for quick introductory conversations or for a bit of lobby networking.
Creative And Playful
Is your business artsy, creative, and all about ideas and innovation? Let your lobby sing that song from the jump. A company like yours can lean into design that’s whimsical or wacky or all points in between.
Create cafe-style seating with mid-century chairs in a striking coral orange Spice tweed fabric or a vibrant green contemporary patterned Crypton jacquard like Willowtree — or both. Gather them around tables, perfect for clients, popup meetings, and getting ideas flowing.
Sprinkle playful pops of pattern and color on couches or other seating with pillows in an eco-friendly cotton and linen blend fabric with a fun and funky floral print or maybe a bright teal damask. Or how about a single accent couch in an eyecatching abstract print that looks like a wildly successful creative session itself and has, well, all the colors.
Using bold textures and colors lets your lobby make a creative impression that says, “Box? What box? We’ll have none of that kind of thinking here.”
Warm And Welcoming
Of course, there’s a whole spectrum of businesses for which priority #1 is to simply create a warm and inviting space, offering calm and even a bit of serenity.
Lean boho chic with a mixture of textures and colors. How about sofas in a simple, cozy camel performance-grade microsuede. Pair them with slipper-style armchairs in Wedgewood Checkerboard blue tweed. And finish it off with curtains in a wispy sheer linen cream fabric.
The idea is to create a space that offers a homey feel but with the revitalizing energy of a warm, spring day.
You’re Ready To Elevate The Feel And Function Of Your Office Entry
So, what’s the best way to make a great first impression in your office lobby? It all comes down to two things: how you want it to feel, and how you need it to function. Once you know that, set the foundation by choosing upholstery fabrics for your furniture that reflect that feel and serve those functions in a way that’s uniquely your style.