December 14, 2023

5+ Unique Reception Desk Ideas For Any Business

The modern reception desk is more than just functional. It’s a conversation piece.

It makes a definitive statement about your business and sets the tone for the entire space. So why not build something memorable?

Below we’ll explore ideas that combine aesthetics and functionality to create reception areas that are inviting, modern, and expressive. We’ll take a look at trends across the world and fill you in on some necessary considerations for reception desks in Australia. Whether you're looking to make a lasting impression or seeking inspiration for a fitout or renovation, we got you covered with all the information you need below.

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Types of Reception Desks

There are 5 common types of reception desks: 

L Shape

This space-saving design is ideal for smaller offices and businesses. The L shape is versatile enough to stand independently or can be positioned against a wall or corner to save space. Regardless of the position, there’s plenty of space for receptionists to work and welcome visitors.

Curved Desk (U Shape)

The curved desk is a contemporary design that works well across various industries. Its shape works to delineate the space between the public entrance of a business and private offices behind the reception desk.

Floating Desk

In this unique design, the reception desk is built into and extends from a wall or wide pillar. Using the wall as leverage, the desk “floats” above the floor.

While storage options are limited, floating desks are almost always a custom project, allowing you to design the desk according to your requirements. 

Corner Desk

Have limited space? Corners are underutilised areas in offices and businesses. Place your reception area here and you’ll be able to take advantage of space that was previously unusable.  As with the L shape, corner desks can be configured and custom-designed to seat one or multiple receptionists.


Single, island-style reception desks come in all shapes and sizes. Coupled with branded elements and select materials, standalone reception desks transform into memorable statement pieces for visiting guests. 

No matter the configuration, the reception desk is a fully customisable part of your fitout. If you’re planning to fitout your space soon speak to us to discuss what options are available.

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5 Unique Reception Desk Design Ideas

1. Wood

Wood is one of the most common building materials. It can be cut, shaped, and layered in countless ways. Through bold choices and fine craftsmanship, wood can turn a reception desk into a statement piece. This reception desk at Muji Hotel in Shenzhen, China uses large timber blocks to make up the base. Combined with natural stone features, the hotel creates a cabin-like homely feel upon entry

2. Concrete

Want more of an industrial look? Concrete is the way to go. 

Concrete reception desks tend to be minimalist in nature, pairing back certain elements (e.g. branding) so that the rest of the space can speak. This hair salon in Kyoto, Japan opts for a simple, striking concrete slab in the reception area. There’s no clutter. Every element down to the furniture is an essential part of the space. With less going on visually, the fitout invites customers to relax peacefully until their appointment starts.

3. Brand-Led

While most of your fitout will be designed around work efficiency, productivity, and customer flow, reception desks offer moments to inject more personality into your fitout. It could be something as simple as including your business logo on the desk. Or maybe something more adventurous.

This Chic & Basic boutique hotel in Barcelona leans all the way into its 60s theme, using vintage valises as the focal point in its reception design. And the library at the University of Technology in Delft, Netherlands has a reception desk crafted entirely out of repurposed books.

4. Geometric

For a bit of contrast, a geometric-style reception desk can elevate your fitout. Unusual shapes and patterns can keep wandering eyes occupied. These design ideas are particularly effective in spaces where clients will have to wait, like a doctor’s waiting room

In this office fitout, architects designed a reception desk using timber. Countless triangles of all shapes and sizes were etched into the wood. Although every triangle is a different size, each side connects with another—further leading up the wall—and into the ceiling where the design continues.

5. Beauty, Barber, and Smaller Spaces

In salon and barbershop fitouts, space is often limited. There’s just enough room for appointments, leaving barely enough space for one receptionist. 

But that shouldn’t limit business owners from creating a reception area that’s personal and welcoming to clients. A custom, curve-shaped desk like the one at this nail salon, blends right into other design elements in the fitout. It’s not a stock standard desk forced into a space. It’s a purpose-built reception area that naturally flows into the rest of the salon.

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Elevate Your Office Fitout With a Stunning Reception Desk

First impressions are memorable and invaluable. Whether you own a salon or manage an office or medical centre, reception desks are the first point of contact in a customer’s experience with your business. Why not start on the right foot? 

At Canopy Fitouts we create spaces that inspire meaningful work. If you're in the process of moving into a new space or want to upgrade your existing one, we can help. We have years of fitout experience across multiple industries and can work with you to create a design that is fresh, welcoming, and functional. 

If you have any specific questions or are ready to get started on your office fitout, speak with our knowledgeable team today. Initial consultations are free and fully transparent.