Forty5 black oak reception desk counter top


Spaceist have created a short guide to buying a reception desk. Whether you need a corner reception desk, white reception desk or glass reception desk this will guide you through the the most important things to consider before buying your new desk.

The first and most important thing when thinking about a new reception desk is to order the correct size desk. The desk should be large enough to accommodate the user/users and should be proportionally correct for the room. Remember this is the first area your client will see so it is important to make a great first impression.

Please continue reading our guide below and for more information or planning advice call our furniture experts on 020 8840 6298


Buying a Reception Desk Guide:


  • Space Per Person?
  • Reception Desk Shape?
  • Wheel Chair Access?
  • Will the Desk Fit?
  • Special Sizes?
  • Computer Monitor Size?
  • Power + USB Sockets?
  • Lockable Reception Storage?
  • Suitable Reception Chair?
  • Cleaning?



Space Per Person?

  • How much desk space? – 100cm to 120cm of space should allocated per person using a reception desk.
  • Space between the wall? – 100cm of space between the desk edge and the wall or storage. For a two person desk a minimum of 120 cm should be left so the second user can get easy access.



Reception Desk Shape?

There are six main types of reception desk:

  • Straight Desk
    Perfect to back onto a long straight wall were the client is entering the room facing the desk front the front. Most of our reception desks come in a straight option in standard or bespoke sizes.
  • Corner Desk
    Use when part of the reception area needs to be cornered off. The client will be entering the room from the side but will then wait at the front of the desk. The Forty5 Corner desk is our most popular desk to date. It is usually ordered in a bespoke size is very economical and hard wearing.
  • Standing Desk
    Suitable for multiple users who might be greeting several clients over a short period. The Oblique Desk is shown at party event at an exhibition stand with a padded fabric front panel.
  • U-Shaped Desk
    Suitable for a large reception areas with several users.
  • Circle or Half Circle Desk
    Again only suitable at the centre of a large reception, by a wall or pillar. As you can see from the Valde Circular Desk one end of the desk is placed against a pillar and there is enough room for one user and wheel chair access.
  • Curved Desk
    More designer reception desk with a wavy curved front. The Valde Curved Desk looks great in clinic or doctors waiting room with its curved glossy front and LED down-lights.



Spaceist-Valde-curvy-reception-desk-blog.jpg 45 white corner reception desks Modular reception desk in black



Wheel Chair Access?

For wheelchair users who need to use your reception desk the following desks are suitable or have a DDA desk option



Will the Desk Fit?

Find some masking tape and measure out the size of reception desk. Stick the masking tape to the floor in the shape of the desk then step back and see if the size of the desk looks proportional to the reception. You can also do the same for and extra storage that is needed. Remember if it looks wrong it usually is.



Monitor Size?

For a desk with a counter top you will need a minimum depth of 75cm desk depth for monitors below a 31cm high. This means the monitor will fit under the counter top. If the computer screen is higher than 31cm you will need a 90cm deep desk. Please note some desks come with a recess in the top to accommodate the monitor screen.



White and oak half circle reception desk Spaceist-Lina-silver-reception-desk.jpg spaceist-hi-line-orange-white-corner-reception-desk.jpg



Special Sizes?

All reception desks are made to order so you can choose your size, colour and any bespoke modifications. Usually there is not a great price different from the standard sizes. Call 020 8840 6298 for expert furniture advice.



Power + USB Sockets?

There are several types of plug + USB sockets from rotating, pop-up and wireless charging points.

  • Rotating – perfect for occasional use. Turn the unit over to hide the socket points when not in use.
  • Fixed – for regular or long term use a fixed socket is ideal.
  • Pop-up – perfect for multiple plugs with easy access.
  • Wireless Charging – put your phone on top of the pad for a quick charge.



Lockable Reception Storage?

When choosing lockable reception storage consider what will be placed into the cabinet or drawer. When using box files or hanging files you need to allow a certain amount of space to accommodate the height. Consider adding coat hooks, USB chargers and metal shelves for heavy items.



Suitable Reception Chair?

An ergonomic task chair should always be used to seat a user at a reception desk. Because of the long periods and moment a user has to make whilst sitting at a reception desk the chair needs to have suitable adjustments and wheels. Adjustments to consider are back tilt adjustment, forward tilt, lumbar support, seat depth adjustment, height adjustment and adjustable arms.



Cleaning a Reception Desk?

  • Laminate Desks
    Most laminate desks can be be wiped down with a damp cloth and a mild window cleaner to remove any grease. Always dry the surface off after cleaning and never leave standing water on a laminate top.
  • Glass Desks
    Wipe down with a damp cloth using a window clearer to remove grease marks. Use a glass cloth to polish and remove any streaks.
  • Metal Desks
    Most metal desks can be be wiped down with a damp cloth and a mild window cleaner to remove any grease. Always dry the surface off after cleaning and never leave standing water on a metal top.






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By Alexander Pickles / BA (Hons) Furniture Design


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