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Small Waiting Room Design Ideas

Looking to elevate the layout of your small waiting room design? find out how with this complete guide!

A waiting room is one of the first impressions of your company to visitors. When someone settles down in a waiting room, they have a chance to observe the smallest of details and form opinions about your brand based on those observations.

This means you need to design your waiting room strategically, whether it’s small or large. However, if you’re looking to elevate the layout of your small waiting room design, you’re in the right place. One way is to opt for a small office reception design that will maximize the small waiting area and still make it stylish and welcoming. Another way is with small office lounge ideas to engage your clients while they wait. 

Keep reading for our quick and handy guide to making the most of your waiting space with your lobby furniture.

What to Consider Before Designing a Waiting Room

The reception and lounge area might possibly be the most important part of your office as it's the first thing clients see. So designing it is key to inviting them in and may be the reason for their return later. Before designing a small waiting room, however, you need to keep a few things in mind. 


The most important element in a waiting room is seating. When you’re choosing chairs, the most crucial factor to consider is the comfort factor. If you opt for hard metal or plastic chairs, they aren’t going to offer much in the name of cozy. Unfortunately, they can look cheap, too. 

If you opt for more comfortably padded chairs, they can offer more of a luxury vibe. Always make sure to try out your furniture before buying. It should be comfy enough for long periods of sitting. However, don’t go too heavy in design in order to prevent the room from appearing stuffy. It should also still look like a professional environment, not your living room. 


Consider the overall aesthetic of your company’s brand design your waiting room in keeping with that. Consider the layout of the room as well as the space and choose items that will create a good aesthetic. You might consider more classic and traditional furniture items, since they go well in almost all spaces and are timeless. 


It’s never economically suitable for a company to have to refurnish their waiting room too soon. Make sure any and all items you choose are durable and designed to last. 

When choosing sofas and chairs, consider how much traffic your waiting room sees on average and choose the fabric and construction accordingly. Sturdy cotton or linen fabrics are better for sofas. Leather and velvet can work well, too.

Small Waiting Room Design Tips

Create a Focus Point 

To make the most of your small waiting room, create a focal point. It will not only take attention away from the size of the room, but direct your visitor’s eyes to something visually pleasing.

A focus point can be anything, whether it’s a bright or dark wall that contrasts with the other walls, a neon sign displaying your company’s mission statement, an aquarium to gaze at, a single, large piece of art, or even small and decorative items that are placed in a harmonious way. 

Although you can also use TV screens as a focal point, sometimes they can be too stimulating for certain people, especially if the volume is high. 

Choose Your Furniture Wisely 

Choose waiting room furniture items with curved sides as they’re thought to be more welcoming. To maximize a small space, opt for l-shaped or corner-shaped sofas, as well as two-seater sofas with armchairs. 

Arrange furniture along the walls to maximize free space in the middle. You can also go for lightweight tables made of metal, with gold or chrome finish offer a luxurious feel. 

As a centerpiece, glass tables with metal frames are great. Don’t go with heavy-looking wooden tables as they take up too much visual and physical space. 

Use Good Lighting

Lighting can make or break the overall appearance of any room. If you opt for standard lighting fixtures, you will end up with a standard-looking room. A single light can make a room appear harsh. 

However, when placed wisely, lighting can make a space look more welcoming and open, and completely change its appearance. It can also be used to bring focus to a specific area using spotlights. 

Be sure to make use of all natural lighting available. Arrange lighting in a way that is  distributed evenly along the room and utilize both wall lights and lamps, along with spotlights.

Keep Your Color Scheme in Mind 

Consider the overall color scheme of your office and your company colors. You don’t need to design using only those colors––they can be incorporated in subtle ways throughout the space to create a seamless transition between different rooms. 

You can also use color to brighten and open up spaces, making small rooms appear larger and more open. For example, white and pastels bring in more light. 

Freshen a Room with Plants

Is there any room design that’s complete without plants and flowers? To bring symmetry and openness to a small space, place plants in corners and on either side of your doors. You can also opt for small plant vases to put on side tables and the center table and keep ground space around the seating area free. 

Waiting room design is a bit of an art, especially if the room is small. But with a few strategic waiting room furniture pieces and placements, you can make even the smallest space appear attractive and welcoming to visitors. 

Visit us at Juniper for more reception area ideas and designs to elevate your office space and give your clients the perfect waiting room experience.