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Lobby Design Ideas for Offices, Hotels and Commercial Spaces

Lobbies can make or break the first impressions of guests, visitors and clients when they enter commercial buildings. Whether it be a hotel, office, or other commercial space, a great lobby is a must when it comes to presenting a business in the best light and creating a lasting impression.

The perfect lobby has the ‘wow-factor’ but is also welcoming and inviting. Different commercial spaces may have different goals and approaches to appeal to visitors, for example, hotels tend to be luxurious and impressive, whereas office lobbies may be more corporate. Once the purpose and style of the lobby has been decided, the design and decoration can begin.

For more inspiration, check out our recent blog ‘How to Create Stunning Building Entrances’.

Here are ideas to spruce up commercial lobbies and create positive lasting impressions.

Functional Furniture

Lobbies that impress visitors and guests will not only look good, but function well too. The layout should be clear to avoid confusion (which could ruin a first impression) and furniture well placed to not crowd the lobby.

Furniture plays an important role in lobbies; visitors and guests coming to visit a hotel or office need a place to rest, wait, work or even eat, so it’s important the right facilities are provided. Seats should be comfortable, stylish, and well placed near the main reception desk. Some lobbies may even create zones through furniture to differentiate areas and give guests options, with sofas for waiting spaces, and tables and chairs for eating.

Chantry Atrium Light

Light Fixture Centrepieces

Lobby lighting is critical; too dark and the space feels small and cramped, but too light and it may be overwhelming and not welcoming. Perfecting the lighting can result in a certain impression. Lobbies are usually large, open spaces, so huge light centrepieces can be a great way to draw attention to certain areas and fill gaps with attractive decorations.

Luxe chandeliers make a big splash in hotel lobbies, drawing eyes upwards to tall ceilings and creating an opulent display of twinkling lights. Contemporary chandeliers offer a more refined, minimalistic look that can bring modern class to an otherwise plain space.

A lobby with low ceilings may not have as much space for a large hanging light fixture, but other lighting fixtures can be just as effective. Undercounter lighting, spotlights, and strip lights can help brighten a lobby and create ambience.

Plants and Nature

Having natural elements in a lobby can create a welcoming entrance for guests and visitors to a commercial building. Nature reduces stress and increases feelings of relaxation, so plants and other green elements make great additions to busy commercial environments. Whether people are waiting for meetings or just leaving the office, a flash of natural elements help create a sense of calm.

Biophilic design describes the design style that pulls on the innate appeal of nature to humans. This design style involves using plants, water, timber cladding, and other natural elements within buildings, especially in urban environments where nature will resonate most with people. Following biophilic design can aid in sustainable building design too, by utilising well-sourced, environmentally friendly materials.

See more: A Beginner’s Guide To Sustainable Construction

Abodo Timber Vodafone Interior


Logos, slogans, and brand names should be visible in the lobbies of commercial spaces. That way, not only do guests remember an amazing lobby, they remember the business and brand it belongs to. Make the logo the centre of attention with back lighting, LED detailing or even neon to be sure no visitor forgets your great lobby.

Feature Wall

Having a feature wall with something novel or extraordinary can take a lobby from plain to eye-catching. Feature walls can be as simple and inexpensive as a plant wall, or as glamorous as a waterfall. Whether placed behind the reception desk to draw in visitors or used as a stunning picture location to be shared across the internet, feature walls are a lobby must-have!

Timber cladding is a great inexpensive way to uplift a wall and incorporate subtle design features into a lobby. With a range of species, fixes and profiles to choose from, a range of looks can be created with ease; from waney edge cladding for a traditional, rustic look, to straight edge cladding for a modern aesthetic. Choose from vertical, horizontal or even diagonal fixing to create an unmissable attraction. Want more ideas? See our Timber Cladding Design Inspiration blog.


Currently, the most popular design style is minimalism. Lobbies following this style may reduce the amount of furniture, avoid busy patterns and décor, and use earthy tones. As minimalism is very in fashion, minimalist lobbies will no doubt make a great impression, and present the businesses or hotel as up-to-date and fashionable. Though monotone hues are popular, the overuse of white, grey and black can look cold and uninviting, so it’s critical a minimalist lobby balances the style well to still be welcoming.


Varied Materials

Instead of using bright colours and busy patterns, designers can use constructing materials to create a bold, attractive effect in lobbies. Mixing glass, marble, wood, concrete, and other popular materials can have a stylistic impact.

Even fabrics can be used to create different interior styles. For example, velvet, silk or tulle are popular in luxurious hotel lobbies, showcasing refinement and glamour. By switching up building materials and drawing on traditional styles, lobbies can be incredibly interesting and attractive spaces.

Get Started with NORclad

At NORclad we supply top quality timber cladding to a range of projects across the UK and the rest of the world. From private residences to commercial buildings, including leisure centres, universities, offices, and healthcare practices, we have elevated a whole host of buildings to create stunning façades and attractive lobbies.

Check out our case studies and gallery to see how your commercial space can benefit from stunning timber cladding. If you are an architect or property manager interested in our services, get in touch with one of our team today.

Learn More with NORclad

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If you’re stuck for inspiration and want to see working examples of our expertise, feel free to browse through our case studies.

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2021-06-17T09:36:16+01:00May 28th, 2021|

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