When painting a lobby or waiting room for a business, the first question should always be, "What's our goal?"
Sometimes an anteroom is primarily intended to impress. Visitors will usually walk through fairly quickly, and setting the stage or making the right impression is the primary goal of the room. In such cases, a luxurious, modern feel is the primary goal. Making people feel comfortable is less important, and it's fine to choose colours and styles that might be intimidating in a space that is used more. Black and chrome, deep purple shades, or metallics can make a strong impression in a limited time.
If this is the primary goal, plan to redecorate fairly frequently in order to maintain an up to the minute look, or go very classic -- even verging on stuffy -- to emphasize the well-established nature of the business.
Sometimes a waiting room is really a place to wait, or even a meeting room. If people are likely to spend quite a bit of time in your waiting room, make it comfortable and friendly. The reception area show here combines soothing blue, green, and grey shades with lively tomato red chairs in interesting yet comfortable shapes.
A neutral palette in a waiting room may seem like a natural, since it can melt into the background and provide an inoffensive backdrop. In fact, a neutral colour scheme can emphasize the length of time visitors spend waiting and remind them that they are doing something rather boring: waiting.
If you're determined to use neutral shades, be sure to include a lot of texture or to bring in plants or tropical fish to add a sense of life to the room.
If you haven't thought about the main purpose of your waiting room, spend some time in observation before you decide on a decorating scheme. How long do people spend in the room? How do they respond to it? How would you like them to respond?
With these questions answered, you can make the best decision for your painting project.