Bethard + Raketech Reception Area

When someone walks through a company’s doors for the first time the way that they interpret the reception area can influence all their future interactions with that company. Studies have shown that if the reception area is neglected or designed incorrectly, how those first few steps into the new space make us feel, will heavily influence our opinion of the company itself. The quintessential ‘first- impression’.

At Angie the Architect, our interior design team are skilled in the art of manipulating the fine line between functional requirements and visual appeal. We use research, logic, experience and a mix of our five senses to get the design formula just right for each client.

Upon being commissioned to design the Bethard office, we paid special attention to the design of the joint reception area. We know that first impressions count. Shared with another iGaming company in the same block, it was important to keep the space ‘brand-neutral’.

The first step was to consider the available space. Two doors greeted visitors on entry. The main door was left open during the day and closed at night. The second, a glass door. This opened the space, making it more inviting, but at the same time allowed the door to be left closed for extra security. It could be opened via a keycard for easy access by staff.

With the existing space for the reception leaning on the smaller side, we had to ensure our design proposal didn’t overcrowd the space, making visitors feel claustrophobic. Or if the visitors’ arrival happened to coincide with the unloading of deliveries, that they would never feel ‘in the way’. No one wants a guest to have to dodge around people or boxes. To help with the smooth running of deliveries we created a separate, lockable room behind the reception desk where deliveries could be unloaded.

We knew the area would be shared by a full-time receptionist during the day and a security guard in the evening. Small spaces are also renowned for looking messy, simply because storage might not be readily accessible, so things have a habit of being left out on desks and surfaces without a proper place. This becomes a twofold problem when you have multiple people sharing the same space. Creating lockable storage was important to make sure the place looked clean and clutter free and so that each person knew where to find things as and when needed. We also had to consider a skewed wall on the left side of the room that housed the electrical distribution and fire alarm boxes and several other unsightly elements. It was important to hide these, along with making the wall more symmetrical.

To that end we designed a large wooden cabinet which covered the non-essential features and helped to make the wall completely flush. We built a recess into this wall cabinet providing a space where our client could cleverly showcase recent awards they won. Rather than making the awards look too dominant in the room, the recess gave them an area of quiet focus, but it also meant that seated guests could admire them discreetly at eye-level whilst waiting.

By wrapping this wall and the wall behind the reception desk with an intriguing wallpaper, which featured bold diagonal lines of varying weights, we
gave the room an iconic feel, that perfectly complemented the coldness of the travertine wall cladding on the opposite side.

Working in such a tight space pushed us towards choosing custom furniture, so that we could maximise the room’s full potential. We designed and  constructed a solid wood reception desk, which used two contrasting finishes of wood, black and natural oak. Professional but equally welcoming. We also ensured the desk had lockable storage areas, so it could remain clutter free.

During our research stage, we gathered data on the expected numbers of visitors, deliveries and staff that would be using the area. Once we understood the kind of traffic the room would see, we could make decisions on the sizes and options for the waiting area furniture. Sitting on an uncomfortable chair will never kick off a business relationship in the right way, so the chairs we chose were practical but also pleasant enough to sink into for a moment’s respite. We chose darker chairs to suitably integrate with the rooms colour palette.

Whether you’re welcoming a new member of staff, a supplier for a tough negotiation meeting or a key client for an important business pitch – the impression when they walk through that door for the first-time counts. An office reception area should be designed to be the ideal experiential business card. The power to welcome, intrigue and leave a lasting, positive impression. We also believe that whether it’s for people entering the space for the first time, or staff that enter for the 100th time, the reception area must easily communicate a company’s culture, focus people’s mindsets and make the person feel delighted to be there.

The result of this interior design project is a professional, smart and engaging reception area, dotted with hints of the character of the brand that visitors have yet to meet.

Call it a prelude to a first impression, that works effortlessly.


St Julians



Project Type

Workplace Interior Design

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