As a result of the pandemic, London-based communications consultant Sabine Zetteler worked with local interior designer Rhonda Drakeford of Studio Rhonda to reimagine her office space in Hackney, east London. 

‘We spend a lot of time thinking and writing about the future of the workspace,’ says Zetteler. ‘Emerging from lockdown, we realised that the old nine-to-five office model wasn’t really fit for purpose anymore, so we set out to create something new and more relevant to the flexible working model we have embraced in the wake of Covid.’

Zetteler office by Studio Rhonda

wooden kitchen by Holte in Zetteler office, London

The new office is a radical and colourful redesign of the industrial, 1,000 sq ft space, divided into three zones, each defined by a distinctive aesthetic and functionality. In the main workspace, a wooden table by Max Lamb for Hem takes centre stage with Herman Miller office chairs, and the room doubles as a library, with a wall-to-wall bookcase hidden behind a discreet, light blue curtain. 

At the rear is a café-style breakout area, furnished with sofas and smaller tables, and a wooden kitchen by Hølte (a client of Zetteler whose studio is also in the building). In between is a striking meeting room, purpose-built within the open space with translucent glass bricks and blue walls. Colour helps distinguish each area, from the duck-egg blue of the workspace to the warm tones of the lounge area, with colourful furniture complementing each composition. 

Meeting room with glass brick walls

As part of the brief was the need for the office to be vegan, while at the same time a deaf-friendly environment (as Sabine Zetteler has severe conductive hearing loss, a traditional open space layout and certain hard materials would have made the office an impractical space to work). Working together, Drakeford and Zetteler devised partitions in alternative acoustic materials that fulfilled both needs.

Eschewing a standard approach to occupying the office, the new space was conceived to become ‘a flexible resource’ that the team can use as a space to work, hold meetings, and host events or workshops. Most importantly, Zetteler aims to make the location available to the agency’s wider community of creatives, start-ups and charities. §

Living room area with sofa, table and chairs
corridor in the office, glass brick wall is visible on the left
view from inside the office
office interior