You can tell a lot about a person by their office space. Walk into my home office and the first thing you're likely to notice is that I have hundreds (and I'm not talking just 100 or 200) of nail polish shades and about a 1/2 dozen yoga mats — that's pretty much me in a nutshell. But what about a jewelry designer, a beauty entrepreneur, a political director or a celebrity interior designer? We found out…
Founder of LER PR
"I fell in love with this office space the second I walked in and saw the set of four large arched windows at the front and the exposed brick wall. I hate the idea of a traditional 'office' so I always strive to create a workspace that feels much more like a home. Our conference room table is actually a dining room table that I fell in love with because of its raw wood texture. I love incorporating earthy and modern elements into my workspace. I've also become obsessed with having fresh flowers at the office... they really just brighten up my mood every morning when I walk into the office!”
Communications Director at Stylecaster
"I like to keep my office space accessible, vibrant and fun. I keep bright, oversized pink Poppin Post-Its on the walls to remind me of all of the exciting projects we have in the works. For vibrancy, flowers, plants or anything living is a must (my boyfriend got me a lavender orchid because he knew that it's the only kind of flower I could keep alive for a decent amount of time). And, because StyleCaster is always (always) in party-planning mode, I tend to have more tequila brands on my desk than most at any given time. What better way to attract your team members to you for meetings?"
Co-Founder of Well and Good NYC
“We work out of a one-bedroom loft in West Soho. It's gritty on the outside, we're not going to lie. But inside, our office feels residential and definitely communal, and we furnished it with hand-me-downs. The other building tenants are mostly artists. Pretty much everyone who stops by for meetings or interviews says they feel like they've time traveled back to Soho circa 1977. We started doing a video series in the stairwell. We've even done yoga in our office with celebrity yogi Kristin McGee.”
Tax Partner at Kaye Scholer, London
"Although much is now done by email and online, as a lawyer, I am always surrounded by paperwork, and the mountain usually grows during the day. That said, I try my best to keep things organized by having regular clean-outs and sending files to storage."
Founder and Designer of Venessa Arizaga
"Our studio is a multifunctional, open plan space where everything related to the Venessa Arizaga brand passes through, from start to finish. The front of the house (wooden stage area) is primarily used by the design team and studio management. The beginning stages of every collection start here with the inspiration board to set the mood for the collection. Then we move into the concept phase where styles are either sketched on paper or designed on the computer. Everything then goes into the sampling area for the creation of rough samples. Next, the large white area is our photo studio where my husband Shawn Roche shoots all Look Book and still life images. The last area, where I end up spending most of my time, is the production room. This room houses everything that is takes to make a Venessa Arizaga piece – thousands upon thousands of charms, thread and chains."
Gallery Manager at Peter Tunney Experiment
"We're located in the Wynwood Walls, which is the world's largest and most amazing outdoor street art museum with murals by Shepard Fairey, Kenny Scharf, Retna, Ron English and the list goes on. Peter's studio/gallery 'The Peter Tunney Experiment' is a dynamic and uplifting Willy Wonka meets Andy Warhol-esque place. I am fortunate enough to manage the gallery and am surrounded by these wonderful messages of optimism: 'TODAY IS THE DAY,' 'WE LIVE IN A BEAUTIFUL WORLD,' 'GRATTITUDE' and 'THE TIME IS ALWAYS NOW' every day, so it's pretty hard for me not to be happy and fully appreciate every moment."
Manager at Vice Deutschland
"I manage the TV and Film Department in VICE's Germany office. The office is very decorated and has lots of posters from productions we've done, but my desk is not really that designed. Its content is dictated by my agenda: TV agreements, shooting plans, professional press etc. No Feng Shui here."
Co-Founder and CEO of Grasshopper
"Our previous office had traditional cubes — think Office Space. When the team started taking down cube panels to see each other, I realized that our new office needed to have a much more open feel. So when we relocated, I designed all the conference rooms and manager offices with glass windows, the workstations all have low dividers and there's an open seating area for breaks. We also have a pool table and a game room where the team can relax a bit. For conference calls we use Skype and we have a second monitor for screen sharing. After years of watching Entourage, the idea of a very large all-glass conference room always appealed to me. So when designing the new office, I made sure we had a huge main conference room with a custom walnut table."
Founder of Yes to Carrots
"The Yes to office is bright, open and always has music playing. Each team sits in a pod of four and gets to decorate their work area. We have a little rooftop garden where our Director of Operations grows tomatoes. There's an orange bike — in case someone wants to get some fresh air — and almost every Friday the whole team gathers around our big communal table and 'wines-down' together. We really wanted to create a space that you can call home… it's open because we believe that communication is key. It's bright because who wants to work in a boring space? And it's FUN… because when you're doing something fun — it's not work!"
Co-Founder and CEO of Designer Pages
“In line with the aesthetic of our office, my workstation is comprised of modern-lines (USM desking), and all the ergonomic accessories any CEO who sits at a desk 10+ hours daily would want. Sguig Task Chair by Keilhauer, Monitor Arm, Keyboard Tray, Task Lamp, and Foot Rest by Humanscale, Contoured Keyboard by Kinesis, and Fluoro Lighting Pendant by Tom Dixon."
"The kitchen is the heart of the home, and I love being in a sunny colorful spot when I'm working, so it was a natural choice for me to set up shop where I can also have coffee and a snack within arm's reach. I designed the space around Riviera china I inherited from an antiques dealer friend. It's basically in the same color scheme as Fiesta, but the lines are much more Art Deco. I chose green countertops (Corian) and an orange fridge (SMEG, an Italian maker). Vintage jadite knobs dress up the plain cabinets (IKEA). The vintage advertising sign on the side of the fridge ('You Can Do It!!!') always adds a bit of inspiration to my work."
Founder and CEO of Eshac Entertainment
"Eshac is a music company that gives unsigned artists the chance to earn a record deal through the power of the fans. As the CEO I’m always working on a million different projects at once so having space to spread out and see my notes is important. The incredible views of the Chelsea neighborhood, Empire State Building and the Hudson River keep the inspiration flowing during long work days."
Political Director at the Henry Jackson Society
“My desk is suitably austere for a think tanker, with all the essential ingredients: coffee, Blackberry and copies of our latest report on Al Qaeda in the United States. I've never missed a day of work, so the medicine is a holdover from one of the days battling through, but I feel much better now, thanks. Most people who stop by ask about the mouse. All I can say is, try it for a day, and you'll never go back."
Associate Director of Content Marketing at NewsCred
“Our office is communal and airy. All the employees sit side by side to inspire collaboration, creativity and efficiency. In an effort to personalize my work area in such a communal office, I always make sure to have a tiny purple orchid arrangement nearby, business cards in a decorative glass holder, and my monogrammed notebook with a set of pens."
Founder of PinkClouds
"The PinkClouds team works out of my Chelsea loft space. Like any good New Yorker, we got creative with our space. The second floor office doubles as a closet and my dining room serves as the perfect showroom. The set up is inviting, transitional and well-representative of the brand. There is enough lucite, brass and mirrored surfaces for any lover of Hollywood glamour. Working and living in the same space has its benefits and challenges, but without a doubt, the commute time cannot be beat!"
"Located in the heart of the Garment District, our corporate showroom occupies approximately 4000 sq. feet on the 17th floor. We designed it to evoke the feel of a sophisticated contemporary specialty boutique and split it into three separate showing spaces: LaPina, Twenty and fabric qualities from my fabric mill in Montreal, Canada. Once you come visit, you'll find it hard pressed to not want to stay around for hours."
Founder and CEO of TL Communications
“When it came to designing the layout of our office, I wanted an open floor plan that maximized the natural light from large floor-to-ceiling windows. I kept the majority of the office bright white and incorporated bold accents of color throughout. The entryway has two vintage chairs that I refurbished in a modern zebra pattern. A large, antique crystal chandelier hangs in the center of the main area, and I created a space reminiscent of a living room to be used as a waiting area. Our office can be a whirlwind and having a well designed space helps us to streamline projects and communication."
Public Relations for BCBGMAXAZRIAGROUP
"We have the ideal work space for a PR team – with showrooms dedicated to each brand, we are truly able to showcase each as a lifestyled collection!"
Ariel Lilly and Christina Coniglio
Co-Founders and Designers of Rae Francis
"Our work space is very important to our creative development. We put our latest research and any new interesting inspiration, fabrics, and trims on our 'working process wall' so there are constant artistic visuals to influence our latest collection. We keep both our most recent collection which is Fall 2013, as well as Summer 2013 that is currently in production. Buyers love to see what we are about to ship to our accounts and what we just showed for market. Since Rae Francis is a sophisticated bohemian brand, we wanted our showroom to reflect that so we gave it touches of whimsy by adding white flowing curtains and handmade floral garland that drapes the ceiling."
Christopher Lee Sauve
"This is my bookshelf where I keep everything: art supplies, books on art, things I have collected and some family photographs. My home office is a place where I can work well into the night and feel relaxed and creative, either on my illustrations, tshirt designs or art direction projects. Currently I'm here working on a collaboration with artist Scooter LaForge."
Ben Fink Shapiro
"I always shoot on location, either in a photo studio or somewhere more glam than a walk-up in the LES, perhaps in a hotel room at The Plaza or on the beach in Miami. I do most of my edits at my home office in the LES — preparing images to be sent over to my retouching lab. It's not uncommon for model friends to drop by and check out the latest shots we did together."
Founder of Lab Media Group
"I keep a vision board of what I wish to accomplish for the year on my desk, as well as things that inspire me. I have to be on the pulse of what the trends are and sometime even ahead of trends, so I pin things on different boards throughout the office. I also keep a few calendars to map out different ideas for clients and journals filled with to do lists. My desk is sometimes as chaotic as my life is, but I wouldn't have it any other way."
Brand Director at Shobha
"Our office is more of a behind-the-scenes spot, since everyone knows our salons. However, we have a team of 10 that works out of our New York office in the Flatiron Area. It’s an open office environment and even our conference room has glass walls. We find the open environment is really conducive to generating ideas and problem solving between our various departmental teams – it’s also a lot of fun!"
Founder of DivaLysscious Moms
"Since I'm in the business of helping moms be fabulyss, I do my best work surrounded by my two boys and puppy Jedi, while also keeping my desk as girlie as possible. I work on a Mackenzie Childs whimsical desk with lots of pink accessories and I keep my childrens' art work and photos around to inspire me. I also keep an image of Audrey Hepburn, who is a huge inspiration for my company."
Studio Manager at Lyn Devon
“The sun-drenched Lyn Devon studio is on the parlor floor of an 18th century townhouse, nestled between Park and Madison. With private clients around the corner and a huge cherry tree right outside our ceiling high windows, it’s a beautiful place to work. The atelier in the back is where samples are created and garments are tailored for customers. The walls are lined with mood boards and photos of past collections, creating an inviting and inspiring atmosphere.”
Executive Recruiter at AC Lion
“Our cube dividers are pretty low because our bosses wants to encourage lots of communication and listening to what others are doing (sometimes it's kind of hard to hear what people are saying to me on the phone but c'est la vie). My desk is surrounded by Lumascapes (these diagrams of all the different players in digital media) — it is one of my efforts to make sense of this crazy industry. There are lots of little toys (like the Pez dispensers) scattered around my office. We're a pretty fun-loving group. I also have a corner dedicated to personal stuff — thank you and birthday cards, photos, tickets, etc. And, when I’m working during off hours, I bring my dog for company!”
Research Associate at Harvard Business School
"Winters in Boston can be brutal, so sometimes fantasizing about far-off lands is what you have to do to get through the workday. In my workspace, I have the 2013 Wanderlust calendar for when I need to daydream for a quick second. Other images of natural wonders that I've been into are hung around, like the Geyser Basin at Yellowstone National Park. A new study found that looking at awesome things gives you the perception that time is more plentiful, which is exactly what everyone needs to feel like you have enough time to tackle everything you're assigned. When I have to work late, I brew some tea and light my soy candle that has a wooden wick and makes a relaxing crackling sound when it's lit. I feel like I produce my best work in a clean, relaxing, cheery work space, so that's what I've tried to make."
"I always love to have my desk positioned looking out a window; the movement and changes in the light refresh and inspire me. This piece is an Indonesian carved console that I discovered in a thrift shop and painted almond when I grew tired of the cocoa surface. My desk at home is a place for my laptop as well as an assortment of brushes, inks and sketch pads. It's most often a rainbow of inspirational images, fabric swatches, spiritual texts, coffee table books and comforting, precious objects — a healing aloe plant, a gold-dipped sea anemone, a carved wooden angelic figure bought for me by a mentor, a hand-painted Mexican box. Sacred, colorful and motivating."
"This desk doesn’t belong to me, but like many others, it’s mine for a few days. When I'm on tour for my book, my workspace is a blend of hotel desks (and yes, beds), airport lounges, backseats of car services, SuperShuttle vans, and on occasion, home. I kind of love them all."
"Whenever I can, I work from my office which is close to my apartment, but it's nice to have a space at home too. Since it's part of the bedroom I share with my husband, I try to keep it as simple as possible. I tend to hang on to things, but the desk only has two very sparse drawers, so I am forced to deal with that tendency! I have a sterling silver vintage toast/letter rack that was one of my very first engagement presents so I really treasure it. The candle is Cafe Society by Carlos Benaim. I'm a little obsessed with Frederic Malle. I always carry a moleskin notepad and keep a few blank ones on hand at all times. The trays are Jonathan Adler and again, are small so I force myself not to accumulate anything that can't fit on the trays!"
Aaron Jay Harris
"As a stylist, your workspace changes daily. You could be hauling bags of designer goods one day and running around to showrooms for pulls the next. That's why it's important for me to have a 'home base' that is very serene yet full of resources. I have plenty of reference materials on hand to review when prepping for a styling job along with things like scented candles to add a sense of calm to my workspace."
Xbox Advertising for Microsoft’s Central Region
"I personalized my office based on the three most important areas of life: Family, Work, and Golf. You can see pictures of my family in the frames on my desk, and art from my five-year-old daughter and one-and-a-half-year-old son hanging on my window. There are also numerous pictures on my window from team events over the years and a special Xbox 360 on the left side of my desk. This is from a deal we did with Paramount Studios 5 years ago for Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. We created 20 limited-edition Xbox 360s skinned with art from the movie and I was able to keep one! Lastly, I love golf. I love the history, the competition and the challenge. On my wall is my favorite golf picture of Ben Hogan hitting a 1-iron in the 1950 US Open at Marion Country Club."
Social Media and Public Relations for Lifestyle Mirror
"The great thing about digital is that I can really work from anywhere. As long as I have my computer, iPad, and iPhone, I'm all set. I stay fairly organized as I don't really have that much paperwork to deal with and I keep my notebook handy for those matters. Other than that, I find beautiful stationery a must, it's important to go offline sometimes with a personal touch."
Co-Founder of In The Know Experiences
"I wanted the space to be sleek and modern, hence the glass desk and white leather chairs, but with a slightly feminine influence, and of course great travel accents such as current guides, magazines, and even a door hanger from one of my favorite hotels. I love the idea of mixing different textures so I thought it would be fun to mix a great photograph with a fun and sassy painting and an interesting hanging sculpture. And I always have an amazing candle burning as well as a fab bottle of champagne just in case we need to do some celebrating!"
Phoenix Kelly Rappa
Managing Partner at Cuca Fresca Spirit
"There's nothing more beautiful than waking up and smelling the fresh sugar cane of Brazil. The entire process is done at our distillery located in the heart of Minas Gerais, the world’s most famous cachaça-producing region. At our distillery, the soil and weather combine to create the ideal growing conditions for cane. 'Cuca Fresca,' which literally translates to 'cool head' and is a Brazilian expression meaning 'to be relaxed.' Next trip I am planning is to Brazil!"
Strategy Consultant at Interbrand
"We have an open floor plan with 'inspiration' on the pillars for a creative and collaborative environment and as for my personal space, I keep decordations to a minimum as 'a clean desk is a clean mind.' However, I do have several photos of my colleagues and I on the NYSE platform for the Interbrand Best Global Brands launch event, which is a very special and celebratory time for us as a company. Other than that, I have a personal heater since office temperatures are unpredictable and a small Muji flip calendar to keep organized."
CEO of European Wax Center
"Our office space was designed to offer collaboration amongst the teams, privacy, a quiet atmosphere for department heads to grow their departments, and a founders suite to encourage teamwork and keep all of the founders aware of the day to day items that come up in each of our respective departments. It also includes the latest technology in both our training center and conference rooms."
"I've moved between three different desks in the last six months, so some of the desk-dwelling accessories aren't my own but they didn't bother me, so they remained untouched. From left to right, here's a quick rundown of what's collecting dust on my desk: sturdy cane in case of injuries around the office (it's already been used by two different people in the last year), a clipping of Boyd Rice, a copy of the Suturee's latest vinyl, which my most excellent colleague Rebecca Adorno gave to me as a present, a copy of my friend Allen Ying's skate publication 43 Magazine, so that I never feel hungry I've got some hot sauce I brought back from Charleston, an assortment of books and magazines that I've mostly yet to crack open but that make me feel I'm in the company of fine thinkers, gifts from colleagues in the form of a traditional Cock of Barcelos from Portugal and a Hoptimist bobble head from Denmark."
Africa Director at Kensington Tours
"I love collecting things from my travels through Africa. One of my favorite things in the office is the globe that sits at the corner of my desk because it's actually a bar globe that I purchased at the Church Street boutique in Cape Town Africa. I also love my Bearded Africa Mask from Botswana and my Elephant picture, which was actually taken on my first Safari to East Africa. The small frames around my office are of various trips to Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda and Madagascar, and I do always like to keep a variety of books around that are a must for any animal and Africa travel lover!"
Owner of Robert Stuart
"I wanted to provide an intelligent approach to hair in a friendly, non-threatening environment. My 'desk' job is being with clients, having an open forum for conversations. In an era of globalization, a service business, like something intimate and personal such as hair, should offer a personal touch. I want clients to feel comfortable, like they are at home when they are in the salon."
Manager of Styles New York
“My daily duties include consultations, photo shoot confirmations and style research on tips and trends – hence, the organized chaos you see on my desk.”
"As a health coach, when I'm not out meeting with clients, I do most of my work at home. I conduct sessions with clients over the phone and I do a lot of writing/blogging as well as reading and researching. You'll also find me in the kitch a lot preparing healthy food, cooking and juicing."
Caroline Grant and Dolores Suarez
Designers and Founders of DEKAR DESIGN
"Our office is an open, airy loft that we have divided into different 'rooms.' The front is the 'dining room' with custom 10-foot table where we brainstorm and hold client meetings. The tabletop is made from the floors of an old bicycle factory in Springfield, MA. We also have a 'library' space which is defined by 12-foot long reclaimed wood floating shelves where we archive books and periodicals that serve as a constant source of inspiration. We mixed pieces from sourcing trips around the country and painted the floor in a tonal checkerboard pattern for added interest."
Makeup Artist and Founder of Sonia Kashuk Beauty
"In our industry, it is important to create an environment that excites and inspires. I strive to have an office that represents the aesthetic and design of my brand."