Homepolish, which offers home and office decorating services at unparalleled prices, has been a go-to for fashion and media industry insiders since its inception. Their clients include Fashionista, Man Repeller, editors from publications like New York magazine and a slew of brands and startups including Gilt. After interviewing co-founder Noa Santos, we were curious to learn more, so we headed to Homepolish's 28th street headquarters to check out their workspace.
"We moved into this space in January 2013 with three employees. I remember thinking that it was too big. Now about 17 months later, we have 15 employees and are in need of a bigger space! The great thing is that we're growing with our clients. For example, we've designed all three of NewsCred's offices, which have gotten progressively bigger. We always have a number of office and home spaces in the works and I'd say on average, home spaces take two to three months, while office spaces take three to four. But since our designers work by the hour, some people take their time and do the design piece by piece; one of our clients has been working on and off with us for over a year."
"It was very important that our office represent an idea, not an aesthetic. I knew we'd have a lot of clients coming in here, so we had to, in a sense, represent everything versus one specific thing. We didn't want people coming in here saying, 'We can't use Homepolish because this isn't my look.' I love this space because it shows that you can mix and match pieces that are completely different and they can still look great if you tie them together with accessories. It's a great way to save money. The furniture here is from Craigslist, Housing Works and Home Depot's decorating line, which is really well-made."
"Our office is right by the flower district and they sell all sorts of things, including candles for way cheaper than you'll find anywhere else. The candles help make this space feel more inviting. It’s important that your office space feel warm—especially if you’re asking people to put in 15-hour days. When we work with startups, a lot of the time we’ll put in little touches like napping rooms and people will tell us that their employees come in on weekends because the office is a more inviting living space than their home! In tandem with that, a lot of people who have hired us to design their office end up hiring us to design their home space."
"All of our artwork is from Uprise Art. They're one of our swatch vendors. You basically rent the artwork by paying $50 a month till you own it. So this painting is about $8,000, so I'll own it in 160 months (!) or I can return it at any time. It's a great way for people who don't have the money to spend on artwork yet to start investing."
“When you’re a startup, it’s important for your space to be flexible. At first, we had all of the desks in the same area, but it got to be very loud since we don’t have a conference room. We ended up splitting up our service team on one side and our content team on the other. It was one of the ways we lowered the noise without carpeting.”
"This is the content team area. They work with sites like Refinery29 and our own site to populate it with content and photographs, so people can get design inspiration. All of our desks are from various vendors. We tied them together by giving them all black finishes. Again, as a startup, it's important to be flexible, so we didn't want traditional desks where you can't sit more than one person—we need to be able to squeeze here if need be!"
“We just got this plant from the flower district. Again, no need to spend a ton of money when you can just come here and for $120 get this great plant. The flower district is a goldmine.”
“Shipping pallets are perfect to create a cheap structure. This bar table has eight units, each of which cost just $15. We didn’t need a contractor; we just had a handyman come in and put it together—it’s very 101! We’ve used shipping pallets to make everything from unique seating to bed frames. As far as this space, this is our collaborative area. We’ll get together and map out goals or sometimes designers will come in and meet with clients here. The chairs are from all over—Target, Overstock—mixing things up is a way to get an expensive look on a budget.”
“In the background, you can see that we used industrial-grade paint from Rust-Oleum to make our walls into white boards. Usually, this kind of paint is very expensive, but Rust-Oleum makes some that not only works well, but is affordable. The lamp is vintage; I took off the shade because it was hideous! The rest are accessories from Dwell. We love their accessories and often send clients one of their gold animals. You can’t go wrong with a gold animal."
“This was our solution to the clutter problem; it’s basically everyone’s personal storage space. We like to keep our desk spaces very clean and in general, I love for things to be organized. I would avoid The Container Store and instead opt for vintage markets. I love to create storage spaces using wooden boxes and small trucks.“
“When we work with startups, we try to get in as early as possible in the process to save our clients the most money. For example, if you opt for a space with matte finishes on the floor, it won’t show scratches or the kind of wear and tear you get with glossy finishes. Same thing with lighting. If you opt for a space with track lighting versus fluorescent lighting, that will save a ton of money down the line in the design process.”
“This was a failed attempt at taking Polaroids of all our designers. We’ve grown so fast and are now spread across multiple cities. At least it was a fast and cheap fail.”