When Katie Conovitz founded TwelveNYC in 2005, a product-development and trend-forecasting agency operating in the fashion and beauty spaces, she couldn't have envisioned she would have to move office spaces twice to account for her company's growth and success. But after 12 years in business and working with clients like DVF, Estée Lauder, Equinox, Uber, and SoulCycle, it was time for another move up the ladder of success.
Having worked on two previous offices with Homepolish designer Tina Rich, Conowitz knew who to call when the time came. Because of the project's scale, the designer brought Tali Roth on the project to bring a fresh perspective for the cool Brooklyn company. The creative duo wasted no time to create a cutting-edge, custom-built workspace for the growing company of 50—the project was completed in four short months. Wondering what it takes to create an office space that's worthy of New York's greatest trend forecasters? Take a tour of TwelveNYC's DUMBO offices—we bet you'll be polishing off that résumé in no time.
As an agency that focuses on product development and trend forecasting, TwelveNYC needed an office space that reflected its ethos with avant-garde design and cutting edge pieces. "I've worked with the TwelveNYC team on their previous two offices," Rich told MyDomaine. "Each project is more amazing than the last. When Katie, the founder and CEO, asked me to design the third office, I knew that Tali would add a fresh eye and be a great addition to the team."
The office was initially a blank canvas with white walls, concrete floors, and giant windows, but the two designers were able to bring it to life with intricate details like vintage Marco Zanuso chairs and a custom 17-inch-long floating bench with hot-pink plush velvet cushions that spans the entire reception area and lounge.
"We always start by gathering inspiration images to guide our design decisions," explains Roth. "From the start, we had a great grasp of TwelveNYC's aesthetic. We worked closely with Katie to create a space that reflected the brand's vision and aesthetic." Having worked with Conovitz in the past, they knew she would want to infuse color into the space—especially pink. "We wanted to take that and layer pink on pink on pink and keep it in one region. We then used a duck-egg blue as our accent color, pulling it through the kitchen and the executive space."
Initially an empty shell, the entire space spanned 2300 square feet, but the designers knew the importance of subdividing it. "We created a pre-entry by building out an arch and painting the inside of it," explains Roth. "We created a conference room, a shipping and receiving room, and two storage spaces for all the products, samples, and swatches. We constructed a kitchen as well. The rest of the space is open plan." By creating a few smaller spaces, they were able to create beautiful moments in the design while optimizing the functionality of the space.
The conference room was a focal point of the design because it was in plain sight upon walking in, but also because it served as the main space to meet with clients and showcase the agency's aesthetics. "We knew we wanted the conference room to be a statement, and we didn't want it to be hidden behind closed doors," says Rich. "We designed these gorgeous metal doors, which tie into the industrial space, and we designed custom round door pulls to finish them off."
The juxtaposition of linear and curved accents is present throughout the entire office, from the arched doorways and custom bookcases to the streamlined paneled glass doors and windows. It's even present in the furniture throughout the space. "We designed a custom, pill-shaped table made from ash wood, and we slightly whitewashed it. The shape is retro and unexpected, but it works perfectly with the other rounded elements," Rich says.
For functionality, the designers also built custom storage throughout the space—some of it with open shelving to display some of the company's own collections. "Being a product design and development company, they wanted a space that fostered creativity and collaboration," explains Roth. "They also needed a space that was functional with plenty of storage to house samples and products. Although function was key, the team wanted a space that reflected the brand's aesthetic. We wanted to create a space that was creative, fun, and colorful but still sophisticated."
In the open space, the designers kept the workstations simple and timeless, adding just a statement brass lamp to each for visual interest and leaving the statement pieces to the reception and conference areas. "The space is super clean—concrete floors and stark white walls with large open windows framed in black," says Toth. "The desks are all white, as well as the chairs, but we wanted to have some opposing luxe materials and strong, punchy design elements to lift the space, so we included velvets—the long, large custom 17-inch banquette and two reupholstered vintage chairs, the marble tables, leather poufs, and gorgeous custom rugs. We mixed up the materials by layering shades of the same solid colors over one another."
The enclosed kitchen was an opportunity to pull in accents of duck-egg blue to contrast the multiple pink moments. "Very early on, we had the idea of doing a monochromatic kitchen," says Roth. The designers used IKEA cabinet frames, which they had custom built and painted in Farrow & Ball Oval Room Blue ($115), which they also used on the walls and countertops. "We concealed all the appliances and used black hardware, fixtures, and lighting as the accents. Katie trusted our vision on this one, and it turned out better than we had hoped."
The designers' biggest challenge was the timeline. "The project took us about four months overall, but we only had three weeks in the space for construction and installation," says Roth. "Needless to say, we had to make sure we had everything finalized and ordered and a solid plan of action before construction started. After that, it was a mad dash to the finish line." Though the team was working on a tight schedule, they managed to turn TwelveNYC's third office space into an elevated custom space at the cutting-edge of design.
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