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Office Interior Design On A Dorm Budget The New York Times

Office Interior Design On A Dorm Budget The New York Times Office Interior Design On A Dorm Budget The New York Times

The annual event, which tasks prominent decorators with creating dream spaces for a Manhattan home, turns 43 this year.

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One day, Ms. Stubbs cut her finger and asked Mr. Sherman for an adhesive bandage; the two began talking about how Food52 had just signed the lease on its first office.

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Working with start-ups presents unique challenges, Mr. Sherman said, because often the clients lack both funds and office renovation experience but still have high expectations. And yet Mr. Sherman has delivered under those demands, again and again, becoming, as Ms. Stubbs put it, “the go-to office designer for tech start-ups looking to make a statement.”

This week’s properties, in West Orange, N.J., and Mamaroneck, N.Y., each have five bedrooms.

“We needed it to look presentable because we had customers coming in,” said Philip Krim, the chief executive of Casper, referring to the apartment work space he hired Mr. Sherman to design. “Brad was able to get the job done in a scrappy way that allows us to live on a start-up budget but have an office we’re very proud of.”

Food52’s office showcases Sherman’s knack for creating cozy but functional work spaces.CreditEvan Sung for The New York Times

The Queen West Art and Design District of Toronto occupies the sweet spot between scared off and priced out.

They also had no real budget: about $15,000 for 3,500 square feet. Still, that seemed like a fortune to Mr. Sherman, a graduate of Philadelphia University College of Architecture, where he earned a master’s in sustainable design.

“We used every single thing we could,” Mr. Sherman said. “The desks I built out of old doors. Some of the bases were built out of old plastic buckets that I just stacked and screwed into the desk.”

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It was a chance conversation with Ms. Stubbs three years ago that began his role as the tech start-up maestro.

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Clients who have hired Mr. Sherman describe him as a budget-stretching magician, able to transform Ikea sawhorses and plywood slabs into chic work stations, or fashion an arty chandelier from exposed mattress springs and string lights.

The work space was designed by Brad Sherman, a Manhattan-based commercial designer who has developed a trademark style that blurs the line between home and office.

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Mr. Sherman, 30, has created cool homey spaces for several of the city’s tech start-ups, including Sakara Life, an organic-meal delivery service; Jack Erwin, a direct-to-consumer men’s shoe retailer; and Mobile Commons, a text-messaging platform for nonprofits to connect with donors.

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“A lot of start-ups can’t afford the best young talent,” Mr. Sherman said. “So how do they attract it? With cool spaces.”

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But as Mr. Sherman explained on a recent visit, he sees potential in the expansive northern and southern views, the skylight and the new HVAC system and other cost-saving elements already present.

Ariel Nelson, a co-founder of Jack Erwin, turned to Mr. Sherman after his friend Mr. Krim hailed the designer. The company had a nothing budget of “20 grand, all in,” he said, for a 3,500-square-foot loft in SoHo. Mr. Sherman took control of the build-out, allowing Mr. Nelson to focus on building his company.

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“First thing I look at is, What can I reuse?” Mr. Sherman said, adding what may as well be his sales pitch. “We can accomplish a lot more for a lot less.”

The designer Brad Sherman’s specialty is creating cozy, functional offices for start-ups, using a little budget and a lot of resourcefulness.

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Mr. Sherman installs soft lighting, vintage midcentury furniture and fiddle-leaf fig trees. Or, as he did with the downtown office and showroom of Casper, the online mattress seller, he carves out discrete rooms, staging them with artwork and used books from the Strand to create the impression that someone lives there.

The Home section is no longer being published. Home-related coverage will appear in the Real Estate, Style and Food sections, as well as in the Magazine and T Magazine.

That resourcefulness has served him well in working for start-ups. He handles not only the design but also oversees the contractors, shops for the furniture and fixtures, custom designs items he can’t source (he made bed frames for Casper and recently started a furniture line) and has been known to screw in the electrical outlets on workstations himself.

Old technology, like outdated computers and video game consoles, doesn’t just fade away. For some, it is reborn as home décor and art.

Like many New Yorkers on the brink of parenthood, the photographer Chris Buck and his wife, Michelle Golden, were facing the question of where to put the baby. They hoped to make space in Mr. Buck’s 175-square-foot home office, but they needed help dividing up the room.

The Times asked the interior designer Kevin Dumais, the principal at the Brooklyn firm Dumais i.d., to carve out a tranquil spot for the couple’s daughter, Olive, on a budget of $5,000. Related Article »

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Mr. Sherman persuaded Mr. Krim and his partners to lease a space in a building along Broadway, north of Union Square. The office, currently occupied by a brokerage firm, is run-down and man-cave-ish.

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It was a high bar that Mr. Sherman exceeded. “Everyone comments about how things are so pulled together and every inch is thought out,” Ms. Stubbs said.

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His previous job was at TerraCycle, a New Jersey-based waste solutions company. He helped design TerraCycle’s 20,000-square-foot office, for what he called an “absolutely insane” budget of $1 per square foot.

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Merrill Stubbs, a co-founder of Food52, said she wanted a space that “evokes hunger but is also soothing, super-functional as an office and also feels like a home.” Because the staff members use their office for photo shoots, the test kitchen also had to feel warm and lived-in, in keeping with the brand’s focus on home cooks.

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Indeed, the Chelsea headquarters of Food52, the online cooking community and e-commerce site, look less like an office than a cozy loft apartment. Which is the point.

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Much of the Hudson Yards project in Manhattan, including the Public Square garden, is being built over a 26-acre rail yard where temperatures are 150 degrees.

Step off the office elevator and you’re immediately hit with the smell: a cooking aroma, something warm and inviting (corn chowder? bread?) wafting from a spacious, open kitchen with a wall of Waterworks cabinets.

Manhattan-based designer Brad Sherman at the office he designed for Food52. Sherman creates offices with the comforts of home, and on a start-up’s budget.CreditEvan Sung for The New York Times

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To cut down on overhead, Mr. Sherman and his design partner, Nina Etnier, along with another employee, work out of his studio apartment in Greenwich Village, or set up shop in the unfinished offices of their clients.

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The writer and horticulturist Umberto Pasti believes that to make a garden, you must abandon yourself not only to your surroundings, but to your deepest desires.

“It’s about the mix,” he said. “I spent money where I thought it would improve the sophistication.”

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A newly renovated apartment in South London was designed using the best attributes of places where the owner had lived, including SoHo and Woodstock in New York.

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At the time, Mr. Sherman was trying to start a design career in New York and working as a glorified receptionist at General Assembly, then a co-working space popular with start-ups, including Food52.

Being the guy who can over-deliver on the cheap isn’t the most lucrative path for a designer. But as Mr. Sherman’s firm is growing and maturing, so are his clients. He’s designing a new, much larger office for Casper, which has already outgrown its downtown space and turned to Mr. Sherman because, as Mr. Krim said, “Brad knows our aesthetic and we know we’ll get something really great.”

A favorable exchange rate, a shortage of available properties and a pleasant climate has driven up prices along Cape Town’s Atlantic coast.

“He said: ‘Well, you know, I design office spaces in my real life. I’d love to talk to you guys about your plans,’ ” Ms. Stubbs said. “We had no plans.”

The lights are set to rainy-Saturday-at-home. Stocked metal bar carts line the back of a plush sofa in a lounge area. One woman conducts a work call inside the “book nook,” a free-standing four-walled room built within the space, with library shelves and a chocolate brown swivel chair that came not from Staples but, a vintage furniture site.

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A couple reinvents their living room, adding a work space, with the help of the interior designer Kimberly Hall.

Unless you shop wisely, home décor can be surprisingly bad for your musculoskeletal health.

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Perhaps lazy summer days simply conjure understatement, but suddenly fancy kitchens and the hyper-styled meals they produce feel overcooked.

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A whimsical mascot in the Clinton Hill, Brooklyn, neighborhood, known as Broken Angel, with eclectic, stacked rooftop additions is being converted to luxury condominiums.

The midcentury Modernist furniture company, whose entire collection is available only at its Texas showroom, brings its designs to a gallery in the Windy City.

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The annual designer showcase opens at the Arthur Sachs Mansion, with proceeds benefiting the Kips Bay Boys & Girls Club, which turned 100 this year.

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The farmhouse in Columbia County was a new kind of habitat for a pair that had spent a quarter-century on beaches of Fire Island.

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“I was like, ‘If you have a creative idea and it saves me money, go for it,’ ” Mr. Nelson said. “It was mostly all him.”

“We’re online and available all the time,” she said. “Giving people a place to relax or feel comfortable at the office is much needed for recharging.”

If you follow a few simple guidelines, you can find furniture that gives you the right amount of support.

A version of this article appears in print on , on Page D8 of the New York edition with the headline: Office Interior Design on a Dorm Budget. Order Reprints | Today’s Paper | Subscribe

The graphic designers Justus Oehler and Uta Tjaden live in a 1928 Bauhaus-style villa in Berlin.

It was easy to embrace a dilapidated farmhouse when the buyers saw the chunk of property it sat on.

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A pair of exiles from New Orleans have put down roots in Brooklyn — among their own.

Designed by Damien Langlois-Meurinne, the Totem Floral was inspired by the fashion house’s classic Noé bag.

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Isn’t Ms. Stubbs concerned her employees will feel too much at home?

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Under the canopy of a tree, near a closet full of sweets, with the ghost of a famous painter, six authors on the spaces where they work.

The office-as-home concept has been perfected with Mr. Sherman’s latest finished project, Food52. Giving a tour of the space one recent afternoon, Mr. Sherman — handsome, floppy-haired, Midwestern friendly — pointed out the chrome and rattan rocker he found at Amsterdam Modern, a vintage store in Los Angeles, and paired with an Ikea coffee table.

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