The past year has been a busy one for high-end furniture and decor consignment service, Viyet—not that anyone's complaining. In the fourteen months since launching from a one-bedroom apartment on New York City's Upper West Side, the start-up's staff and inventory have more than doubled, requiring the team land a larger workspace fast. It was a warmly welcomed challenge for a crew with a shared passion for interiors. Click here to see more images from Viyet's office makeover.
The first step toward securing a new location: assessing the many roles that the office would need to accommodate, including liaising with furniture owners, managing purchases of online inventory, and expanding partnerships with initiatives such as the recently launched Designer Trade Program, which connects professionals with new clients via Viyet’s social media platforms. The company's head of marketing, Jennifer Koen, took the lead in designing the new headquarters with an eye to function as well as form. “It’s a fun, high-energy company with a ‘get it done’ work attitude," says Koen. "Each person runs as fast as they can to move the business forward.”
The biggest requirement of the new space—a loft in Manhattan’s Soho neighborhood—was to hold as many desks as possible, as well as “break up the shape of the loft into separate areas that would serve both one-on-one meetings with designers and larger, team-wide conferences,” says Koen. So she consulted with interior designer Meryl Grodnick Fishman to create a layout and color palette that met every worker's needs and aesthetic. “At the moment, we have a predominantly female environment, which is a defining feature of the culture and the decor," says Koen. Together, they followed a high-low mentality that's in keeping with Viyet’s mission of personalization, featuring products from their own sellers as well as more affordable, previously owned pieces. For the walls, they chose Benjamin Moore's White Dove, a warm white that puts the focus on the furniture and unites disparate pieces from different eras against a clean backdrop.
The team’s girl-power dynamic is celebrated throughout the space with the use of materials that display both strength and beauty. The polished-brass base of a coffee table is an elegant counterpoint to a rock form lamp by Lillian August. Along the walls, exceptionally burled cork tiles create a giant, collective pinboard. In the main room, two rows of budget-friendly IKEA desks became the basis for a clever DIY project: the legs of each were painted gold, an easy upgrade that echoes the metallic and Lucite hardware installed on the kitchenette cabinets and wardrobe doors. “Never underestimate the power of a little bling,” says Koen.
A lounge area at the rear of the office has a similarly residential feel, a conscious choice to accommodate “smaller meetings over coffee, or projects lasting late into the night when a more comfy seat is necessary,” says Koen. The Lee Industries sofa, upholstered in a textural heathered print, strikes a subdued organic note, softening some of the hard metals and sleek glass that dominate the space. In contrast to the creamy hues, vibrant affordable artwork—curated with the help of Artspace, another New York start-up—energizes every corner of the office. "There is just enough glitz and glam so you won’t get bored, and it's stylized in a way that isn't distracting," says Fishman.
Elsewhere, the pair eschewed standard office items in favor of more personal pieces. To reflect the palette, a conference table directly across from the lounge area is outfitted with mustard yellow chairs that channel the gold tones found elsewhere. Instead of using a standard dry-erase board, Fishman fitted the wall with a custom piece of plexiglass from Canal Plastics––a budget-conscious nod to the team’s love for vintage Lucite furniture. Now that the Viyet team has settled into their stylish new post, their virtual persona is appropriately following suit. A redesigned Viyet.com debuts today, ensuring the last half of 2014 will be just as busy as the first.
3 EASY UPGRADES FOR A GLAM OFFICE:
1. Fake heavy metals Finish desk legs or the bases of table lamps in a metallic paint to match other hardware found throughout your space.
2. Bypass Staples Order a piece of plexiglass for a personalized dry-erase board sized to fit your space, or glue cork tiles to walls for mood boards as large as you desire.
3. Add personality Instead of using run-of-the-mill pins and tacks, the Viyet team uses brass upholstery nails by Hillman to frame their mood boards and mark cities with high sales volumes.