Food52’s office showcases Sherman’s knack for creating cozy but functional work spaces.
Credit: Evan Sung for The New York Times
Encouraging Responsibility and Going Green with Window Shading
Imagine walking into an office that beckons like home, the inviting smell of coffee, fresh baked bread, and waffles getting your juices flowing, encouraging camaraderie that makes for healthy professional relationships. And best of all? Eating healthy at work! Salads soups and bakes, fresh fruit juice and freshly brewed coffee. Wow! Working late never looked more attractive, especially for those bachelors and bachelorettes who go back to lonely studio or single bedroom apartments, with no one to welcome them home. Thanks to visionary young designers like the Manhattan-based Brad Sherman, who has developed a trademark style that blurs the line between home and office. A radical change in concept designing, in a world choked with the cutting-edge. Well, this is the new-age cutting edge!
The Chelsea headquarters of Food52 (an online cooking community and e-commerce site) looks nothing like an office – it sports the cozy warmth of a lovingly appointed loft apartment. The spacious open kitchen built with a wall of Waterworks cabinets, a book nook – a free standing four-walled room construed out of the space – library shelves and other furniture that came from Charish.com, a vintage furniture site. With soft lighting, fiddle-leaf figs and a line of stocked metal bar carts behind a plush sofa that invite warmly, one easily settles into the day’s routine, knowing that responsibility and passion do indeed blur established lines of the work ethic. Discretely incorporated artwork and used books give the appearance of a lived-in look that’s so important in creating a sense of comfort.
Mr. Sherman is of the opinion that if an office is as warm and welcoming as your home, you never have to leave. And as many start-ups can’t afford the best in the industry, the best way to attract talent is by creating ‘cool’ workspaces. Some of his works include Sakara Life, an organic-meal delivery service; Jack Erwin, a direct-to-consumer men’s shoe retailer; Mobile Commons, a text-messaging platform for non-profits to connect with donors; and Casper, the online mattress seller. Known to transform the most ordinary of spaces on shoe-string budgets, Brad Sherman is indeed becoming a magician with no boundaries, pulling elements together seeming with the wave of a wand!
Designing a new but much larger office for Caspar had Brad persuading the owners to lease a space along Broadway, north of Union Square, though it’s run-down and man-cave-ish. The place has both skylights and windows with expansive northern and southern views.
Window Orientation and Energy Savings
In summer, north and south facing windows receive the early morning and late afternoon sun, endlessly beneficial to prevent unwanted solar gain, while in winter, north facing windows receive twice the sun that east and west facing windows do. This is beneficial in keeping interiors warm in winter, reducing the load on the heating system. Shading them when the sun is high in the sky aids in keeping interiors cool in summer.
For budget-constrained projects, the use of motorized faux wood blinds would be ideal for maximizing the sun’s energy while protecting interior elements from the sun’s harmful UV rays. For expansive windows, it would make sense to use blinds with broad vanes that offer a better view when they are turned to the optimally open position; the blinds would also stack more compactly than would those with narrower vanes, should they have to be raised all the way over the windows for a clearer, more unobstructed view. In winter, the vanes of the north facing window blinds can be turned to direct light to the furthest corners of the room, both brightening and warming it, reducing power consumption.
Faux Wood Blinds
Sturdy, strong, cost-effective options in window shading, faux wood blinds are a great alternative to real wood blinds, taking an unerringly trained eye to spot the difference between the two. Crafted with workmanship that brings you style and functionality all in one, faux wood blinds are the options to go for as they make green sense as well, ensuring that no tree needs to be cut down to manufacture it. Also, at the end of its use or lifetime, it is recycled 100% to prevent adding to the environmental waste. Responsible Window Shading Manufacturers back their products with a limited lifetime guarantee as a measure of their commitment to customer satisfaction. The slightest defect due to manufacture or assembly would enable replacement of the entire blind in question.
Routeless or Privacy faux wood blinds ensure that no pinpricks of light enters a living space, designed so that the holes through which its control cord passes is overlapped by the edge of the adjacent vanes, eliminating the irritating light from coming through and bouncing off a reflective work surface, and adding to privacy at night as well, when the interiors are brightly lit.
Engineered to withstand moisture, faux wood blinds can also be used extensively in high humidity areas such as the open kitchen in the Food52 office, and in restrooms, as the blinds are treated with Microban protection that repel the growth of fungi and mold, while the antistatic treatment they’re given repels the accumulation of dust on them, making them wonderfully easy to maintain as well!
Break a leg, Brad Sherman!