Generally speaking, generalizations are bad. But I feel no guilt, remorse or even a twinge of doubt when I say that every single person on planet earth hates the act of moving. It’s like writing, it feels great to have written — or to have moved — but the act of doing is often fraught, traumatic and leads to unbridled snack consumption. Which is why team Man Repeller’s office move was such a miracle! Not only did everyone survive, they thrived.
A true dream team of Decorist designer Chloe Redmond Warner, Bed, Bath & Beyond and our crackerjack operations team of Head of Business Development Matt Little, Office Coordinator Starling Irving and Production Manager Crystal Anderson helped move a team full of writers, artists and stylists (a.k.a. people who never have any opinions about anything) out of our old office and into a gorgeous new space.
Yes, our team had grown a bit too big for our old digs, but the approach to the new office was less about creating a traditional workspace and more about building a true shared space for the larger MR community. It was also built to help the team work smarter, with a dedicated space for photo shoots, an honest-to-goodness fashion closet, and three quiet booths for taking individual phone calls or writing in peace and quiet. Perhaps the most exciting element is our expanded space allows us to host everything from small intimate cocktail hours to our larger Good Evening event series and open it up to anyone who just wants to hang out.
Contributing to the fluid nature of the space is our radical new unassigned seating policy. RADICAL. Everyone has an assigned locker to store their various work accouterment and otherwise work wherever they want. We even made locker decorations one of our first activities, like real teens.
“I wasn’t sure how moving to communal seating would work, but I’ve been really happy with how it’s turning out,” said Matt Little in an informal interview that involved me leaning over and asking. “It’s really fun to walk into the office and have it feel almost like a cafe or library with people dispersed and in varying places every day.” As a creature of habit, I was initially skeptical of the whole thing, but it has worked out smashingly. I’ve written various parts of this post from a.) a couch in the corner of the lounge, b.) a standing desk on the other side of the office from the couch, and c.) my own home. Big fan.
One thing about the new office that is so charming is that the ambiance is just right: not too chatty, not too formal, not too oppressively hip. There’s a collaborative playlist, the very thoughtful touch of giving everyone Sennheiser headphones for the times they don’t want to listen to the aforementioned playlist, and the millions of plants Starling tenderly tends to every day. As Leandra told Architectural Digest, “We commissioned a ton of art from contributors to Man Repeller. One element that was important to nail when we were imagining this new office was really making it feel like a physical manifestation of the site.” It all feels thoroughly Man Repeller.
And last but not least, the fashion closet, OH the fashion closet. California Closets put together a gorgeous space that is a perfect mix of storage and showcase. “The closet is certainly a big crowd pleaser,” Starling told me. “From the wall of shoes to the drawers of sunglasses and jewelry, every piece has been uniquely sourced from our favorite designers. It’s fantastic to be able to give the pieces the display they deserve.”
Design: Decorist celebrity designer Chloe Redmond Warner
Furnishings and assembly: Bed Bath & Beyond
Conference room and fashion closet table and chairs, desk in reception: World Market
Light fixtures: One Kings Lane
Wallpaper and Paint: Farrow & Ball
Closet and reception: California Closets