The starting point for AppBoy’s new office by Homepolish was the close relationships between its employees: the in-jokes, catchphrases and all things beloved by tech geeks.
Rather than cram in games machines and gimmicks, project designer Lauren Elise Shaw has slotted in subtle references that shouldn’t overwhelm corporate visitors. Shaw says her aim was to create a space that wasn’t too masculine so as not to exclude female staff members.
“The aesthetic is ‘modern tech’,” Shaw says. “I didn’t want the red [the brand colour] to overwhelm, and I wanted to keep the decor relatively minimal.”
Taking on a ‘white box’ of open space, Homepolish broke it up with conference rooms and phone nooks, but kept the communal areas open plan. The kitchen and eating area form the focal point, where staff come together each day to eat their lunch. The long dining table is positioned alongside factory-style windows with the aforementioned office mottos printed onto the office wall.
The bold chequerboard-tiled kitchen bar is lit by bulbs wrapped around speed rail attached to the ceiling, while graphics developed in-house of a smiley face topped with a chef’s hat has been printed on the wall. Other cheeky graphics include Wall-e style male and female robots holding hands on the communal bathroom doors.
At first glance the glass box meeting rooms give off the expected corporate vibe, but a closer look reveals wallpaper printed with old handheld computer games in one and a flock wallpaper in the other featuring brown velvet Darth Vaders.
The palette of red, black and white, polished concrete floors and industrial features are softened by acoustic floor squares in the meeting and office areas, a healthy dose of wood and vintage-style furniture you might expect to see in a home. The main breakout area situated by the entrance acts as the first point of contact rather than a formal reception area.
Unable to dissuade the company head to part with an old orange Ikea couch that didn’t match the corporate colour, Shaw diffused and balanced the space with more neutral features: white Eames-style chairs, multifaceted coffee tables and piles of cushions that include one printed with an iPhone screen gridded out with apps, and others featuring meerkats – another private joke.
To tie in with the mismatched shade of sofa, touches of the colour unite the space making it feel intentional. An island is created by an orange-bordered rug and a contemporary chandelier has been created by looping the orange light-bulb cords of bulbs around a circular frame in the same colour, which allows its height to be adjusted.