ART STARTUP GETS A MODERN, ECLECTIC DESIGNNew York, NY
Startups often face the same frustrating challenge: They need to be frugal with their spending, but they also need a beautiful, professional space to meet with clients and show off their work. This was exactly the issue that ArtStar was dealing with. ArtStar is a New York-based online art gallery that offers limited-edition, museum quality prints by some of the best contemporary artists working today. It was important for them to have a space that functioned as a showroom and an office, but, as a startup, they were working with a pretty limited budget. Founder and CEO Chrissy Crawford came to Décor Aid to help her turn a tiny industrial suite into a beautiful, functional headquarters for her business.
“We host a lot of interior designers in this space, so we needed something that really reflected our brand and made the art look elevated, but also made it more comfortable than a gallery,” Crawford says. “We didn’t want it to be a white cube.”
Senior Designer Maureen met with Chrissy and her team to get to know them and the space. “She did two different floor plans for us and really showed us how we could make a work space and a showroom,” Chrissy says.
The space is divided into two rectangular spaces, and one is more narrow than the other. Maureen and Chrissy’s team decided to turn the narrow space into a work area with their desks and computers, and the larger space into a showroom.
“It was important for us to have a professional think through storage issues and space issues. It’s a tiny space and there are four of us and a lot of stuff, so it was key to have efficiency solutions that still looked good,” Chrissy says.
In the showroom, a glossy, modern white table by Blu Dot is surrounded by a set of Chrissy’s vintage cane back chairs with hot pink upholstered seats. A leopard print wool rug from Furbish is topped with a hide rug. Her vintage credenza is flanked by a banana leaf plant and one of the pieces they sell, an inflatable punching bag by Nick Cave. The bright white walls serve as a gallery space to showcase ArtStar’s rotating collection of contemporary art. In one section of the wall, Maureen suggested painting a thick black stripe down the wall to showcase framing options. A Society Social bar cart is topped with an Illy espresso machine and tea for visitors.
“We used a lot of the pieces we already had,” says Operations Manager Annie Guill-Bollet. She says the design process with Décor Aid was about “picking key pieces to buy, but also working with what we had, which was really important to us.” Annie adds, “Maureen was really sensitive to and aware of the budget.”
In the more serene work area, neutral, mid-century modern-inspired chairs from Target are topped with animal print pillows from Society Social, while mint green and metallic desk accessories from Poppin provide a burst of color. Above the desks, shelving topped with a set of matching bins offers extra storage.
So far, the space is getting rave reviews from visitors. “People walk in and say, ‘Wow,’” Chrissy says. “It’s not what people are expecting, which is really nice,” Annie says.
“It’s such an industrial building,” Chrissy says, to which Annie adds, “And we’re like the lipstick on the building.”
This project was featured in Allure Magazine.