Designer Melanie Burstin brings modern farmhouse style to the office, turing a former chicken coop into a streamlined, functional extension for goop HQ.
Photos by Chad Mellon.
There’s always pressure around nailing a client’s style, but it’s safe to say that Homepolish’sfelt just a hint more nervous when this particular client came with a well-established, widely adored, and lovingly purchased vibe.
“I felt a ton of pressure designing for goop! Not only are they a huge brand, but they’re also a brand that cares a lot about lifestyle and their aesthetic,” Melanie said.
But channelling their bright, modern vibes into an extension for their Santa Monica HQ is definitely in Homepolish designer Melanie Burstin’s wheelhouse. And she didn’t even squawk when she realized found out the space was formerly a chicken coop (yes, a chicken coop). Instead it immediately sparked her creativity.
“The second I walked in the doors I was really excited by the bones of this space,” Melanie said. “The ceilings were incredible and I knew all we had to do was take down a few walls and paint everything white.”
The biggest challenge wasn’t the non-traditional space: it was the swift timeline the ever-growing team necessitated.
“The front office was suddenly in use before I could even finish putting the desks together!” Melanie said. “Goop is expanding so quickly I had to work around about 20 employees, and all of their boxes and boxes of work.”
Since the space would accommodate an expanding team, Melanie wanted to keep things streamlined, which conveniently aligns with the brand’s naturally minimalist style. A sleek palette gives goop products a place to shine. Warm wood bookcases arranged by department functionality indicate which team is toiling where—follow the serums to the beauty department or the covetable accessories to the home team. Of course, being surrounded by so many wantable items isn’t without hazards.
“To say styling all of those shelves had me coveting everything they have would be an understatement,” Melanie said.
Of course the products aren’t the only wantable options—crisp white desks and filing cabinets, plus surprisingly sophisticated yet ergonomical black chairs set an inspiring stage for the work day, while bold light fixtures signal this isn’t your standard 9-5. With the palette, Melanie wanted to ensure everyone had space to breathe.
“When creating a functional-yet-beautiful office always remember negative space is your friend,” Melanie said. “Workspaces are messy so the less clutter you can add to that the better the space will look. We need each employee’s space to help them do their job better.”
That included improving all the other components of the office as well. The conference room nods to the space’s former functionality, with a barn door for privacy. The mini-kitchenette was swathed in soothing soft grey and Cle Zellige tile. The bathrooms were given a minor facelift, with more flattering vanities and faucets. And the private offices will have you yearning for a one-on-one thanks to a pair of bonafide boss desks from Madegoods.
The feeling is less corporate and more calm and cool, something Melanie achieves by stealing some of the comforts of home.
“One reason I think my commercial designs are successful is because I try not to differ too much from what I would do for a residential space,” Melanie said. “I think about what needs to be functional, and also how it can look beautiful. I try to avoid preconceived notions of how an office should feel and instead think about what type of space I’d want to sit in for eight hours a day.”