Facebook designer Derek Bradley makes a living making cyberspace beautiful. With Homepolish, he made his Union Square apartment space beautiful IRL.
Photos by Claire Esparros.
Taking a step into the Facebook’s East Village offices, you’ll be met with all of the mainstays of tech offices: open space, graphic art on the walls, plants, and the all important surfeit of food. And you’ll also find graphic designer Derek Bradley. Living just a few blocks north off of Union Square, he was stuck in a difficult work-life balance problem. He loved his work offices, but he couldn’t say the same about his 400 square-foot apartment.
The space was the typical, sad Manhattan studio. Yellowy-beige walls with contractor-grade finishes and poor lighting… hardly fitting for a graphic designer at a tech giant. When Homepolish came in to help him with the space, there was a lone mattress on the floor. Strangely, the original ask was strikingly similar to the Facebook offices… just on a smaller scale: make the kitchenette into a proper micro-kitchen, add in graphic elements, and maximize open space.
Homepolish decided to reboot the studio with a Scandinavian minimalist vibe, white-washing the entire space, even the kitchen cabinets. To make the kitchenette feel separate and special, a butcher block island was built to section off the space, an aluminum pendant overhead for an additional design pop. The mattress was properly elevated with artsy graphic and typographic posters acting as a sort of headboard (and a Keith Haring in the kitchen area). And with a budget of only $100 for plants, we brought in a succulent garden too. Now Derek has a cool space to rival Facebook… ok, that’s going a bit far. But it’s home.
See more of the home in the slideshow!