Homepolish designer Sashya Thind Fernandes creates a clean-cut, graphic Boston office for venture capitalist firm Elephant.
Photos by Joyelle West.
As the saying goes, everybody’s got their something. For Andy Hunt and Jeremiah Daly, co-founders of Boston-based venture capitalist firm Elephant, their “something” is helping rapidly-expanding companies (like Homepolish) raise funding and grow their businesses. When it came time to design a perfect office, they decided to call in someone who’s “thing” is design, Homepolish designer Sashya Thind Fernandes. Sashya’s upscale interiors were the perfect match for the company’s refined, dignified character.
“I worked with Elephant’s co-founder Jeremiah Daly to create an office that was reflective of his vision,” Sashya tells us. “He expressed the need for the office to feel like a living room while also meeting the requirements of an office. I listened carefully and created a concept of ‘Beacon Hill-meets-Newbury Street.’”
Leaving a good first impression on business partners and friends of Elephant is paramount in an industry where rapport and charm play big roles. To greet visitors, Sashya infused the space with an air of elegance through classic-meets-modern silhouettes, a minimally toned palette, and plenty of refined accents.
“The bookshelf was designed to mimic the feeling of a traditional library where employees and visitors can pore over a large array of subject matters ranging from politics to investment banking, classical music, philosophy to art, and even Ron Chernow’s much-acclaimed Hamilton,” the designer shares. “The tufted Chesterfield sofa in rich blue velvet was chosen to provide comfort while perusing the library and serve as a focal point for the room. It is often occupied while the team is catching up on golf.”
While the topics may be worldly, but Sashya made sure that the room’s accents grounded in Elephant’s Boston roots.
“Most of the books lining the shelves were procured from Commonwealth Books, one of the oldest second hand bookstores in the city that is located on the oldest street in Boston (circa 1630!),” says Sashya. “The Elephant sign in the office was engraved by Honan Signs, one of the oldest sign-makers in Boston.”
Before the studious style could unfurl, some major construction had to occur. To balance the firm’s rich decor, so she renovated the space to open things up and avoid a too-dark interior.
“We eliminated several walls to allow light to flood the space,” explains Sashya. “The office has a wall of windows facing Newbury Street that brings in a ton of natural light. After demolition, we created glass partitions for small meeting spaces, private offices, and the conference room. We designed and installed custom walnut plywood desks to create four workspaces alongside the windows.”
When paired with bright white paint and glossy wooden surfaces, the natural light makes working seem like less of a chore. Sashya balanced the airy feeling with luxuriously-hued textures for maximum effect.
“The walnut conference table was custom-made by Recycled Brooklyn and has a rich finish which lends warmth to the space,” explains the designer. “We used black, navy, and other tones of blue along with white and walnut to create a sophisticated, fresh palette. Natural materials like wood and indoor plants are a signature element which are brought to every project. We believe that people thrive in environments that bring them closer to nature.”
Like any modern company, Elephant knows that branding can be the key to success. To pay homage to the firm’s namesake, subtle elephant-inspired art can be found throughout the office.
“The Elephant motif was a fun element that is used in multiple places to bring out the casual vibe of the office,” Sashya says. “The artworks you see throughout the space were created specifically for Jeremiah and Andy and are original prints signed by the artists.”
In the end, the space is a collection of beautiful juxtapositions—bold yet understated, contemporary yet classic, and warm yet polished.
“The outcome is a bright airy space with a rich color palette that’s found in the upholstery and walnut wood,” the designer recounts. “We integrated the company’s contemporary branding into all aspects of the design, thus allowing a seamless flow. We carefully selected the pieces to create a feeling of a home office while being ergonomically satisfying.”