Roofstock, real estate marketplace
Post-redesign, we sat down with Roofstock co-founder and CEO Gary Beasley to talk about how Homepolish's design of his company's first Oakland office helped create the culture and brand identity.
Photos by Julia Robbs.
What a space! Wooden paneling, a bright kitchen, a hidden speakeasy? What was the space like prior to Homepolish coming in?
“We had just taken over a floor in the old PG&E Headquarters in the Uptown district of Oakland. It had lots of potential but was fairly generic… it had exposed beams and lots of brick and light, but had an old kitchen, wall to wall carpeting, and a bit of a cold feel. We wanted to give the space some life and warm it up, so it would be a place our team looked forward to coming to every day.”
That’s how we believe every office should be! How was it like to work with our designer Savannah Metcalf to bring that to reality?
“Savannah was fantastic. She met me for a walkthrough and immediately got what we were trying to do. She came back with a comprehensive design a few days later that totally nailed what we wanted.”
The office design definitely has helped us establish the type of culture and energy around the office we sought to foster.
So as a startup how did you incorporate brand identity into the space?
“As a startup, we really did not have an identity when the space was designed. Ironically, the design of our space helped us establish one… modern, open, collaborative, active, fun… all of these things describe our space and our culture. The office design definitely has helped us establish the type of culture and energy around the office we sought to foster. In particular, Savannah came up with the idea of having 18 sit-stand desks in the middle of the office and three collaboration areas… two with long common tables and the third laid out like a living room. There are spaces that work for any type of interaction, and this open layout combining workstations and collaboration areas is what I believe also drives higher productivity.”
Design drove the culture! And do you think it helps with employee retention and happiness?
“I’m 100% confident it is helping us attract and retain talent. We only had five employees when we hired Homepolish a year ago, and we’re now pushing 30! The company feels real! We are now approaching capacity, but we have no interest in moving.”
What would you consider employees’ favorite design feature to be?
“By far, the coolest feature of our office is our hidden ‘speakeasy’ with a well-stocked bar cart behind a bookshelf in our main conference room. Savannah also brought in some beautiful hickory paneling to cover our cement pillars and two accent walls which creates a wonderful, warm feel.”
Visitors are typically pretty blown away by our space. A common reaction is ‘This is Oakland?! I want to work here!’
We had a feeling you’d say that! That’s definitely a feature most offices don’t have.
“Many people have told me that this is the coolest startup space they have seen, and we did it for not a lot of money. A lot came down to Savannah’s selection of the materials and furniture. It was great but also cost-conscious. We also opened up the kitchen wall to create a bar with a polished redwood top which has become a real feature/gathering place. And we also have a great Sonos system, yoga balls, and the requisite ping-pong table.”
There’s so much that is unique about the space! How do people react when they visit?
“Visitors are typically pretty blown away by our space. A common reaction is ‘This is Oakland?! I want to work here!'”
Hey, we’ll join them. Taking any hires?
See the whole tour of the office in our article!