A traditional dining room functions as a meeting place for the Ghia team.

Office Design Trends Through the Decades

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Across the 11 female-focused locations of The Wing, interior designer Chiara de Rege and architect Alda Ly incorporated curved pastel furniture, marble surfaces, color-coordinated books, punchy wallpaper, and an abundance of plants. (The estate sale for the now shuttered West Hollywood location went viral on TikTok.) “[For the first location], visuals ranged from midcentury to bohemian eclectic to Ettore Sottasas,” says Chiara, who designed six of the locations. “There were subtle changes in furniture styles that felt more feminine, less angled, softer and more lounge like than office-y.” Ethel’s Club was another space beloved by the coworking crowd in Brooklyn, especially the BIPOC community. It’s since closed due to pandemic challenges, but designer Shannon Maldonado incorporated multiple spaces for work and relaxation, including stadium seating, minimalist tables, and a cozy tobacco-colored couch. The geometric tiles and wallpaper surrounded open shelves and a library stocked with authors of color.

When New Work Project opened Tenth in 2017, the team sought to offer Brooklyn-based freelancers and creative agencies a more modern coworking space with a monochromatic palette, modern artwork, and sleek lounge areas. “Our members value not only functional workspaces, but also appreciate the thoughtful design and upscale amenities that our spaces offer,” founder James Davison says in an email. “The intentional flexibility of these spaces reflects our commitment to meeting the dynamic needs of the modern workforce.” Members-only spaces like Soho House blended the line between work and social clubs, starting in London before expanding across the globe. Offering amenities like rooftop pools, bars and restaurants, gyms, event spaces, and impeccably designed guest rooms, their locations have become a place to see and be seen—and, of course, work. All have an incredibly curated array of artwork including those from locals and big names like Damien Hirst and Shepard Fairey.

A traditional dining room functions as a meeting place for the Ghia team.

Photo: Julie Goldstone

Today: Office is where the home is

At the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, nearly every office job transitioned to remote working, with makeshift “work from home” offices on kitchen countertops, ironing boards, and any possible surface carved out for executing daily tasks. For those of us that didn’t have an extra room to spare for a proper home office setup, we designated certain zones for WFH activities, purchasing essentials like standing desks, adjustable chairs, and ring lights for the inevitable Zoom meetings. (The lucky ones took advantage of outdoor space, converting patios into backyard offices.) So far, the 2020s are all about feeling as comfortable at work as you are at home.

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