If you’re starting up in business and looking for some workspace inspiration – you won’t go far wrong taking some tips from these award-winning, diverse and sometimes outright strange startup office spaces! From ultra-modern to vintage chic – there’s something that’ll reflect any business brand…
You might be thinking that these big names aren’t just starting out – you’re right of course… but you don’t have to dial the clock back far to the point where any of these companies were just good ideas and empty office spaces! From their humble beginnings less than 10 years ago to the incredible office spaces and building that they now occupy, in cities that across the world, many of which has been built in commercial steel framed buildings that have been for sale – each of these has gone from a few people in a room – to a household name, meaning you might want to emulate more than just their taste in wallpaper!
Ten years ago, Spotify was 8 people in an office, now the music startup boasts around 140 million active users and 50 million paid subscribers – with their tracks occupying around 2 billion playlists. From its humble beginnings in Stockholm – to its 20 offices in 2017 – it’s doing a lot right in the competitive world of music streaming…
In 2014 Spotify opened their flagship office in New York – and the place has more than a few nods to the historic NYC music scene. The Spotify success timeline playfully decorates the main entrance walls and there’s a slightly stripped-back industrial vibe to the rest of the building – which has amazing music making facilities dotted throughout. Banks of iconic Marshall amps prop up Fender Stratocasters – assumedly on hand in case of a bored rock star in house! 80s style graffiti adorns the walls and there’s even an external deck that gives an awesome vista of its New York setting.
Etsy is the online place to be if selling vintage and handmade goods is up your street! Create a store, fill it with your products and Etsy does the rest. With millions of sellers and customers, it is without doubt the biggest vintage and custom-made marketplace in the world – and it’s run from extremely quirky offices in Dumbo, Brooklyn.
Imagine a large studio style office with enormous windows, clean white walls and a stripped back wooden floor – now imagine your mad, knitting-obsessed Aunt has been given a few days to decorate! The result is patchwork woollen covers around the exposed pipework, custom painted doors that give you the impression you’re stepping into a London phone box or a seaside chalet – and a wonderful mix of vintage and modern desks, chairs and storage. A site like Etsy was never going to have a boring office!
Airbnb is the innovative company that makes it easy to find holiday rentals, homes and places. It does this by operating as a middleman between you and the owner of the space. Don’t expect to find hotels on here – instead, you’ll find people’s apartments that you can occupy when they’re out of town, spare rooms that mean you can holiday alongside people’s lives and even longer-term rentals for those who choose the city-to-city nomadic life.
Airbnb took an incredible approach to decking out their headquarters – they drew inspiration exclusively from their team’s favourite listings on the site! If you’re looking for a breakout area to hold an impromptu meeting you’ll find one that’s reminiscent of someone’s quirky shabby-chic home office. Looking for the bathroom? Expect the oddities that you’ll find in some of the most interesting bathrooms on the site’s rental holiday lets (one even including a copy of a customer’s picture of Burt Reynolds watching you wash your hands!)
Evernote is the innovative multi-platform organisation and productivity tool that seems to feature in the toolkit of most successful entrepreneurs. Whether you’re on your phone, tablet or computer you can capture, organise and share your notes across all your platforms – meaning Evernote becomes, as they put it – “your second brain”.
If clean and uncomplicated is your thing you’ll love Evernote’s headquarters in California. There’s a definite minimalist vibe to the place – and the masses of space (around 80,000sq feet) means there are no end of individual areas where employees can duck out and do some quiet work. The space gives more than a nod toward being green too – the walls in the entrance area have water conserving plants that recycle some of the building supply and create an eye-catching feature.
If you haven’t heard of Quirky you might want to grab a coffee and write off a little while to pondering how you could collaborate with them! They take product ideas and make them happen – so, let’s say you’ve got a daily problem and you’ve daydreamed your way to a design idea that would fix said problem – you submit it to Quirky and if they like it, they’ll put a research and design team on it! Many of their products end up in international stores and you’ll get a cut of the final idea’s profits too…
Quirky’s office is awesome, a fantastic blend of office space, specialised design workspaces and actual workshops with sophisticated 3D printing facilities. If you’ve seen the futuristic workspaces in ‘Westworld’ you’re thinking on the right lines, glass partition walls and floating workstations – although Quirky have more stripped back wooden floors , original warehouse fittings and significantly fewer robotic killing machines… as far as we know.
Instagram is the world’s favourite photo sharing social media platform – an absolute must if your day is not complete without a hefty dose of cat, coffee and mealtime pictures! Instagram has made amateur photographers out of us all – and now boasts over 700 million users…
The mind behind Instagram’s office look is Lauren Geremia – who has some incredible Californian startup clients under her belt. She went for a look that very much encapsulates what Instagram is all about – simple photography, uncomplicated design – and some vintage tones and hints. As a result – you get fairly plain walls, high quality furniture that’s a mix of new and retro – all highlighted with tones reminiscent of that sepia style effect you can put your pictures. If we’re talking in Instagram language we’d be saying modern meets vintage – with a ‘toaster’ filter…