Interior Design

Ta-Da! Feast Your Eyes on Our Newly Expanded Office

February  1, 2018

Did you know we recently expanded our office space? Maybe you saw the sneak peek and learned about how we chose our gorgeous new countertops. Or maybe you read about how we carefully picked the colors for our new annex. Well we’ve decided that we’ve led you all on for long enough now—it’s time for the grand reveal!

The space itself isn’t huge, but boy oh boy, did we manage to fit everything we needed in there—thanks in no small part to our brilliant designers, Brad Sherman and Nina Etnier of Float Studio. The expanded space has a new test kitchen where we’ll test even more recipes and conduct so many of our photo shoots. It’s got floor-to-ceiling cabinets where we can store all of our props (and handy open shelving where we can keep our most-reached-for styling pieces). It’s got editing bays, where our video editors can spread out and make their magic. It’s got a shipping station so we can send you the things you love from our Shop and store an endless supply of packing tape. And it’s got so much (and much-needed) shelving, so we can finally have a place to organize all of the product samples we’re constantly evaluating.

Ladies and gentlemen, cooks and bakers, eaters and drinkers: We are proud to present our new office Annex!

Ta-da! What do you think? Photo by Rocky Luten

Welcome to the Annex
When you first step into our new 10th floor Annex’s entry vestibule, you’re immediately overcome with a sense of calm. That’s thanks to two main features: the soothing muted pinkish-brown walls and the arched doorway. We built in the arch ourselves; it gives the space a soft-edged, welcoming feeling. “The arches really helped create a dynamic sense of entry,” says Brad. “They add character to the interior architecture of the space, and help frame different areas in a tight space without feeling tight.” A simple rod-hung woven curtain adds to the mellow vibe (and provides an easy way to divide the space if necessary).

A warm salmon hue greets you in the entry vestibule Photo by Rocky Luten

The Kitchen
The largest room in the Annex, the kitchen takes up nearly half of our new space—would you expect anything less? In true Food52 fashion, the room is a mix of greys with black accents: dark grey under-sink cabinets (for pots and pans) are offset by horizontal black metal pulls, and tall grey wall cabinets (for photo tools, from backdrops to camera stands) have floor-to-nearly-ceiling vertical black metal pulls, which add just the right amount of color contrast.

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There are three kinda brilliant design features in this kitchen. The first is the kitchen island, which is actually two islands pushed together: One is topped with never-fail Caesarstone and the other has an induction cooktop. The brilliant part? They’re both on casters, so we can easily move them around for a shoot or a complex recipe we’re testing.

What's better than one island? TWO islands! Photo by Rocky Luten

The second inspired element in the kitchen is more subtle, and might take you a minute to spot. It’s in the open shelving (which you know we love). In addition to a high metal shelf where we can store our go-to serving dishes, there’s a shelf that stretches out from the backsplash—it comes up behind the sink and counter, then into the wall to create a sturdy shelf that feels like a natural extension of the countertop, and is strong enough to hold all of our heaviest pots and pans.

Look closely to find the extra storage... Photo by Rocky Luten

The third special feature in the kitchen is Brad’s favorite: pop-up outlets embedded in the Caesarstone countertops. “We REALLY practiced restraint with the design of this space,” he says, “and felt strongly about letting the materiality be the focus, pulling out anything that distracted from product, people, and food in the kitchen.” Outlets are a common design distraction, so Brad chose to conceal them in the countertops. "They completely disappear," he says, "but are still easy to access."

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Top Comment:
“Beautiful space. Very inspired :) ”
— Bridget B.
Comment

Sample Bays
Walk down the hallway from the kitchen, past the cozy sitting area with its wooden bench, and you’ll find row after row of shelves filled with products from our Shop—a mix of items that are waiting to be styled and shot, and products we’re testing and assessing. There are tons of products constantly in rotation, so creating an open system for organizing and storing them was paramount. The shelves themselves were designed by Modern Shelving. “We used Modern Shelving because it’s the first system we’ve come across that’s flexible, beautiful, and affordable,” says Brad. “Because of the varying sizes of product and the ever-changing inventory, it’s crucial the system be flexible.”

A home for our most treasured props Photo by Rocky Luten

“There’s a LOT more space now,” says Jamie, Food52’s sample assistant. She especially appreciates the lighting in the space: a thin strip embedded in the top shelf that gently but thoroughly illuminates the seven lower shelves. “It was really smart to put lighting up on top, so if there’s any dead space behind the shelves, it’s not going to hide. Now I can arrange samples the way I like: according to the color spectrum, from lightest to darkest, and not lose anything.” Jamie tells me this while we’re standing at one of the workstations that cap the shelving aisles. With outlets and USB chargers at desk-level, they’re the perfect height to take a quick note, conduct a mini interview, or get a good long look at all the products.

Mini work bays cap the storage aisles Photo by Rocky Luten
Open shelves are good for books and objets d'art (the curtained off area farther down leads to the editing bays) Photo by Rocky Luten

Shipping Station
One thing about running an e-commerce business that hardly gets talked about? The massive amounts of bubble wrap. Where are you supposed to keep it all? In our new space, the answer is a custom peg board, which also holds wire baskets full of packing tape, measuring tape, box cutters, and other often-reached-for tools. Underneath the packing counter are vertically divided shelves with all sizes of boxes (the way we like to store baking sheets in the kitchen) and drawers with all the tools we need, like Sharpies, scissors, and lots and lots of extra packing tape, of course.

Editing Bays
At the very end of the hall, in the quietest part of the Annex, is the video editing room. Like the entryway, the room has an arched door frame and is painted in the same soothing pink. The lights are often kept low on a dimmer and with a few LED candles lit up, the space feels almost like a meditation room. Unlike the hustle and bustle of our main downstairs office, “it’s very quiet in here, so you can focus on editing,” says Fiona, Food52’s video producer. She and Rob, Food52’s video editor, share the extra-wide desks that line the room. What’s it like with just the two of them in their own office? “It’s really brought out the camaraderie—we’ve really bonded in this new space,” Rob says. “Plus, there’s lots of storage, so we can keep all our hard drives and cables organized.”

Lighting
All of the lighting in the Annex comes from Cedar and Moss, which Brad uses for every Food52 spaces he designs.“The fixtures complement a modern interior,” he says. “The detailing is minimal, and shapes are dynamic. I hate using the word transitional, but these fixtures truly are.” There are different fixtures throughout the space—domed sconces in the hallway, hanging pendant lights in the kitchen, small brass fixtures over the seating area, and jointed wall-mounted lights over the workstations—all of which have Cedar and Moss’s classic midcentury design. “Their shape, function, materials, and finishes work together to communicate with the overall architecture and language of the space,” Brad says. The lighting is simple and elegant, and the variety of fixtures brings a subtle style to the Annex. Just like we wanted.

Come on in and take a load off Photo by Rocky Luten

What's your favorite feature of our expanded office? Tell us in the comments below!

18 Comments

Bridget B. April 11, 2018
Would you be willing to share the source of the curtains (fabric, if they are custom) used in the salmon room? <br /><br />I want to use that paint color and love the look of the monochromatic curtains with it!! Beautiful space. Very inspired :)
 
Panfusine February 3, 2018
Its beautiful!<br />
 
Stephanie A. February 2, 2018
I’d love to see that shipping station you mentioned! Thanks!
 
Author Comment
Sarah W. February 2, 2018
We'd love to show it! But the space is pretty small...too small, in fact, to maneuver all the photo equipment around. :(
 
AntoniaJames February 2, 2018
Sarah, what exactly are you shipping from the tiny space? I thought Food52 drop ships everything it sells on the e-commerce site. ;o)
 
AntoniaJames February 1, 2018
Someone, please help me understand the hot / cold taps on that sink. I cannot imagine working in a kitchen where I must do the washing up every day, without a single handle faucet. The really well (German) engineered Grohe faucet that I put in when I updated my kitchen nearly 9 years ago is such a time saver. I suspect that it saves energy, too, though I've not researched that point . . . . . ;o)
 
M February 1, 2018
Glad to see the induction range and hope it will lead to content about using induction, and managing the differences between it, gas, and electric. (Like their heat sensitivity and tendency to turn off while searing in cast iron, cooking when you can't jiggle the hot pan back and forth, etc.)
 
AntoniaJames February 1, 2018
M, I'm interested in that, too! I see there is no hood over the range. Why? How is that working out? I don't understand. Someone, please. ;o)
 
Author Comment
Sarah W. February 2, 2018
There is a hood over the range! It's just a few feet higher in the air than normal, so that it doesn't interfere with video shoots. But it's there!
 
AntoniaJames February 2, 2018
Great. Glad to hear that. Sarah - can you answer my question about the faucet? I noticed that Food53 posted quite a few photos of the single handle Delta faucet when paid to do so - not sure if that one is actually in your kitchen or in a Delta location. I'm really curious about why anyone in a working kitchen would ever choose hot / cold over a good modern single handle faucet with a pull down sprayer. Is it an aesthetic choice? Or am I missing something . . . . ;o)
 
Author Comment
Sarah W. February 2, 2018
We still have the Delta faucet, which we love for how easy it is to turn on and off. All you need to do is tap the faucet and the water starts or stops. It's especially useful if your hands are covered in whatever you've been cooking—you can use your wrist to for tapping, too. (To change the water temp, you still need to push the faucet handle like you typically would.)<br /><br />This new faucet is from Kohler, and we chose it because we love the way it looks and for its long neck. The faucet comes quite far out into the sink, which is great for washing bigger pots and pans. I hear you on the benefits of the single handle, but so far we've had no complaints from out test kitchen staff!
 
AntoniaJames February 2, 2018
The pull-down spray and ability to control both flow and the temperature with the back of a (messy) hand make this wonderfully practical: https://www.grohe.us/en_us/ladylux-single-handle-kitchen-faucet-33755SD1.html (Mine is quite similar to this.) Being able to pull down the hard spray from the faucet into the pot would achieve the same result as the shape feature you mention. More importantly, it saves so much work -- and water, too -- if you can direct a hard spray into the bottom of a messy large pot. "How it looks" is important but if choosing between beauty and intelligence, intelligence wins in my kitchen, every time. ;o)
 
Deborah C. February 1, 2018
Where can I buy your "most treasured props?" The kitchen-ware featured on your current instagram photo. Thanks!<br />
 
Author Comment
Sarah W. February 2, 2018
You can buy them in our Shop, of course! Well, most of them...<br />From this picture on Instagram (https://www.instagram.com/p/Beqf47WjPR0/?taken-by=food52), here are the products that are featured:<br /><br />Top shelf, L to R:<br />- Large and Small Dasnk Kobenstyle with Handle: Out of stock :(<br />- Kobenstyle Casserole: https://food52.com/shop/products/3716-kobenstyle-casserole<br /><br />Middle shelf, L to R:<br />- Mason Cash Forest Mixing Bowls: https://food52.com/shop/products/3045-mason-cash-forest-mixing-bowls<br />- Nested inside: Mason Cash Cream Cane Mixing Bowls: https://food52.com/shop/products/3920-mason-cash-cream-cane-mixing-bowls<br />- Mosser Glass Juicer (in White): https://food52.com/shop/products/2355-glass-juicer<br />- Mason Cash Forest Batter Bowl: https://food52.com/shop/products/3938-mason-cash-forest-batter-bowl<br />- Marble & Metal Mortar & Pestle (in Brass): https://food52.com/shop/products/3462-marble-metal-mortar-pestle<br /><br />Bottom shelf, L to R:<br />- Mosser Glass Grey Swirl Glass Cake Stand: https://food52.com/shop/products/2434-grey-swirl-glass-cake-stand<br />- Staub Ivory Rustic Ceramic Oval Baking Dishes: https://food52.com/shop/products/3352-staub-ivory-rustic-ceramic-oval-baking-dishes
 
ModernShelving.com February 1, 2018
Thank you for choosing the Modern Shelving Brand of wall mounted shelves for your new space! We love Food52!
 
AntoniaJames February 1, 2018
Love the Modern Shelving Brand and plan to install it in my next house's pantry - and family room, and garage, and work studio, and utility room, and potting shed, and Mr. T's workbench, etc., etc. (My current 100-year old house has Craftsmen built-ins, but my next house quite likely will not.) I grew up in an old farmhouse in which my father installed something similar to Modern Brand in my mother's huge pantry, in the laundry room, and in every one of the bedrooms, because they are so easily customized. In one room, where we kept a small portion of our bibliophile family's enormous collection of books, he installed them floor to ceiling, the entire length of the two long walls. He even installed writing surfaces, using the widest bracket available and gorgeous wood he hand finished. As his six children got bigger, he adjusted the writing surfaces up to the right height. Love this kind of shelving! ;o)
 
ModernShelving.com February 1, 2018
Thank you AntoniaJames for your kind words. We are so excited to get the opportunity to meet even more people from the exposure here on FOOD52. So many talented people with an eye for design and value too. Feel free to get in touch any time you have a need for Modern Shelving.
 
Kat G. February 1, 2018
"sneak peek" ;) Love the new space! And that Raw Concrete Caesarstone is a revelation!