Office design is no stranger to flavor-of-the-month syndrome. One experimental move might seem right at the moment—like banning chairs—but questionable as time goes on. When Target’s marketing and public relations team enlisted interior designer Lauren Rottet to overhaul a 15,000-square-foot space in Manhattan, the end game was less about statements and more about subtlety.
“Target wanted a space that was beautifully designed, but quietly designed,” Rottet says. “Not ‘in-your-face bold,’ but almost a studio-like or art-loft-like backdrop for their own designs that was sophisticated.”
Rottet started by shadowing the 10-person office during a normal day to figure out what could be improved. The team was fairly small—about 12 people—but they frequently staged photo shoots complete with models and props. The challenge boiled down to making the office feel more connected and collaborative. Rottet noticed that the meeting rooms were too small, the individual desks were disjointed, and, aside from the spaces adjacent to the tall industrial windows, it was dimly lit by and large.
“It didn’t feel very energetic and creative,” Rottet says.
She proceeded to make the office look effortless, which required a balancing act between “refined design and natural elements.” Upon entering the space, visitors are welcomed into a living room furnished with artwork from Target, a Glas Italia coffee table, and Minotti sofa. It reads as comfortable, not corporate.
Moving inside, Rottet incorporated a series of wood lockers festooned with groovy Rex Ray-esque graphics. The adjacent communal table is outfitted with outlets and lighting for meetings, and for those who want to work away from their assigned desk. Green rooms and meeting areas are decked out similarly to the reception area and function like mini lounge areas within the cavernous space.
“All of those things speak to a warm lifestyle,” Rottet says of the overarching effect.