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Spaces We Love: Refinery29’s New York Office

By Star Hughes-Gorup

One of my millennial staple websites is Refinery29 – it’s colorful, fun, creative, inspiring, and full of all things travel, fashion, lifestyle, and entertainment. Naturally I was very curious about what a company like Refinery29 would create in the space that it calls home. Few things get me more excited than when a company’s office fully captures the essence of its brand – and Refinery29’s chic space in Manhattan is one that does exactly that.

The reception area is marked by a vintage-inspired neon sign. What a fun way to welcome visitors to the office! The Herculite glass, double-door entry and bright, comfy couches give the lobby a grand appearance, ushering guests in with an air of excitement and comfort.


I mean, who wouldn’t want to plop down on these couches and enjoy this cozy, fun, bohemian-inspired room? Refinery29 did an excellent job bringing high-end residential design into the workplace. Its reception area feels like an upscale living room that you’d see in an apartment in Brooklyn. It’s both inviting and colorful, attributes that can be challenging to create in most office reception areas.


The space utilizes both open, exposed ceilings and drop ceilings, which can add height and dimension to any office. The open ceiling and ductwork have been painted white to brighten the space and make the rooms feel more spacious. The use of open ceilings and drop ceilings together helps to define distinct areas – in this case, the drop ceilings can be found in private meeting spaces, and open ceilings characterize the work areas.


The floor treatments also help to define distinct areas within the office – utilizing different materials as an easy way of creating separation between areas without actually having to construct walls to divide them. Carpet spans the open workstations, while funky, boho rugs can be found in the collaboration/meeting/breakout areas.

There is nothing quite like utilizing a sea foam green internal stairwell to connect Refinery29’s two floors, allowing for communication, collaboration, and fluidity throughout the full 25,000 square foot office. Internal stairwells are generally very expensive, but going with a more industrial-type stairwell that’s painted a cute and fun color can save tens of thousands of dollars (rather than building a glass, wood, or stone staircase).


The brightly colored stairwell leads down to what would be one of my favorite rooms in Refinery29’s space. A vintage pink rug, bright blue wire stools, a chunky bench, floor pillows, and fun art adorn the stairwell landing area. While I can’t say for certain, I have a feeling that some of the team’s most creative ideas are born here – it’s inspiring, fun, and everything that the brand stands for, all packaged up into one little spot. Hats off to Refinery29 for its mastery in capturing the essence of its brand with this bright, creative space!

Star Hughes-Gorup is a senior vice president and director at Hughes Marino, an award-winning commercial real estate firm with offices across the nation. Star is a key member of Hughes Marino’s brokerage team, where she specializes in tenant representation and building purchases. Star also makes frequent media appearances to speak on business issues from a millennial perspective, and blogs about life as a woman in a male-dominated industry at starhughesgorup.com. Contact Star at 1-844-662-6635, or star@hughesmarino.com.

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