Heat Design’s Workspace: Homeward Bound

When the team at Heat had outgrown their San Francisco office, they embraced the move, less than a mile away, as an opportunity to create a new kind of office, one that almost feels like home.




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“We wanted it to feel more residential than like an office space,” says executive creative director Steve Stone. The thinking behind the décor was that if the space is relaxed and cozy—feeling more like a lived-in loft than a starched, corporate office — it would foster more of a creative, collaborative environment for Heat’s 50-plus employees.

Formerly occupied by Second Life creator Linden Labs, the new address was a far cry from home sweet home when they first arrived, with its lime-green walls and pool table epitomizing the dot-com era. So, they went to work, ripping up carpet, tearing down walls (even part of the ceiling) and essentially starting from scratch to achieve a domestic aesthetic.

Every facet of the renovation was run through the filter of “Does this feel like something you’d want in your house?” Big, comfy couches flank conference rooms. An antique farm table that seats 20 adds a homey edge to the kitchen. Reupholstered, vintage sofas and chairs fill impromptu meeting areas.

No detail was overlooked in the process — down to the lamps, which were rewired with retro, braided-cloth power cords. They’re things that most people would never notice, but for the employee seated there for 40 hours a week, they’re what make the office feel, well, a little more like home.

View This Video from Heat to announce their move.

Editor’s note: The above article originally appeared in the May 2012 issue of HOW magazine

Interested in Making Your Workspace More Creative? Get Inspired: Read this collection of past Workspace columns, which detail unique design studios in HOW magazine.