When Groupon founder Andrew Mason and San Francisco-based interior designer Allison Bloom of Dehn Bloom sat down to discuss the design of the new offices for his GPS audio-tour app Detour, Mason was clear about what he didn’t want. “He said, ‘If this looks like an architect's office or a coffee shop, we’ve gone wrong.’ He wanted it to feel like a home,” explains Bloom.
The finished product very much fits the bill. Bloom’s layered, texture-heavy aesthetic is woven throughout the lofty space—with homey touches like vintage kilim rugs and potted herbs and succulents at every turn. Even a ho-hum, standard-issue office kitchen got an unexpected transformation thanks to a local decorative painter. “Every house I create feels like the owner’s soul really shines,” says Bloom. And in this case, workplaces are no exception.
Check out Bloom’s tips to steal Detour’s dreamy decor for your own.
Tip: Upholster your walls.
"In addition to dampening sound in a room, this technique has a great softness that adds a sense of coziness to the space—it becomes almost like artwork. Plus, it’s actually a lot less expensive to upholster a wall than it is to upholster a sofa. It can easily be half the cost, depending on the size of the wall," says Bloom.
“With all this pattern, you have to be thoughtful about the art you put on it. The mirrors were another way to increase the sense of space. They were also a way to gently break up the pattern on the wall but not compete with it.”
Tip: Use plants to create a visual barrier and help absorb sound.
“The key to this look is varying the silhouettes and structure of your plants. The [types we used] are all hearty, hard-to-kill succulents. And the two at the ends (Sansevieria) actually absorb off-gassing from laptops, plastics and electronics," says Bloom.
Tip: If you can’t tile, you can paint.
"This was your very basic boring office kitchen. We wanted to find a quick and easy way to add texture and color. The tile-like effect is actually a painted design on dry wall that we then sealed. We did it on the island as well, to add continuity. I think the base of the island is a very overlooked place. It’s relatively big real estate in the kitchen. It’s a great way to add more color and dimension.”
“We also changed out the hardware. It was nickel, but we changed it to black matte—to give the space a bit of contrast. It really does make a difference and it’s easy to do.”