California Boho in an East Coast Shell: Framebridge's Inspiring Office

California Boho in an East Coast Shell: Framebridge's Inspiring Office

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Natalie Grasso
Jan 22, 2016
(Image credit: Natalie Grasso)

Name: Framebridge
Location: Georgetown — Washington, DC
Size: 2,800 square feet
Time occupied: 9 months

Picture this: a small, old house—rumored to have been Francis Scott Key's—sits nestled on quiet residential street in historic Georgetown. Inside, a surprise: the lively, Instagrammable hustle of Framebridge, a fast-growing custom framing startup.

(Image credit: Natalie Grasso)

"We fell in love with this space when we saw it," says Tessa Wolf, who oversees merchandising and operations for the company. "Since our product lives in our customers' homes, we realized how fitting it would be for our office to be an actual house, too."

Given its history, they've retained many of the original details, like a pair of gorgeous wooden pocket doors that separate a sitting room from their main workspace. Elsewhere, they've injected their own fresh and modern flair: lots of stylish and affordable CB2 and West Elm finds and, of course, gallery walls galore.

Functionally, the space supports everything from workaday tasks to product shoots and customer consultations to, presently, a pop-up gallery they've dubbed DistrictIRL, curated by A Creative DC.

"Our office never looks the same way for long," says Tessa. "We swap the art in every room for shoots and meetings, we convert rooms to pop-up galleries, and we switch seats all the time. Our team never gets bored."

(Image credit: Natalie Grasso)

Apartment Therapy Survey:

Our Style: In our “real” lives, we all have totally different styles—Mid-century, industrial, classic—you name it. Our office space, though, is a girlier, more fun mix of all of our styles. We were originally aiming for California boho in an East Coast shell, and we think we got pretty close!

Inspiration: We fell in love with this space when we saw it because, among other things, it’s a beautiful old home. Since Framebridge’s product (online custom framing) lives in our customers’ homes, we realized how fitting it would be for our office to be an actual house, too. We test new mouldings and hang framed art for photoshoots not in a studio on a soundstage, but above the mantel-less fireplace in our “living room,” next to the bar cart in our tiny urban kitchen with no counter space, and on the super crooked walls in our conference (ahem… dining) room. It’s the perfect place to find and share inspiration from our customers.

Favorite Element: We all die for the huge, original pocket doors that separate the upstairs front room from our main workspace. We’ve heard that Francis Scott Key lived in that room as a boy, and we laugh thinking of him having to close those giant doors before going to sleep.

Biggest Challenge: Because this is an old townhome divided into discrete spaces, our office is on two different floors, and you have to walk outside to go between them. It can get cold out there!

What Employees Love Most about the Space: In the same way no two days are ever the same in the life of a startup, our office never looks the same way for long. We swap the art in every room for shoots and meetings (yes, meetings), we convert rooms to pop-up galleries, and we switch seats all the time. Our team never gets bored.

Proudest DIY: Is it okay to share a reverse DIY? When we moved in, we painted clean white over some outdated blue chevron walls—we’d call it a top moment in the life of our company!

Best Advice: If you can, find an office with great light. Not only will everyone feel a little brighter and happier during the day, but it also makes taking pics for Instagram a lot easier!

Resources

(Image credit: Natalie Grasso)

SITTING ROOM/FRANCIS SCOTT KEY ROOM

  • Sofa: West Elm
  • Pillow: Kassapanola on Etsy, Target
  • Side table: West Elm
  • Rug: Serena & Lily
  • Poufs: CB2
  • Coffee table: Blu Dot
  • Chairs: Dot & Bo
  • Stacking tables between chairs: CB2
  • Console behind chairs: West Elm
(Image credit: Natalie Grasso)

WORKSPACE

  • Desks: West Elm
  • White chairs: CB2
  • Lamps on desks: Target
  • Rug: Sisal Rugs Direct (had to get a giant one!)
(Image credit: Natalie Grasso)

CONFERENCE ROOM

  • Conference table: Restoration Hardware
  • Chairs around table: Design Within Reach
  • Rug: West Elm
  • Chairs against wall: Arhaus
(Image credit: Natalie Grasso)

GROUND FLOOR STUDIO

  • Rugs: One King’s Lane
  • Big gray table: CB2
  • Chairs at “bar”: One King’s Lane
  • Peacock chair: One King’s Lane
  • Lucite bar cart: One King’s Lane

(Image credit: Natalie Grasso)

GROUND FLOOR WORKSPACE

  • Desks: West Elm
  • Striped/herringbone chairs: West Elm
  • Standing desk: IKEA
  • Rugs: One King’s Lane
  • Round black-and-white feather wall art: Africandchic on Etsy

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Thanks, Framebridge!

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