The Muse's Fresh Startup Space

The Muse's Fresh Startup Space

Elizabeth Giorgi
Oct 3, 2013

Name: The Muse
Location: New York, New York
Size: 1,000 square feet
Years in business: 2 years

The Muse's CEO Kathryn Minshew is dedicated to start-up life. While showing off the career site's fresh NYC space, she laughed about how she took the red eye to Washington D.C. from San Francisco to convince the then-owner of why he should sell her the domain. The organized, bold, and charming Minshew was successful in her bid. I have a feeling it's not the only big success the Muse Team has ahead.

The Muse's purpose is simple: to be a new kind of career destination. Long gone are the days of classified pages and resume writing. Instead, job hunters can find expert advice, get an inside look at some of the world's biggest and most innovative employers, and learn how to take their career aspirations to the next level. It's like LinkedIn for real people.

The space is shared with other big names in start-up history in this Gramercy office — Tumblr is just across the hall. The designers mixed affordable elements with investment pieces and sought out office accessories from Poppin featuring The Muse's signature bright blue. It's an informal work area, meant to foster collaboration and conversation amongst their eleven employees.

The Muse team is also dedicated to supporting other start-ups, including the notable Artsicle, an art rental site which provided many of the great pieces in the space. The Sill, a house plant delivery service, selected a smart mix of greenery hearty enough to survive office life.

Apartment Therapy Survey:

Our Style: I’d say professional, but homey. We spend a lot of time in the office, so we want it to be a cozy space where we can work together and spend time with each other, but we also wanted it to be sleek enough that we could bring people in for business meetings. We just moved into the office space a month ago, so we brought in a designer – Danielle Arps from Homepolish – to help us get it up to speed asap.

Inspiration: We are constantly inspired by the amazing workspaces that we feature on The Muse! While we definitely want to have our own unique office design, we are always getting ideas while creating and looking at the profiles, from the modern-rustic feel of Method’s office to the cozy community spaces in charity: water’s office.

Favorite Element: I love the exposed brick walls—it’s so quintessentially New York, and is part of what really drew us to choose this space. It also provides the perfect canvas for all sorts of different art—we love renting ours from places like Artsicle and Uprise Art so we can switch it up when we need a change of pace. We were also all excited about the desk accessories from Poppin. They add a great modern touch to the room, and happen to match our logo perfectly—we might try to convince them to rename it “Muse Blue.”

Biggest Challenge: Creating enough work areas for 11+ employees while keeping an open office feel was a tough challenge, given the limited square footage. When we first moved in we were all awkwardly packed around the oblong tables that were left in the space—it was functional but certainly not ideal. When Homepolish came in, they really helped us make the most of our space with long tables lining the walls, cozy couches, and even window nooks for cozying up with a laptop! We also had to deal with some very drab walls when we moved in, so we called PaintZen to come in and freshen things up and added plants from The Sill. I’m amazed at the difference it made.

What Friends Say: “Can I come work with you?”

Biggest Embarrassment: The A/C tends to make our office pretty chilly in the summer, so we like to keep some cozy warm things around—including a Batman snuggie that one of our developers bought. We’re a little embarrassed by it so we stow it away when people come to visit, but we’re a little proud of it too.

Proudest DIY: We hacked together a lot of pieces for the space! Like I said, there was some furniture left here when we moved in and since we were on a relatively tight decorating budget, we wanted to repurpose as many of those as possible. A few coats of white paint was enough to tie this hodgepodge of pieces together—like the dark wooden coffee table that got a white antiqued patina, the whicker drawers, and the not-so-gaudyanymore gold lamp.

Biggest Indulgence: Definitely the sheep skin throw from DwellStudio! Not necessary but, oh so necessary!

Best Advice: I can’t recommend Homepolish enough. When we moved in they sent us one of their star designers—Danielle Arps—to completely transform the space on a limited budget and a tight timeline. We were so thrilled with the results (and in fact, I’ve already asked Danielle and Homepolish to help with my next apartment when I move). We would never have found a lot of our favorite pieces without her.If you aren’t a designer yourself, definitely don’t be afraid to ask for help. We could have made a good place to work on our own, but they helped us create a truly inspiring space that makes us excited to work here every day.

Dream Sources: (Shops, artists, etc.)

  • Anthropologie
  • Jonathan Adler
  • HD Buttercup
  • DWR
  • The Sill (for the amazing plants!)
  • Whole Foods (we always need more snacks!)

Resources of Note:






(Images: Elizabeth Giorgi)

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