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African Bohemian, New York Cool: A Visit to the Suno Offices

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African Bohemian, New York Cool: A Visit to the Suno Offices

Stacey Lindsay April 18, 2013

Last winter, when set decorator and interior stylist Kate Dougherty began decorating the Suno offices, her mandate was to warm up the drab midtown space. “It was super corporate, with white walls and metal framing,” she said. Dougherty took her inspiration from the African influences behind the line, adding color and patterning to create the look of a “traveler or explorer’s den,” as she says.

Created in 2008 by designer Max Osterweis in collaboration with Erin Beatty, Suno is a womanswear brand inspired by Kenya, Osterweis’ second home. Dougherty, a self-described vagabond, rummages near and far to find the elements for her memorable spaces (projects include set designs for Wes Anderson and interiors for some of New York’s hottest restaurants). The project was a natural fit for Dougherty, one that resulted in a characterful interior featuring Congolese fabrics, vintage American finds, and custom European pieces; a space where Suno’s team can create and collaborate. “I wanted to inspire the whole staff, from marketing to production.”

Photos by Nicole Franzen for Remodelista.

Above: Dougherty relaxes among her finds.

Above: The office entryway. The Suno letters are painted in goldleaf paint; the bench is a custom creation by Italian furniture make Andrea Brugi; the “Coat Egg” hooks are by UK designer Daniel Schofield.

Above: The relaxed showroom is rich with collected objects Dougherty sourced from all over, each one representative of the Suno brand. A framed dress from the first collection graces the wall above the sofa.

Above: For the showroom sitting area, Dougherty mixed a West Elm sofa with an artisan butterfly chair made by Buenos Aires-based Lifestyle by Cara.

Above: Clothes are displayed on simple metal racks. Suno founder Max Osterweis commissioned a local graffiti artist to create the mural on the wall.

Above: Dougherty made a handmade shelf with rope and pieces of reclaimed barn wood that was leftover from lining the windows. On each shelf are collected vintage items; the Polaroid photo is of Osterweis’ mother, named Suno, taken during the 1960s in Peru.

Above: The book ends are made of railroad ties sourced from upstate New York; the small frames are antique West African playing cards.

Above: A hanging oversized pendant from Barn Light Electric illuminates the design room.

Above: To add interest to simple Ikea cabinets, Dougherty washed the front in Annie Sloane’s chalk paint in Old White and replaced the metal hardware with DIY leather pulls.

You spend many hours there, so why not make the most out of your office? See A Clubhouse for Creatives, SF Edition and A Redesigned Studio in Marin for more workspace inspiration.

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