Mad About … Workstead Design Firm

I came across this American firm while I was researching my latest feature for The Financial Times. No, I can’t tell you what it’s about but if any of you want to guess from these images then that’s fine.

Project 333 in Brooklyn, New York by Workstead
Project 333 in Brooklyn, New York by Workstead

Anyway, I came across this design firm, Workstead, and I just loved their portfolio so much that I wanted to share it with you, because I think you will love their work as much as I do.

Workstead project 333 brooklyn aparment
industrial chandelier from workstead

The image that led me to them is not here but as soon as I started browsing, I thought that if ever I was in the business of renting a place in New York, or possibly hiring a designer, these are the people I would want.

workstead industrial lighting loft style brick wall
The First Ward by Workstead

The firm was founded in 2009 by Stephanie Brechbuehler and Robert Highsmith and, from their office in Brooklyn, they concentrate on architecture and interior design as well as lighting and furniture.

brass light from workstead
brass ceiling light

So, even if you don’t need (or want) an interior designer, you can still buy into their look by adding one of their lights to your scheme.

state-street NYC by
kitchen of State Street, Brooklyn Heights, by workstead

As well as residential projects, the company have also decorated hotels, including The Wythe, the first boutique hotel in screamingly fashionable Williamsburg.

library shelves at the wythe hotel by workstead
library shelves at the wythe hotel by workstead

I love the shelves in the image above, each of which has a glass door which makes it a) reminiscent of a shop and b) practical as it would keep the dust off. Next time I redo my kitchen I am going to have shelves like this floor to ceiling with just a huge island in front.

grey kitchen by workstead
grey kitchen by workstead

I also love this kitchen above, which is probably a bit too minimal for me to ever pull off in reality but the soft colours and mix of materials is very sleek and restful.

white bedroom panelled walls simple from workstead
simple bedroom with white panelled walls and minimal decor

Or what about this bedroom which is so simple? This is harder to achieve than it looks as most of us either need storage, or are tempted to add things rather than take them away. Remember Coco Chanel people: when accessorising always take off the last thing you put on.

double desk black and white from workstead
beautifully simple desk area

I could definitely work in this space although for practicality’s sake, a few shelves might be in order. Like these ones below, which double up as a ladder to the skylight above.

shelves doubling up as ladder by
industrial shelves that double up as a ladder

What do you think? I’ve got so many ideas I may have to start renovating my house again right now …

Photography by Matthew Williams 

Kate Watson-Smyth

The author Kate Watson-Smyth

I’m a journalist who writes about interiors mainly for The Financial Times but I have also written regularly for The Independent and The Daily Mail. My house has been in Living Etc, HeartHome and featured in The Wall Street Journal & Corriere della Sera. I also run an interior styling consultancy Mad About Your House. Welcome to my Mad House.