Collaborator Spotlight: Float Studio
NYC-based interior design firm Float Studio has quickly emerged as a leader in the design industry for clients looking to establish individuality within their workspaces. A firm deeply rooted in lifestyle design, Float’s expansive project portfolio supports a range of sectors, including residential, workplace, retail, and hospitality.
Alongside its robust interiors program, Float Studio has developed a notable reputation for designing custom products for clients, adding to its projects an added layer of individuality and character. Developed in partnership with Modern Matter, the firm first-ever hardware collection has a contemporary temperament and transitional spaces in mind. The Marcelle and Otto Collections complement an array of design narratives while adding elegance.
Q: How did Float Studio start?
A: Float Studio was founded in 2013 upon the belief that great design should be made accessible to all. Our first clients were predominantly start-up companies who were aging out of the co-working model and looking to establish a sense of brand identity within their place of work. As our clients’ businesses grew and moved into progressively bigger workspaces, our ideals remained the same. We meticulously approach each project with a unique and inventive perspective that will personify our clients’ brands and create a sense of individuality within each project. No two spaces we design look alike.
Q: Why were you drawn to work with start-ups? How did your background in residential design inform your work with brands?
Brad: Taking risks is something that is inherently integrated into a start-up company’s DNA. Buying into the idea that the quality of a workspace could reflect the culture of the office is something that came naturally to them. They understand that space can shape behavior and morale.
Nina: The level of enthusiasm in the start-up world is extremely motivating. It is exciting to work alongside people who are in the early phases of their company with no preconceived notions of what their workplace could or should look like. It gives us the opportunity to get creative. Our approach for designing workplaces has always been to view it as you’re creating a home for the brand. By taking a more residential approach, you allow yourself to focus on a more layered, personal process as opposed to one-size-fits-all solutions.
Q: Tell us about your creative process. What are the differences between working with brands versus working with residential clients?
Nina: When working with a brand, the most important step is taking the time to understand in fullness the identity and personality of that brand. With a residential client, the personality of the homeowner(s) is likely to be more readily apparent, but it is still a discussion that needs to be had early on in the creative process. In both scenarios, you are trying to create a space that reflects the identity of the person or company you are designing for.
Q: Why did you want to create a hardware line?
Nina: Hardware, especially cabinet hardware, has the ability to complete the narrative of a space in terms of look and feel. It is the final touch that helps to define the interior architectural language of a space and is often given a boilerplate solution in commercial design.
Brad: Like with all of our custom designed pieces, we created this hardware collection because we were unable to find what we were looking for in the current market. When approaching this project, we were looking for two solutions: modern design and a transitional option.
Q: Can you tell us a bit about the process of designing this collection and how this project came to life? What was your inspiration for this hardware line?
Brad: For the Marcelle Collection, I sorted through vintage hardware in Parisian fleas, and we fell in love with the delicate nature of the pulls. In our concept, we also paid close attention to Japanese tansu and the mixing of metals. The Otto collection was derived from the feeling in hand. We wanted to take what you primarily see in modern hardware design, typically a cup or tube, and give it softness and quality with a richer tactile feel. The result is a studier silhouette that is more aesthetically pleasing than traditional wire pulls.
Nina: For utilitarian styled kitchens, stainless steel makes a lot of sense, and we really celebrated that utilitarian sensibility with the Otto Collection. We also love playing with mixed metals to create a more unique finish. Clients often ask if they can have a stainless faucet with brass pulls, and the Marcelle collection responds to this by combining two materials with intention. It is our hope this collection inspires and encourages consumers to strategically mix materials on their own.
Q: Why is hardware important when designing a space?
Brad: People who use the space have no choice but to connect with it, feel it in their hand, have it in their sightline. Hardware is functional but should have a jewelry component to it - an intimate touch to millwork.
Q: How do you envision this hardware collection being used?
Nina: I envision the Marcelle Collection in both traditional and handcrafted spaces. It does not have to be overly ornate because its focus remains on simple materiality.
Brad: Both collections will look great on cabinet doors and can also be excellent choices for standalone pieces of furniture. The Otto Collection will be perfect for more utilitarian kitchens and industrial spaces.
Q: Do you have a favorite piece in the collection, and why?
Both: The knob in the Marcelle Collection. The profile is so elegant, and it really feels lovely in hand. It’s the perfect mix of materials, and the scale is ideal.