Rebekah Rombom, VP of business development at coding education startup The Flatiron School, never saw the need to fully decorate her tiny apartment on New York City’s Upper West Side.
“I thought it was out of reach and not really worth it in a rental in New York City,” she told Business Insider. “But I was running into the problem of not having a well-defined work space in my home.”
The Flatiron School is a highly selective, full-time program that teaches people how to code and eventually get jobs as engineers.
Rombom met Will Nathan, cofounder of interior design startup Homepolish, when he turned to the Flatiron School to recruit developers. She decided to purchase 10 hours of design time with Homepolish designer Michele Bitter.
The result is a colourful, efficiently organised apartment that has made it easier for Rombom to work on her latest Flatiron School projects from home.
One of the main goals Rombom and Bitter had was to define the tiny studio apartment into separate sleeping, working, and living spaces.
Growing a startup means working crazy hours, so having an efficient desk space was extremely important. 'When all is said and done, having a place that's cohesive and feels like it's your own really makes a difference in your productivity,' Rombom said.
The Flatiron School recently announced that Google would be using its engineering education software in its summer program for high school students. The school also just announced the 20 winners of its 'Kode with Karlie Scholarship,' sponsored by former Victoria's Secret model Karlie Kloss. They had received more than 600 applications from young woman wanting to use their programming skills to make a difference.
Rombom said that getting her apartment redecorated by Homepolish was 'a good match.' 'Homepolish operates the same way that I like to work: they're scrappy, flexible, have specific goals, and like to get stuff done,' she said.
'I had no design ideas, no pin boards,' Rombom said. 'Basically, I just bought a rug. Michele bought everything else.'
Rombom used to wake up early to get a workout in before heading to work. But now that her furniture is more modular and easily arranged, she takes online yoga classes using YogaGlo. 'It was an unexpected side effect of spending more time and really loving my space,' she said.
She can also keep her sleeping space completely separate from the living space. 'I wanted it to be designed so I could have guests without them having to sit on my bed,' Rombom said.
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