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2023-10-05 00:00:00 Avenue Magazine Co-Working Spaces are Back, and Chicer Than Ever

Co-Working Spaces are Back, and Chicer Than Ever

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THE NEW OFFICE ETIQUETTE The Malin’s new locations in Nashville continue its mantra of working beautifully—with designer accoutrement
Photo by Thomas Loof

Ciaran McGuigan is grateful for direct flights between New York and Nashville. The Ireland-born furniture designer and founder of The Malin has a personal connection to both: New York — his second home — is where his design-forward member’s club began, and Nashville is where his wife, Logann, grew up. It’s an entanglement that becomes even more important this fall when The Malin open doors to not one, but two locations in the Tennessee capital.

“Nashville is one of the fastest-growing cities in the United States,” McGuigan tells Avenue. “There are huge discerning taste levels here, something you notice the minute you arrive.” Aesthetic discernment is perhaps the easiest entryway into The Malin, which McGuigan, who also owns the design brand Orior Furniture, which opened its first NYC showroom in 2021. A high-end solution to the cookie-cutter model of the coworking spaces that have spawned across Manhattan and the continental U.S., The Malin is a beautiful reprieve for ideation. It began in a cast-iron loft in SoHo, which just recently expanded to three floors, and then quickly opened two additional locations in creative-frequented neighborhoods: in Williamsburg, in the brutalist hotel The William Vale, and in a historic artist town house in the West Village.

While every club offers its own unique experience, there are several overarching values that each of The Malins share. Most notably, it’s their warm, elevated interiors, spearheaded by the brand’s in-house design team, featuring Calico Wallpaper and Schumacher textiles, with Flos lighting, alongside locally made craft pieces, including Irish crystal tabletops. There are also the standard resources that everyone needs to work — communal spaces to spread out, well-stocked kitchenettes, privacy booths, and dedicated desks — as well as special services offered à la carte. “Our executive assistant program is one of the things I’m most proud about,” says McGuigan, who links the club’s success to a small and curated membership base. “Do you need an expense report filed? An errand ran? Our EAs are trained to do whatever members need. It’s our business to know what our members are working on — not in a nosy way, but to be there to assist them on a daily, weekly, monthly, or whenever basis.”

The Malin’s two new Music City locations — the first in Nashville’s Wedgewood-Houston neighborhood and the second an approximate five-minute drive away in South Gulch — continue the mission of their New York predecessors, with the added bonus of scale. “These are huge!” reports McGuigan from the Wedgewood-Houston location, housed in the onetime Nashville Warehouse Co. building, which sits on 16,000 square feet of space. “Our kitchen here is three times as big as our New York locations, and we have a gorgeous outdoor terrace.” The Malin South Gulch, which was designed by Kingston Lafferty Design, is in the city’s former Voorhees Building, and has 58 dedicated desks, seven private offices, four meeting rooms, three lounges, and one library all held in its 12,000-square-foot space.

The founder is sure that not only will both The Malins excite the local community, but they’ll also serve as a familiar setting for traveling New Yorkers who have become accustomed to beautiful working conditions. “I genuinely believe we are the future of what working will look like,” predicts McGuigan, who has his sights on other cities once he’s made his mark in Nashville. “You have to entice people back to the office, and create an environment unlike any other. That’s what we’re doing.”

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