An overstuffed leather couche, a mini-fridge, a beer-bottle chandelier, and of course, a dartboard: the type of home a guy sets up after his divorce is the stuff of stereotypes and cultural jokes. But today’s generation of recently-divorced dads may be searching for something more.
Enter Stripe Street Studio, a New York City-based interior design firm created by event producer and home stylist Stacey Herman to help dads who aren’t looking for a typical man cave or bachelor pad. It’s for those who still plan to be heavily involved in their children’s care and lives and need a space to fit that dynamic.
“They want family homes. It’s just they happen to not be married anymore,” Herman explains “What’s so important is to save that bond and to build on it, to create a home where your kids feel like there are two homes. It’s not like, ‘Oh, I’m going to Dad’s pad.’”
Creating that seamless shift for dads and their offspring is the whole point of Stripe Street. Herman (aptly naming herself the company’s “Chief Transition Officer”) and her team help newly single dads from start to finish, including the actual moving process. Even better, they promise to leave the entire household unpacked and logically organized so the family can get right into living from day one.
The team kicks things off by analyzing the best of use of space based on the needs of the dad and his kids. The required areas are then identified (“where to sit, eat, and sleep”) and personalized to match the family’s aesthetic. The last step is creating “ambiance and comfort.”
While her services cater to a niche market – the average American dad coming out of divorce doesn’t exactly have a ton of resources to set up a new home – for those who fit the profile, Herman’s studio could make the splitting of households much easier. Her website says they can provide “everything for your home from furniture and rugs, towels and linens…all the way to the vegetable peeler.”
Herman’s background makes her an especially great fit for this new venture. She has over 25 years of design experience working for print institutions like Condé Nast and Hearst Corporation, specifically with roles at Vanity Fair and Elle Décor. During this time, she learned the importance of logistics and functionality in addition to aesthetic as she orchestrated large multi-platform events and marketing programs. In 2015, she launched Fluid Design + Relocation, a company that specializes in outfitting private homes across the U.S. and creating custom pieces for corporate entities. It’s from there that her passion for helping divorced dads find their style truly blossomed.
The Stripe Street website showcases the studio’s work on three different projects so far. “Mid-West Strong” was created for a dad and his energetic boys. The team put together a masculine but tailored decor that would be “indestructible” enough for their life of riding four-wheelers, playing with toys, and fishing.
Another dad and his young girls got the “Manhattan Happy” treatment, an upbeat and fun-loving look that incorporates sunny yellows and playful patterns in the common areas, but mature, more subdued tones in the master bedroom and sitting room.
With “Masculine Refinement,” the father of college-age kids got a calm and sophisticated style, with warm colors and rich textures that “replicate the feel and elegance of a gentleman’s closet.” A variety of wood tones, leathers, and velvets combine to make this home a contemplative space for Dad and his visiting children.
Even if Stripe Street Studio only serves a small segment of divorcees, the fact that it exists shows the growing need for such services. It could even act as a market forerunner to elevate the dated “dad pad” to a place where a father and his kids can truly feel at home.