Designing for Community

We caught up with Caitlin Gury, one of our designers and project managers, to get a glimpse inside the thought process that goes into designing our homes. Cait joined our team in December 2016 and has since worked on Common Baltic, Common Cornelia, Common Lincoln, and many more homes. 


What is your job/what do you do?

I am the interior designer on the Design and Construction team. I’m involved in the design process of our new homes from the beginning – when we’re partnering with developers to select finishes, paint colors, and lighting – to the furniture design and final setup of the homes.

What do you have to take into consideration when designing for different spaces?

The first thing we as a team consider is how many people will be sharing the space. We strive to be thoughtful in every aspect of the home, from kitchen storage to sofa selections. We work hard to ensure the floor plan and furniture are designed to reduce any possible friction among roommates. This means making sure everything has a place and that the space is warm, welcoming, and cozy.

Wall mounted mail holders and coat hooks may seem like a minor addition – but this attention to detail from Space team sets members up to keep a clutter-free home. Pictured here: Common Lincoln in Prospect Lefferts Gardens.


Furnished with deep sectionals and layered textiles, our community spaces are designed to make you want to kick off your shoes. Pictured here: Common Cornelia in Ridgewood.

What are some of your favorite community-enhancing design tips?

Sophie Wilkinson, Head of Design and Construction, has said “Home is sweatpants.”  What she means is that home should be the place where you feel your most at ease – when you kick off your uncomfortable office clothes, let your guard down, and relax.

It’s when you’re at your most comfortable that you can connect with the people around you on a more intimate and open level. Your conversations at a super loud bar will always be different than your conversations with two friends on a sofa, in your socks, drinking wine or a cup of tea.

That idea shifted my perspective and has since influenced all of my design choices. The best way we can create community and genuine connections among our members is to ensure they feel safe, comfortable, and truly at home at Common.


What’s your favorite part of your job?

The people! We have an amazing team full of people with such diverse and fascinating skill sets. The people I work with inspire me (and make me laugh) every single day.

In my own work, my favorite part of the design process is those last few days of a new home load in. When you’re hanging art and placing the final pieces – seeing a home and months of work come together always feels amazing.


What’s the biggest challenge of your job?

We currently have a wide variety of homes. We have sweet brownstones in Brooklyn with 16 bedrooms and we have larger homes, like our newest in the Bay Area, Common MacArthur, with 45 bedrooms. The challenge is twofold: to consider both the surroundings you’re designing for (California versus New York) and also the type of space (a brownstone versus a larger home).

A bedroom at Common MacArthur in Oakland, California.

We want every home to feel special and unique, but we also want a to create a cohesive and recognizable Common aesthetic. I love the challenge of working in such a variety of spaces around the country.

Learn more about Common’s interior design by following us on Pinterest.

Want to learn more about Common and get a virtual tour of any of our homes? Schedule a quick chat with our team here.

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