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The Studio House; the design process

The project, is alive and well. As a recap its a home-grown design house that my friend, Jen Gotch,  founded 6 years ago. And its booming, y’all. We are redesigning their new space in LA and its been very fun. Read on:

When I first met Jen, she was all ‘I don’t want to prop-style anymore and instead i’m going to design really pretty things for your hair’. I thought that was an interesting choice but somehow I trusted her. Because she is the kinda person that you trust. Then she blew up. Fast. And after a few years, their design studio and headquarters (with lots of employees) looked like this:

When I first visited 4 years ago, it was clean and ‘party ready’.But by the way, its always ‘PARTY READY’. It could be transplanted into the middle of a garage sale in Delaware on the Sunday after New Years and you’d still feel compelled to have your second mimosa and your toe would inevitably tap to the ‘Its All About The Bass’ that would be playing. just makes you want to party.

But on a day to day basis it was WAY too small to fit this booming company.

So because of their success (and their product expansion into many non-hair related items which is how most of you know them) they upgraded and got a pretty amazing space this year.

Wait. There is more romance than the story above; because Jen and I have a past. A non-sordid, romantic, non-dramatic, totally lovely past that we put into words, below, to help pitch it out:

I wrote that part, and then Jen’s team put together this part (I didn’t write it :)), you know, to really sell it:

We met their new space, we looked it in the eye, we took the challenge, and we shook hands with it aggressively. It was big, white, bright and full of potential – like other things I also like.

No one likes a blank canvas (that needs no renovation) more than an interior designer. And this chick was a blank canvas:

jen gotch

Champagne Room

Quickly after seeing this simple clean space, Jen sent through this mood/color board – and its not exactly average. Nay, it was really very exciting; office

Oh, totally. Yeah, that’s the moodboard that most clients send, right? So I’ll upholster your sofa in pantyhose, create a neon lighting plan and think about how a piece of furniture can ‘feel’ like how a pineapple tastes. No problemo ..000 … 000.

So, based on her wonderful genius, we (Ginny and I) came up with some more ideas and furniture/product recommendations  – very few that actually stuck, because thats how interior design ACTUALLY works. If you are an interior designer you know that your first mood and product board isn’t exactly what gets installed. Its a give and take, presentation and refinement, success and failure. But I thought it would be fun to show you:



Jen approved the above, in theory – she liked the mood/feel but the actual ideas/products that were executed came about way more organically and weren’t dictated by our ‘behind the computer’ design work. We are a bit more holistic and tactile than that, but its always good to start with a computerized plan.

So, we came up with some floorplans. Without me expalaining why they didn’t work, I just wanted to burden you with the choices that Jen and I had to make. Please feel free to obsess:



Finally. Here was the final approved floorplan:


Phew. Floorplans are tedious right? This could be my intro on ‘why interior design services are expensive’, but i’ll spare you and instead say this:

This project is and always has been exciting. Jen, the founder is a visionary, and Ginny, my lead designer is incredible in every way. I art direct but Ginny does the floorplans and the moodboards/drawings and so much of the day to day work. I can’t wait to show you the result.

No ‘after’ photos for now (its getting published soon hopefully). But I think we can all agree that it will be interesting, full of personality, weird and happy.

Thoughts? Reactions? Comments?


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