Creating Timeless, Sustainable, and Personalized Spaces
Journal|Designers we Love
STUDIO.ASHTEN is a Los Angeles-based interior design firm that specializes in crafting bespoke, refined, and functional spaces for its discerning clientele. The studio was founded by Kristen Gundersen and Jenna Richter, two design professionals with a shared passion for architecture, interiors, and outdoor living.
What’s your name & what are your pronouns? Tell us about yourself.
Our names are Kristen Gundersen (she/her) + Jenna Richter (she/her) of the Interior Design Studio STUDIOASHTEN.
Kristen is a lover of all things warm-weather related, especially the beach, outdoor activities, and sunsets. She moved to Santa Monica from Boston 11 years ago to pursue the sunshine and immerse herself in the design mecca that is Los Angeles. She has always had an innate passion for Interior Design, demonstrated as young as age 7 when using her allowance to (meagerly) re-design her parents house. Her enthusiasm was cultivated and honed while working at Interior Design and Architecture firms for over a decade before starting her own firm, STUDIO.ASHTEN, with Jenna Richter.
Jenna approaches everything as if it were a sport - an inner drive to succeed and collaborate. The former collegiate athlete made the jump from New York City to California to pursue her passion of architecture, design, as well as year-round outdoor living + adventuring. After years of honing her craft working for some of LA’s top designers, she and Kristen had the opportunity to collaborate on a project, and STUDIO.ASHTEN was born.
How would you describe your design process?
KRISTEN & JENNA: Our design process is a collaborative effort that, from its inception, involves all parties, including clients, designers, vendors, craftsmen, and build teams. We create refined, unique, and timeless spaces that reflect the personal aesthetic and functional needs of our clientele. STUDIO.ASHTEN reveals equilibrium between architecture + persona in our design, balancing the character of a space with the distinctive personalities of those who find comfort in and inspiration from it.
Who or what is your inspiration when tackling your design work?
KRISTEN & JENNA:We draw a lot of inspiration from the people we are designing for. Their experiences, their ancestry, their goals all inform our design execution. We of course are also highly inspired by travel, experiencing the bounties of other cultures and being able to translate them to our designs in an authentic way.
KRISTEN & JENNA:It is always such a rewarding experience to design beautiful, highly functional, and sustainable spaces. The design process, as we view it, is an organic synergy of artistic creativity and mindful execution; we have a responsibility to the earth that has offered us so many incredibly gorgeous materials to source and use them in a conscious way to ensure nature’s preservation.
What about the spaces you design makes it feel like home?
KRISTEN & JENNA: First and foremost, we recognize that what constitutes “feeling like home” to one person looks entirely different to another. We take into consideration each client’s personal taste and preferences, which serve as the “canvas” we use to refine and curate their home’s design. Our design goal is to create spaces that reflect our clients’ personalities in a refined yet inviting way, so that the house itself stimulates creativity and induces comfort.
What are some of your favorite items that can instantly elevate the design of a space?
Paint is one of the easiest ways to entirely change a space. We also love redefining rooms with simple decor updates, switching out artwork, pillows and rugs to create a completely new personality.
What's the best piece of advice you've ever received?
Be yourself. This applies so deeply to our industry, where we find so many spaces designed that are nice to look at, but are generic and not a reflection of their inhabitants. We like to ensure that the personality, idiosyncrasies, and needs of our clients are all met authentically through our design.
Thanks so much for stopping by, STUDIO.ASHTEN! if you'd like to follow their work, check out their website & instagram.