C California Style

On the grounds of the original La Grande Station, the design firm crafted new Arts District cocktail bar and eatery WESTBOUND to recall a luxury train from a bygone era. PHOTO: Alen Lin.
THE BUNGALOW’s new STUDIO COLLECTIVE-designed Huntington Beach address is anchored by a mix of custom leather sofas and club chairs. PHOTO: Justin Coit.

Cool and Collected

by C California Style

The dream team behind boutique design firm Studio Collective is creating handsome interiors with a west coast blueprint.

Santa Monica-based design firm Studio Collective—founded by Leslie Kale, Christian Schulz and Adam Goldstein—has left its hospitality mark on locales up and down the coast, from Goleta getaway The Goodland to Sunset Strip’s macrame-outfitted eatery Estrella and Santa Monica’s bohemian hangout The Bungalow. (They recently debuted a second vintage surf-inspired outpost in Huntington Beach.) Not bad for a firm that got its start only seven years ago (as a byproduct of the economic downturn, no less). But then again, the trio’s collective résumé reads like a who’s who of L.A. design; between them they’ve worked for Frank Gehry, Kelly Wearstler, Commune and Philippe Starck before joining forces in 2009. “We’ve been like the three musketeers ever since,” says Schulz.

The team’s next reveal, set to debut later this year, is Downtown’s newly renovated Hotel Figueroa. The studio will pull from the property’s past (originally opened in 1926 by the Young Women’s Christian Association, it has since become a quirky Moroccan-themed inn), reimagining its Spanish Mediterranean roots and commissioning art by L.A.-based female artists including large-scale portraiture by Alison Van Pelt. “We let the soul of a project be the guide,” notes Kale.

With each new endeavor, the studio continues to build upon the creative resurgence of the city and expound on their definition of California cool around the state and beyond. Says Goldstein, “We feel like we’re just getting started.” studio-collective.com.LINDSAY KINDELON

Edited by Andrea Stanford.