Tour the Santa Monica Bungalow of a Talented, Multi-Hyphenate Designer

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Love what you see? Take a peek at the talent behind the story… Interior Design: Honné Studio · Photography: Charlotte Lea Photography

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A love of good design so motivates Alisha Agrellas, that she set out to found Honné, the boutique design studio dedicated to all things aesthetic. That means she and her teams tackle projects ranging from full service residential and commercial interior design to brand design, social media curation, and more. While the projects are vast in scope, it all boils down to one foundational goal – raising the aesthetic standard across all aspects of life.

One peek inside Alisha’s Santa Monica bungalow captured by Charlotte Lea Photography, and you’ll see how carefully she curates each and every detail. You’ll undoubtedly get a healthy dose of interior inspiration from her warm modern meets California casual abode, plus a ton of career inspiration from her story of founding such a successful studio while facing the most unprecedented circumstances.

Honné Studio’s signature aesthetic is “California Cool.” For readers inspired by your style, what are some quintessential elements of creating a space with this vibe?

The foundation of this style is very much rooted in the California landscape. At Honné, we live by these four pillars: a neutral palette, lots of warmth, rich texture, and intentional layering.

The bungalow project feels so richly layered! What are some of your favorite ways to bring in texture into a home?

Incorporating natural materials is a key component when it comes to achieving that textural aesthetic. Our bungalow project, specifically, features an elemental mix of old-growth reclaimed oak wood, rattan, terracotta clay, recycled glass, iron, warm leathers, and stonewashed linen.

For those of us who live in big cities, space can be hard to come by. Do you have any tips for floor plans when the square footage is petite?

Investing in dual purpose pieces and thinking upwards when it comes to storage solutions are some of my favorite rules of thumb. I’m constantly revisiting this topic in order to make sure we’re truly maximizing our space to its full potential. For instance, we recently installed a section of vintage, iron piping as a makeshift rack alternative to extending our closet space.

You started Honné Studio shortly before the global pandemic. What unexpected challenges have you faced during this venture thus far? Any hidden blessings?

This has been such an unprecedented year full of adjustments, and learning how to navigate amidst the current conditions is definitely a learning curve for all of us.

Despite everything, what we have seen is a heightened emphasis on interiors and our living and dwelling spaces. So many peoples new normal centers around extended time at home, and we’ve been fortunate enough to have the opportunity to work with our clients to create spaces that represent who they are and where they want to spend their time.

Honné Studio functions as a design studio and creative house. Beyond full service interior design, what other services do you offer?

We take on projects of all scales, from interior styling to single-room transformations. Never underestimate the power of even our most simple services, like a 1-hour design session to help fine-tune your vision and brainstorm solutions.

Ultimately, Honné was founded upon our desire to raise the aesthetic standard, which has allowed us to get our feet wet with a wide array of creative and consulting projects, such as custom branded collateral, social media curation, and e-book design.

Who is the ideal Honné Studio client?

We love working with clients who want to cultivate a relationship with their designer. When our vision and values align with our clients, it makes for a magical pairing, and an even better project. We also enjoy collaborating with other creatives and people in the design industry – those projects always hold a special place in our hearts.

How does your career in Brand Marketing and Content Strategy inform your work now as a designer?

It influences my day-to-day in the design industry in many ways – most notably, with understanding the value of cultivating and nurturing relationships. Working collaboratively alongside our clients to develop a vision requires trust in each other and in the process. Creating a home is an intimate process that requires a deep connection so we can really understand our client’s needs and ultimate goals.

Back in 2017, you launched a lifestyle blog, Musings of a Moon. Can you take us on the journey from starting that platform to creating this studio? How has the start up process been similar or different?

Musings Of A Moon was such a valuable piece of the puzzle for me in so many ways – specifically in terms of learning how to create and establish an aesthetic identity. It allowed me to reflect on diversifying who I was as a creative and what I offered, so I was better able to carve out a little sub-niche of my own in what can, at times, seem like a world of over-saturation. We very much mirrored that approach when it came to developing Honné.

What other interior designers do you have a design crush on?

Lately I’ve been majorly crushing on Lilly Walton Design. She so effortlessly nails that layered, lived-in look. Anthology Interiors, Studio Lifestyle, and A 1000x Better are a few other current favorites whose work we can’t stop saving.

What are three places you love to shop for home goods or furniture at?

Shop Anecdote, Faithful Roots in Santa Monica, June Home Supply

If your style was a paint color, what would be the name?

Crème fraîche

What are some of the ways your Santa Monica location has influenced the design of your home?

Drawing focus to our oversized windows to highlight the abundance of natural light was a key component. We’re in close proximity to the beach, surrounded by foliage, so I really wanted to extend that feeling of the outdoors and bring those elements of greenery and warmth in. My sourcing was also primarily focused on local, Santa Monica vendors, so the end-result feels like a culmination of the home’s locale. 

What does a well lived home mean to you?

Far too many times we’ve found ourselves walking into a space that is well furnished, but feels uninviting and somewhat lackluster. Well-lived to us means a space you can’t help but want to sit in and stay a while. It’s a balance between achieving just the right amount of formality, while still maintaining approachability. This intricate balance played a key role in the inspiration behind Honné’s conception.

Love what you see? Take a peek at the talent behind the story… Interior Design: Honné Studio · Photography: Charlotte Lea Photography

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