Lofty Ambition: the Stephen Kenn Loft in LA

In 1985, a new owner purchased the building with the objective of transforming it into a place where artists could live and work. Today, designers, musicians, sculptors, painters, photographers, and filmmakers continue to use it as studio space.

Part Showroom, Part Micro-hotel, an Intimate and Warm Los Angeles Space by Stephen Kenn and Beks Opperman Is a Showcase for Their Brand Collections and Some of Their Favorite Pieces

The space was just perfect to make designer Stephen Kenn and his wife and business partner Beks Opperman’s dream come true. Located in the burgeoning Arts District of Los Angeles, a historic building originally from the 1920s—which once housed a furniture factory—stayed empty for several decades due to the fall of the economy a few years after it was erected.

In this environment, Stephen Kenn and Beks Opperman decided to create The Loft, which opened its doors in June 2019. Spread over 1,600 square feet, this hybrid is at once a showroom, boutique hotel, and place for the local community. Born out of the couple’s passion for travel, and inspired by their experiences around the world, The Loft is one of a kind.

Since the 2011 launch of Stephen Kenn as a design studio for home and travel products, the duo was used to regularly opening their workspace to the public to share a coffee or a cocktail, but they dreamed of being able to host people more frequently, and providing a more intimate experience. Thanks to The Loft, they achieved their goal. 

The open and airy space showcases prototypes by Stephen Kenn and new items in every corner, which was carefully considered. In addition to their creations, Kenn and Opperman also chose furniture, lighting, and objects from their long-term brand partners including Allied Maker, Morrow Soft Goods, Hästens Sleep, True Residential, JennAir, Itani Athletic, Portola Paints & Glazes, Buster + Punch, Dornbracht, Ratio Coffee, Marc Phillips Rugs, and Cocktail Kingdom.

“We’ve created this space in a loft-style apartment to show our own work alongside the designs of our friends,” explain Stephen Kenn and Beks Opperman.

Concrete flooring, a 14-foot-high ceiling, and big windows from the old factory that invite natural light inside the space call back to the building’s industrial past. The L-shaped plan comprises a lounge where comfortable seats and soft materials make you want to sit and chat. In the living room, a sofa from Stephen Kenn’s Inheritance Collection combines with a concrete and metal coffee table, as well as an angular sculpture by Texan artist Jonathan Cross. The kitchen, which has an area to sit while meals are being prepared, is equipped with appliances by True Residential and JennAir, tableware by Humble Ceramics, and lighting fixtures by Allied Maker.

“The kitchen lounge features a new sofa design that converts to two twin guest beds and presents part of the Los Angeles Whisky Club library of rare bottles,” the couple says.

In the dining room, the large table created by Stephen Kenn is perfect for sharing relaxed conversations around good food in a friendly atmosphere. Designed and custom-made also by Kenn, the bar is at the heart of any public event organized in the apartment. In the bedroom, the bed from Kenn’s Inheritance collection—with a Hastëns mattress and Morrow Soft Goods linen sheets—sits on a floorcovering by Marc Phillips Rugs.

On each side of it, sliding doors lead to the gym, evoking the California lifestyle. The gym features a vintage, military-issue punching bag and workout equipment created and made in Japan by Itani Athletic, while the bathroom’s dark gray walls contrast with brass furniture. A wooden staircase, meanwhile, offers access to the meditation room for anyone who wants to experience the meaning of peacefulness.  

Far from a showroom without personality, The Loft is cozy, with the feeling of home, while inviting guests to explore every design piece and accessory in situ. Private tours and events such as dinners, workshops, and talks are organized for people to meet. The cherry on the cake: Overnight stays are available on reservation, one that includes access to the community swimming pool and hot tub.

For gourmands, a five-course meal for two—crafted by award-winning chef Neal Fraser from Los Angeles restaurant Redbird and served on plateware by local artist Delphine Lippens—can be delivered to The Loft for a unique dining experience. Mixing style and well-being, energy and calm, this space doesn’t fall into any particular category. It is, rather, in a class all by itself.

Stephen Kenn | stephenkenn.com

Photographs courtesy of Amy Bartlam

You May Also Like