A 1980s home gets a refresh with Wrensted Interiors

Charlotte Lea Photography for Wrensted Interiors
We’re celebrating the creativity and resilience of designers everywhere by highlighting their projects and exploring their experiences as business owners. Let’s meet our latest Featured Designer

How did you end up in the design industry?

While working in the banking industry I knew I didn’t want to work there until I retired, so I found myself going back to school as an adult to earn my degree in Interior Design. I wanted to do something I was more passionate about and after 13 years in banking I finally made the leap during my senior year of design school to start over as a design intern. When I finished my internship the options were to work for designers 1-2 hours from my home, or to try things on my own with a few very trusting first clients. That’s when Wrensted Interiors began!

What does your team look like?

As the Principal Designer I’m the main point of contact for all my clients, but I have the help of freelancers who help produce some of our drawings and renderings and keep our procurement and ordering on track.

Tell us about the project you’re sharing.

Our South Pasadena clients came to us after moving from New York and buying a new home that was in desperate need of some updates. It was a tri-level hillside home built in the early 1980s when builders were still trying to figure out what an open floor plan should be. At first they wanted us just to design a kitchen, but it became clear pretty early on that they wanted to update more of the home. They wanted something that would feel more youthful with a traditional twist so they could entertain. With the potential that they would be growing their family in the future, we focused on durability and materials that would be easy to care for.

What was involved in this project? 

By the time we were done working on this project almost every surface of the 1700 sq. ft. home had been touched. Our main focus was the kitchen, primary bathroom, a future children’s bathroom, and the powder room. We helped select new finishes throughout including new flooring, windows, doors, and lighting. Oddly enough the most satisfying part was convincing the client to skim coat all the walls to smooth out the orange peel texture – it modernized the entire home!

What’s something you were really excited about creating for this project? 

We updated one of the most boring fireplaces ever. When I tell you it was just a firebox stick into the drywall before I’m not exaggerating. It had no ornamentation, mantel, or surround. We gave the client a whole new focal point for their living area with this fireplace makeover.

Is there anything you changed about your business or processes as a result of this project? 

This was one of our last projects that didn’t involve a purchasing minimum to be used towards materials or furnishings. Now each project has a minimum established as part of their contract. 

What was your biggest learning from this project?

We had to exercise so much patience for this project during the peak of the pandemic. At one point we were ghosted by the engineer and I had to call in a favor from another vendor just to keep the permit process moving. 

Is there a tool, tip, or business resource from Hot Young Designers Club that you use in your business?  

This was an early project where used the Investment Guide to kick off the entire inquiry process and it’s continued to be one of the most valuable tools for our business to start projects on the right foot. 

Thank you Shaun for sharing more about your business and sharing this beautiful home with us. You can visit Wrensted Interiors on their website or Instagram.

Designers, we want to learn more about you and see your recent projects! Click here to submit a project to be featured on Hot Young Designers Club.

Photography: Charlotte Lea Photography 

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