1947 Venice Bungalow Project by WHLF Studio
The 1947 Venice Bungalow Project is a full remodel in Venice Beach, California by WHLF Studio. WHLF Studio is a full service interior design studio by Cándida and Jeffrey Wohlgemuth. They create spaces with intention, function, and feeling to inspire a deeper connection to home. We were lucky enough to be able to ask Candida a few questions about her home and work.
Tell us a little about yourself. How did you get into design and how did WHLF Studio come to fruition?
I’ve had such a wild career path, but wouldn’t have it any other way. I studied Chemistry and Biology in college (pre-med), received my Masters in Teaching, then taught 8th grade science for four years. When I got married I moved to San Francisco and found myself recruiting creative talent for Airbnb before working my way to the Global Social Media team–a total dream job. After three years in SF, I moved to LA where I freelanced in social media and art direction with startups, working my way up to become a Creative Director. Throughout these roles, I increasingly felt the desire to design on my own, rather than for someone else. I had done some design work for friends and in my own spaces, but it wasn’t until 2020 that I finally opened my own interior design studio. Not a linear path by any means, but I have always been into aesthetics. In pre-med I would dream up fashionable lab coats and what a modern doctor’s office could look like, and at Airbnb, I was always framing and styling the perfect shot for social media and photography projects. My love for interiors, however, really grew from my time at Airbnb. I was surrounded by stories of hosts making the most beautifully designed spaces, which inspired me to pursue this on my own. Our very first interior design project was a cabin in Joshua Tree in 2017— El Rancho.
You did such a beautiful job on your 1947 Venice Bungalow project and we are honored to have a few of our pieces featured. How did this project come to life and what was your main source of inspiration?
Thank you! The Venice Bungalow is our personal home that we moved into almost five years ago. It was basically a square with mostly original finishes, so from the beginning we knew it was a blank canvas we could one day renovate and make our own. In the afternoons, we get the most beautiful light coming into the main living areas, which was our main inspiration. Having that be the star of the show, we used minimal touches, natural elements, and textures via plaster moments to bring the place together.
How would you define your style?
Organic minimalism with a squiggly line.
Which room was your favorite to design and which is your favorite to spend time in now that it's complete?
The living room. We added a faux plaster fireplace, which brought so much texture and dimension to what used to be a square box. We also added a window door, which lets in so much more light in the afternoons.
You also recently wrapped up your 1923 Venice Spanish Project - which home was your favorite to design? Looking back, would you have done anything differently?
Surprisingly, I really enjoyed designing the exterior. I wanted to honor the original Spanish style and had planned to keep so much more of the original parts, but mold, termites and years of being unkempt prevented those dreams from happening. But it was still a good challenge to keep the spirit of the home by adding smooth stucco to the walls and new Spanish tiles along the roofline. There are so many things we learned as this was our first full gut, to the studs remodel. On top of that, trying to manage a renovation through 2020 while pregnant was no joke.
Is there always one element you like to incorporate into every project?
Adding texture is probably the most important for me. I’m a minimalist, so I don’t overly layer a space, but it’s amazing what one vintage wood chair or stool will do to warm a place up.
What is the most challenging part of the design process? And conversely, do you have a favorite part?
Right now, the logistics of finding great pieces that aren’t on backorder or out of stock is the most challenging part. My favorite part is the dreaming that happens at the beginning when I first walk into a space and imagine what I want it to look like.
What's next for you and WHLF Studio? Do you have any goals for 2022?
When we first started WHLF studio, we just wanted a place that would house our different creative outlets. I wanted it to evolve with us as we progressed and not become too focused on one thing. I love the path we’re heading down right now with interiors and home design, and would love to continue to grow in this. I would love to someday get a call to do a boutique motel. We also have some ideas brewing completely outside of interiors all together. Whatever the Lord has for us, we’re just taking it one day at a time.