Jen Dallas' Artist Colony Studio

Jen Dallas' Artist Colony Studio

Marcia Prentice
Jan 8, 2013

Name: Jen Dallas
Location: Santa Monica, Los Angeles, California
Size: 800 square feet
Years in business: 4 years

As an interior designer, you are always looking for a more creative workspace than an average suite in an office building. Jen got a lucky break when one of the units at a highly sought-after row of artists' workspaces in Santa Monica opened up. She quickly joined the community of photographers, production crews, interior designers, and artists.

No day is ever typical at Jen Dallas studio. Since the space across the alley from Jen is occupied by a successful lifestyle photographer, she has had run-ins with famous rock stars. But my very favorite story is when a man wandered into her studio one day and said that he used to live in her space with his wolf! Yes, he lived there with his wolf, and went on to say that he used to ride his motorcycle around in the small space. Oh, the stories and parties that must have happened in what Jen now calls her interior design studio!

Apartment Therapy Survey:

My Style: I believe that interiors and architecture need to work together in order to create the best design result. I have a clean, edited look that combines modern day technology/comfort with history. It is essential for the interiors I design to incorporate a client's collections, heirloom pieces, and objects that chronicle their life's tale.

Inspiration: My clients are my inspiration. I wanted my studio space to work as a clean backdrop so that it would not be a distraction from any projects designed here. Thus my space has a neutral palette, like a new canvas, which allows all of our projects (modern to traditional) to be highlighted.

Favorite Element: The exterior dutch door. The top of the door opens, giving us more light and a breeze.

Biggest Challenge: Removing the previous tenant's stuff. He was a ceramic artist and had a huge kiln in the corner with stacks of tiles and dust all over the floor!

What Friends Say: "I could live here" or "Where did you get… everything?!"

Biggest Embarrassment: There is a leak in the roof at one spot and it always drips during a rain. Lucky for me, I am in Southern California and we don't get that much rain!

Proudest DIY: Drapery coverings — they're a simple solution that doesn't block the light and allows for privacy/security when the studio is closed.

Biggest Indulgence: That would probably be my antique paintings. I love old crust! Antique and vintage items immediately add unique character to any space.

Best Advice: Keep it simple. Always embellish what you love, as that is what creates the connection between you and your personal space. Having this unique connection will bring inspiration to you and those around you.

Dream Sources:

Resources of Note:


  • 13" Macbook Air
  • 15" Macbook Pro
  • Iphone 4S
  • Brother Fax/Scanner/Printer, MFC 685CW
  • Epson Large format printer, Stylus Photo 1400
  • Nikon D200 SLR
  • Wi-fi router, cable modem, mounted below counter built-in



  • Various flea market/vintage shop finds
  • Waste cans/In and Out boxes/White file cabinets - The Container Store


  • White antique pendants on rods above conference work tables - Rex & Penny
  • Almuminum Pendant above cart - Wertz Brothers Antique Mall, Santa Monica, CA
  • Track Lighting suspended on chains from roof






  • Various flea market/antique shops finds


  • Pin-up Door Front - When I moved in, the studio had a funny built-in bookcase on the south wall. It looked useful, but was an eyesore. I designed a door that served to cover the existing bookcase and serve as a pin-up inspiration board when the door is closed.

Thanks, Jen!

(Images: Marcia Prentice)

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