The Sunny Sweet-Scented Studio of P.F. Candle Co

published Oct 15, 2014
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(Image credit: Bethany Nauert)

Name: Kristen Pumphrey and Thomas Neuberger of P.F. Candle Co.
Location:Arts District; Downtown Los Angeles, California
Size: 1,700 square feet
Years lived in: 1 year; Rent

Kristen and Thomas, owners of P.F. Candle Co, began their operation, grass-roots-style, out of this downtown LA loft. Several employees, large shipments, and making the candles requires ample space, so they are lucky enough to have this amazing production space, plus an additional office that doubles as a showroom.

(Image credit: Bethany Nauert)

As you move through their production space, your senses perk from the incredible aroma of the wax. You notice an abundance of trays drying with wicks pinned to them. And it’s hard to miss the huge shipping supply table where they prepare outgoing orders. Since they expanded with an additional office upstairs, they now have a great space to relax, meet with clients and enjoy the city view.

When it came to designing their workspace, the most essential part was functionality and practicality. “As a small company, we don’t have a huge budget, so we made do with creative storage methods, repurposing furniture and picking a lot up from Ikea and Home Depot,” says Kristen. “I rearrange and reorganize all the time to make sure we are getting the best use of our space.” They have seamlessly mixed vintage and contemporary budget-friendly furniture with the necessities of office life. When asked what’s most significant in the office, Kristen sites her Mom’s record player. “She got it as a 10th birthday present, and it still works to this day. Although it may need the speakers replaced (my fault for blasting too much music).”

The scents of PF Candle Co represent all the incredible attributes of Southern California: Campfire is reminiscent of weekends in the woods and Laundry Day (my personal favorite) feels like a lazy Sunday afternoon. No doubt LA has effected their personal design aesthetic as well. “Since moving to Los Angeles, I noticed I’ve been gravitating more towards bright, clean, and nature-inspired design. I always try to have the windows wide open, capturing that Southern California light. Our mini cacti and succulent garden feels very LA to me — I don’t think of it as an odd thing to have, but when I have friends visit the studio they always say ‘look at all these plants!’

(Image credit: Bethany Nauert)

Apartment Therapy Survey:

My Style: Industrial meets natural color and textures, with a dash of Southwest inspiration

Inspiration: I love clean and bright Scandinavian design — mixing that in with eclectic pieces we’ve collected from our families or travel. We’re very inspired by the American West – specifically California and the South West — and try to surround ourselves with things that remind us of our favorite trips or areas.

Favorite Element: The big windows — one looking over the DTLA skyline, and one looking at the 6th St Bridge.

Biggest Challenge: Space is a huge issue for us. As we expand, we have to use the spaces we have more and more creatively — using height for storing and stacking items. For example, if we have a large order going out, we have an area where pallets can be double stacked while the order is in prep. When the order is gone, the space clears back up.

What Friends Say: “It smells so good in here!”

Biggest Embarrassment: Not that I could do much about it, but the studio is very… brown. Our supplies, materials, candles — so much of it is cardboard or kraft colored! It can be a little monotonous, and the shipping and material storage isn’t always the most aesthetically pleasing, but it’s necessary.

Proudest DIY: I would say my indoor garden is my proudest DIY. A lot of the succulents are from our wedding. I’ve also managed to keep a small lemon tree alive — although check back in a year on that.

Biggest Indulgence: New (or new to us) computers. It felt like such an indulgence, but our old laptops were slowing us down so we sprang for two iMacs earlier this year.

Best Advice: It can be daunting to create an entire space from scratch. I have designing ADD and am always moving furniture and decor around in our spaces — bringing things in, moving a frame here or there, switching bookcases. I like to build things slowly, piece by piece — eventually you see it start to come together.

Dream Sources: I would love to have more vintage and handmade furniture – flea markets and local artisans would be my dream.

(Image credit: Bethany Nauert)

Resources of Note:


(shipping area)

  • Shipping Tables: Home Depot
  • Shipping Table: Uline
  • Chrome Shelves: Home Depot
  • Production tables: Uline
  • Husky Tool Storage: Home Depot
  • Metal shelves: Home Depot
  • Baker’s Racks: Webstaurant
  • Stainless steel pouring tables: Webstaurant
  • California Flag: Long Beach Trading Co.
  • Desk: Ikea
  • Rugs: Cowhide & Sisal from Ikea, patterned from Olvera Street
  • Pillows: Reform School, Rais Case
  • Dining Table: Ikea
  • Metal Chairs, White Chairs, Overstock
  • Yellow chairs: Long Beach Flea Market
  • Record Player: Vintage, my mom’s
  • Dream catchers: two from my mom’s collection, one made for me by my niece
  • Bookcases: Ikea
  • Metal table,
  • Metal Cabinet, from an antique shop in Montana
  • (Image credit: Bethany Nauert)

    Thanks, Kristen & Thomas !

    (Photography: Bethany Nauert)

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