The woman behind the covetable hair looks of Lauren Conrad, Jenna Dewan Tatum, and Lucy Hale—to name a few—just opened her new studio, and it's the definition of pinnable. Hollywood hairstylist Kristin Ess worked with High Fashion Home to transform the 1500-square-foot space of concrete, metal, and glass into a modern atelier with gorgeous details and a sleek vibe akin to her haircare line with Target. From glamorous statement furnishings to brass sculptures and quirky knickknacks to a completely Instagrammable light pink wall, the chic studio is a study in clean design with the right dose of attitude.
"I wanted to keep it simple enough to where we felt like we could still work and create without being overcrowded by 'stuff,'" Ess says of her personal directive for her new studio. "But at the same time, I would say we need lots of visual stimulation to inspire us, so I added depth and texture with smaller items and plants. The space has to be transformable because we do something different every day."
Head below to tour the bold, eclectic studio of celeb hairstylist Kristin Ess.
"I've never done modern before," says Ess when recounting the biggest challenge of designing the studio. "Everywhere I've lived or worked has been 1920s to 1940s, so I'm used to working with built-in character. I felt like I had to bring the character in myself in this space, which is fine, but usually I'm working around highlighting things that are already there. When I first got here it felt impossibly cold, like I would never be able to warm it up. But with lots of work, lots of things I've collected, lots of pink paint, and lots of help from High Fashion Home, I was able to make it happen."
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"I wanted this room to be completely transformable," says Ess. "On any given day in the office, we either have a meeting or a shoot happening, but never both at once. I ended up pairing modern gray couches, a swivel chair, a coffee table, and a really cute Kate Spade polka-dot rug with the pink wall and two small, round milk glass pendants, which I really think helped warm up the space. The best thing about this room is that we can slide the couches and table out and roll up the rug in a snap, and it becomes our shooting studio."
Ess describes her style as bold eclectic. "I like dense, heavy, large-scale furniture with lots of tiny, sparkly, dainty things."
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"The best thing about this room is that we can slide the couches and table out and roll up the rug in a snap, and it becomes our shooting studio," explains Ess.
"I'll always live and work in a black-and-white space, I could never see myself moving away from that, but I always have one solid color wall. This time in the office I chose pink, my signature pink, to match my haircare line," says Ess of deciding on a color scheme.
Ess says that her fiddle-leaf fig tree and some pink paint were the first things she bought for the studio.
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Ess confesses that there were no existing pieces she worked with in the new space. "My last studio was a French loft with hints of goth, so nothing from there really worked here," she explains. "I've never been in such a modern space. It's taking a lot of getting used to."
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"This is the area we go over new product, so we need to be able to spread out," says Ess. "My main focus was finding a great live edge wood table, which we did. I paired that with modern cream chairs, lots of cabinet storage, books, and tchotchkes galore."
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"I also had to have a big, comfy day bed in that space because sometimes I just need to lounge and work on the computer," admits Ess. "The whole wall of windows opens up, so you almost get this floating daybed situation, which is amazing."
"I'm really attached to that daybed on the upper level," Ess says of her greatest find for the studio. "It's the most relaxing space and brings me a little tranquility amongst the chaos."
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