When Ashley Merrill launched her athleisure brand Lunya in 2014, she had a singular conviction: Women’s sleepwear was overdue for a modern makeover. A business leader with zero clothing-industry experience, Merrill took a leap of faith in 2012, diving headlong into her longtime dream of becoming the entrepreneur and brainchild behind a sleepwear brand that promoted confidence and comfort as the new normal. Her self-described “sleep-intelligent designs” are a fluid hybrid of mind-body comforts. Lunya’s clean aesthetic boasts flattering silhouettes with flat seams that minimize friction. “We create thoughtfully designed, luxurious sleepwear that performs in the bedroom,” says Merrill. When the California-based office began to expand its business plan, the successful startup maven set her sights on revamping the company’s new digs. We’ve got an inside look at her Santa Monica office remodel. Prepare for some serious budget hacks and major closet inspiration.
The workspace features layered accessories full of personality and warmth. Details from The Citizenry and IKEA reflect an adept mix of bespoke local artisans and budget-friendly staples. The art is from Lunya’s creative marketing manager, Sam Sing, while the copper clothing racks are all one-of-a-kind pieces creations by Merrill’s father, Dan Smith.
A pop of metallic brings soul and dimension to the serene office vibe.
Merrill credits the limited, subdued color palette, and repetition in design elements with anchoring the overall aesthetic. “Duplicate elements in the way of clothing racks, dressers, and tables brought about a feeling of continuity,” she says. The biggest splurge of the space was rightly allocated to one of our biggest design musts: good chairs. “We sit all day. We didn’t want to skimp on comfort,” says Merrill of the Herman Miller Sayl desk chairs that pepper the workspace.
Take a page from Merrill's professional playbook and treat your own home workspace to a chair upgrade. Bonus points for extra lumbar support.
“Functionally, we sought a multipurpose space that would be creative and modular to accommodate a changing workforce. It was also important that it could also double as a space to showcase the line to consumers,” Merrill tells us. Aesthetically, the goal was “dreamy and airy, minimal yet unique,” she adds. “Essentially, something that echoed the ethos of our brand.”
Get the clean all-white look with office basic sourced from IKEA.
The bones of the structure remained largely intact, with minimal construction for the makeover itself. “We choose a space that would require very little work,” says Merrill. “We wanted to give ourselves time to experiment with the insides without having to take the shell into consideration.” A focused approach from the onset led to a turnkey execution. “Narrowing the creative focus to interior décor made the whole process much easier,” she emphasizes.
When designing on a budget, save on pared-down classics and splurge on artful, eclectic details.
“The color scheme was purposeful,” Merrill tells us, confiding she liked the idea of fostering the creative growth of her team via an environment that visually translated as a blank canvas. “We knew the purpose of the space was to encourage team creativity and provide a fresh slate for product innovation,” she says. “The office space is where we come up with big ideas. As a creative, being surrounded by distracting clutter can sometimes feel like an impediment or a distraction to the work. We wanted the showroom space to flow with changing collections and color schemes.” In other words—to inspire the comforts of home. “It’s almost a nod to a bedroom space,” she agrees.
Display statement fashion pieces as décor via a polished and sophisticated clothing rack.
“The biggest challenge was creating a finished space that also anticipated unknown future needs,” continues Merrill. "As a growing company, we knew that we would be adding staff and using the space differently over time,” says Merrill of Lunya’s burgeoning culture.
Crisp whites pair effortlessly with light, minimalist wood accents. Get the look with edited, light additions.
“When you know you will need to change things a lot, there’s not a strong impetus to invest too much in any one piece,” says Merrill. “Who knows if it will still work in a few months?” she continues. “The need for versatility and modification forced us to be creative on a budget.”
These wildly affordable metallic wall embellishments from Umbra add a pop to any space.
“Function and form must come together in product and interior design,” says Miller of her personal design philosophy. “I’ve always said I would be a much more creative designer if I was less left-brained. I beat up all the choices making sure each will fulfill a million uses and what if scenarios. It’s the same with our product design,” she confides.
Nothing inspires cleaning out your closet like a brush with minimalist cool. This sleek essential adds extra storage to a small space.
“We are continually thinking about aesthetic,” Merrill tells us of her team. “We ask questions constantly. How will the product work for the Lunya girl? Will it stay put? Will it be the right temperature? Can it go easily from bed to Starbucks without anyone being the wiser?” she continues. “For me, a perfect win in product and interior deér is when a design can look rad and be effortless for daily use.”
Her favorite thing about the space? “The people in it,” she tells us. Well said.
Bring home Lunya's intelligent, modern cool with organic metallic patinaed décor.
Have any tips for decorating a home office? We want to hear what design elements make you feel most productive.