Facing a sweeping northern view of the Hollywood Hills, the new 9,500 square foot Lawson-Fenning flagship houses Glenn Lawson and Grant Fenning’s growing collection of vintage and contemporary designs. Throughout the day, light streams through the windows, highlighting the mostly muted colors, varied textures and natural forms that both Lawson and Fenning gravitate to in furniture and objects.
They fill the space with their own designs, vintage finds, and a marketplace of handmade ceramics, metal, textiles, and wood. “This is high ’60s international style building. That is a strong influence in all of our work. Everything we do is very inspired by that period of time. It fits right in with our aesthetic,” says Lawson.
To highlight the mid-century aesthetic, a fresh coat of white paint created a crisp backdrop for their signature black and tan palette. “Both Grant and I have always worked with neutral colors. That’s how we have always seen things,” explains Lawson. “I think we are lucky because we are in California and the color is all around us, the people and the trees and the plans and the sky. We don’t feel that the interiors have to be the color. So to have this monastic, simple palette has always been attractive to us. If I lived in New York I think I would have a different palette. For here this feels good.”
Lawson was drawn to the idea of being in a building with a history to display their vintage and contemporary collections. “I love things with a history that have been worn and used and handled. Having a building that has a history, a worn-in quality and also fresh and clean. The light in here is gorgeous.” They chose the location of Melrose Avenue in Los Angeles not far from their previous location for the increased space, light and proximity to their colleagues at Reform Gallery and Galerie Half. The boutique wine shop, Domaine LA can be seen directly across the street.
Now—as they grow accustomed to their new, larger space—Lawson looks back to where it all started. The two met while attending the Arts Center College of Design in Pasadena studying environmental design. “We were in school for furniture design; furniture was definitely a goal. We both had recently moved to California. We were finding all of this amazing furniture, buying it, and fixing it up. We separately had garages full of furniture. Then we realized we needed to start selling, “ says Lawson. Their process developed organically from that point. They started selling furniture and simultaneously making their own pieces. Next, they opened a studio and filled it with furniture, which became the store Lawson-Fenning. Their own line of furniture is made locally in East LA—by the same furniture-maker who made their first cabinet 17 years ago, and they’ve worked together ever since.
In the new space, they’ve been able to create a marketplace on the second floor with shelves and tables lined with objects by local designers Ben Medansky, Meredith Metcalf ceramics, objects from ER Studio, and Made Solid leather goods. They also carry Brooklyn-based MQuan ceramics, who made small ceramic bells for their opening. The current textiles range features Denmark’s Ferm and hand-dyed pieces by Jane Palmer of Noon in Los Angeles. Lawson and Fenning now have room to display their own bed designs, with two new ones to launch soon.
Also upstairs, a new gallery space will feature rotating shows. First up, Carly Margolis and Matthew Morgan of Only Love Is Real will bring their Topanga Beach designs to Lawson-Fenning.
Lawson-Fenning is located at 6824 Melrose Avenue in Los Angeles.
Images by Bethany Nauert