InteriorsStudio Tour

Studio Tour: Louise Gray

by Lauren Chorpening

Alexandra Bennett, Jocelin Johnson and Judith Kostroski have given new life to an old trade. Their modern quilt company, Louise Gray, honors the traditional craft while adding fresh perspective, color and design to their home goods. Alexandra’s love for quilting came from a long, familial heritage of traditional quilting. Her background in sales gave her the desire to create quilts for a new era. Jocelin’s graphic design aesthetic and creative direction set the brand in motion. After the launch of Louise Gray, Judith joined the team to promote and market the company. With this growth, the team needed a space in which they could dream and run their business well.

Their Minneapolis, MN studio is where the trio designs and markets their quilts. The small yet practical rental has given them all that they need to grow their cozy company. “Our studio is located in the heart of the Uptown neighborhood in Minneapolis. The innovative energy of the area was enough to capture our attention, but the logistics were what truly won us over. We are just steps away from our local FedEx, around the corner from our favorite local lunch spot, and a couple blocks from the lakes and trail system. It encourages us to achieve of the work/life balance we all aspire to have,” Alexandra says. The ideal location is matched with a fresh and minimal interior aesthetic. They are surrounded by creativity in their studio.

The women of Louise Gray have all added to the culture of their company and their studio. The tidy, clean lines in the studio reflect the style and design of their quilts. “Each of us come from varying backgrounds and that absolutely resonates in our space. The common thread among us (aside from our love of quilts, of course!) is a type-A personality, which lends itself nicely to an organized space…and who doesn’t enjoy working in that?! Since our pieces live within the home goods arena, it was important for us to curate what felt conducive to a home. We wanted to create an inspiring space that was a reflection of our quilt designs…a delicate balance of both shape and color,” Alexandra says. “We are constantly striving to make the space feel more cohesive and a true representation of the brand.” The resulting Louise Gray studio — in its intentional and minimal style — is a perfect fit for a company that is bringing a new eye to an old pastime. –Lauren

Photography by 2nd Truth Photography

Studio Tour: Louise Gray | Design*Sponge
The Louise Gray studio has three main areas: The lounge, the kitchen and the office. "One of our main goals that we were able to achieve was in creating a separate space for the moments you just can't sit at a desk any longer and need to kick your feet up," Alexandra says.
Studio Tour: Louise Gray | Design*Sponge
From left to right, Judith, Alexandra, Leni and Jocelin in the lounge area where they break from their days in their small office space.
Studio Tour: Louise Gray | Design*Sponge
Detail of a Louise Gray quilt.
Studio Tour: Louise Gray | Design*Sponge
The lounge's clean lines and neutral palette reflect the simple, beautiful Louise Gray quilts.
Studio Tour: Louise Gray | Design*Sponge
Alexandra and Jocelin's modern quilts are beautifully displayed with minimal styling. "The most challenging aspect of our studio is not having sufficient space for photography. It seems we are always moving furniture around to accommodate our needs. Unfortunately, like any space you rent, there is not much flexibility to tweak some of these shortcomings. All of the other qualities absolutely outweigh these, but they will certainly make us have a greater appreciation when we are in a position to move into a larger space one day," Alexandra says.
Studio Tour: Louise Gray | Design*Sponge
"We love the light that floods this room, making it a perfect reading nook," Alexandra says. "We love scattering some of our favorite publications throughout each room for when we need a quick retreat from the humdrum of the day."
Studio Tour: Louise Gray | Design*Sponge
The design space is a 130-square-foot room in the studio where the three women spend most of their workday.
Studio Tour: Louise Gray | Design*Sponge
"The juxtaposition of traditional and contemporary: that is the foundation of Louise Gray, and our space is a reflection of that," Alexandra says.
Studio Tour: Louise Gray | Design*Sponge
The orderly display in the studio reflects the linear design of the Louise Gray collections.
Studio Tour: Louise Gray | Design*Sponge
"The building was constructed in 2009 and was designed to combine green living with modern design," Alexandra says.
Studio Tour: Louise Gray | Design*Sponge
"Since our desks share the same 130-square-foot space of our studio, we can be productive but oftentimes need a distraction from each other. Music continues to be the key and one would be surprised at the variety we play...everything from Miles Davis to Jamie XX," Alexandra says.
Studio Tour: Louise Gray | Design*Sponge
Louise Gray quilts start out as sketches and collected inspiration.
Studio Tour: Louise Gray | Design*Sponge
The Louise Gray Spring 2016 collection serves as inspiration for all of their new designs.
Studio Tour: Louise Gray | Design*Sponge
"Our dining table is the place where all of our meetings take place, either with each other or with our vendors and suppliers. Like any family, it is the focal point of every major decision," Alexandra says.
Studio Tour: Louise Gray | Design*Sponge
Leni has been given the title of Morale Director of Louise Gray.
Studio Tour: Louise Gray | Design*Sponge
Louise Gray quilts are American designed, cut and sewn.
Studio Tour: Louise Gray | Design*Sponge
"What we love most about our studio is..."

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