Creative Home Offices with Alexis Readinger

Alexis Readinger is the founder of Preen, Inc., an architecture and design studio that specializes in hospitality design, namely creating chef-driven restaurants such as Piccalilli, Tesse,  and Howlin’ Rays. While Alexis normally works out of Preen’s office on Chung King Road in LA’s Chinatown. Nowadays, she is designing and working from her remote mountain cabin in Pine Mountain Club in Kern County, California.

Working at home has become an integral part of the new world we are living in. With so much of us now setting up home office spaces, we look to our design community about how to keep the creative streak alive with home workspaces.

We are pleased to share with you the newest iteration of “The Trade” with Alexis Readinger of Preen, Inc. and her expertise on creating a productive and creative home office along with some of her favorite Minotti pieces.

Alexis Readinger of Preen, Inc.
Alexis Readinger of Preen, Inc.

OUTDOOR OFFICE INSPIRATION

Minotti Van Dyck Outdoor Table
Minotti Van Dyck Outdoor Table

Do you have any reflections on your space when you work from home?

Alexis: Having space and light is so important. Especially when we are all working with loved ones close by.  It’s so great to spend more time with our elderly parents, pets and toddlers. They just don’t seem to make the best assistants.

How do you describe your design style?

AR: My style is grounded and warm, sometimes playful.

Minotti Caulfield Outdoor Table
Minotti Caulfield Outdoor Table
Minotti Florida Outdoor Sofa
Minotti Florida Outdoor Sofa

Are there any tricks of hospitality design that you have applied to your home?

AR: We host a lot and have designed our home to do so. This means solid, easy, casual furniture and great lighting, which is everything for making people feel great. Put it in unexpected spaces. We have a linear on the floor of our bathroom shooting up a rough concrete wall. It’s a vibe.

Minotti Cortina Chairs
Minotti Cortina Chairs

FOR THE CABIN

Minotti Cortina Armchair
Minotti Cortina Armchair

Your office is in Chinatown, a vibrant part of Downtown Los Angeles, which is very different from cabin life in Pine Mountain Club. Has that change impacted your mood? The work you’re producing?

AR: Great question. Chinatown is such a vibrant city village. It’s a neighborhood. We all know each other.  We have red lanterns and firecrackers. It’s social and culturally rich. Pine Mountain Club has a great community too but the experience there for me is one of nature. We have three bears that pass the cabin each day.  All you can hear is wind and the chimes of the Arcosanti bells we have hung in the trees.  We are so fortunate to have a sacred place to get grounded. The cabin for me, is a symbol of a turning point I had reached before COVID. It represents my calling, which is to be in nature, creating portals by which people can explore and evolve their consciousness.

Minotti Reeves Bedwear
Minotti Reeves Bedwear
Campfire
Campfire

Are there products, pieces of furniture, any other must haves that you’ve found essential to working from home?

AR: Virtual backgrounds! I’ve been giving Zoom talks providing restaurant design advice to culinary schools and have appreciated them. My favorite background so far is the Marshall Islands where we designed a surf lodge a few years ago. I also appreciate a small tall laptop table which I can reposition to get the right light no matter where I am in the house.

As the weather in Southern California improves, are you working outside? Any tips for getting outside while maintaining focus on work?

AR: Absolutely. I love a deep outdoor daybed and dining table for an impromptu desk.

PROJECTS AND HOBBIES

Readinger's design for the ultra-remote surf lodge in the Marshall Islands
Readinger's design for the ultra-remote surf lodge in the Marshall Islands

Are there any pro-bono design projects you’ve taken on this year?

AR: Yes, something close to my heart. We are working on a nature gateway for conservation of the yellow shouldered Amazon parrot in Bonaire, an island in the Carribean. It is being created from within the community and will support local craftspeople, farmers, conservationists and, of course, the birds!

Readinger's design for the ultra-remote surf lodge in the Marshall Islands
Readinger's design for the ultra-remote surf lodge in the Marshall Islands

Are there any crafts, activities or hobbies that are keeping you sane during breaks from work?

AR: I believe that like most of America, we are cooking and drinking. I finally made that kuku sabzi, which I have been crazy about for years. We’ve also been lucky enough to pop out to kayak and to nature hike.  It’s so great to get outdoors.

Bonaire
Bonaire
Parrots in Bonaire
Parrots in Bonaire