Simona & Her Home
As a full-time fitness instructor at The Barre Code and newlywed (not to mention a self-proclaimed dessert enthusiast!), you’d think that Simona Wohlner wouldn’t have time to design her new home from the ground up. And, as it turns out, she didn’t! Rather than taking on the added stress of setting up house, Simona decided to enlist the help of a pro—LA-based interior designer, Layne Kula.
Pulling inspiration from the land surrounding this amazing modern, bohemian loft in the heart of Denver, Colorado, Layne was able to create a home that Simona and her new hubby, Brian, could sink right into. “They wanted to incorporate their deep love of nature, so we worked to bring the outdoors inside,” Layne explained. “Plants, cactus, crystals, stones and scent was really soothing for the couple, so we wanted to create and cultivate a sensory experience that kept their home feeling like a safe, nurturing space.”
While you may not be able to experience those soothing scents for yourself, the photo tour below is sure to set your imagination spinning. We can practically feel the cool edge of the hand-thrown ceramics and the soft velvet and linen textures throughout this dreamy boho home. Without further ado, feast your eyes on the dreamy results of this labor of interior love below!
Congratulations on getting hitched! Tell us about your wedding!
Thanks! Our wedding was so beautiful and everything we could’ve ever dreamed of and then some. We got married outside at the Montage Laguna Beach in California, overlooking the ocean. The vibe was super relaxed, and we incorporated lots of natural elements that played off the already incredibly gorgeous ocean backdrop. We spent the weekend celebrating with the people closest to our hearts and it couldn’t have been more perfect.
What made you decide that your home was “the one” when house hunting?
From an architectural standpoint, we loved the huge floor-to-ceiling windows and how much light flooded through the home. The amazing open floor plan and perfect yard/patio area were everything we’d dreamed of for entertaining and letting our little weenie dogs play in the backyard. But really what makes a home “the one” are the people, stories and elements that fill it, and that’s where Layne comes in.
I like to be low key most days, and having such a cozy home makes it easy to just be and exist there.
Speaking of, how was it working with interior designer, Layne Kula? How did you connect with her?
She is the best! We really can’t say enough incredible things about her. She actually worked with us to design and curate all the creative elements for our epic wedding. We initially met at a design meeting and happened to have matching phone cases. I’m pretty sure it was a sign and the rest was history. She not only understands us from a stylistic point of view but she really understands who we are in our soul, and knows how to bring that out of us and translate it into the design of our home—that just made working with her all the more amazing.
What are your top-three tips for working effectively with a designer?
Communication is definitely number one. You have to be able to be honest with your designer every step of the way. If you love something or hate it, you have to be open with them and let him/her know exactly what you want and what direction you’re going in. Prior to even pulling or proposing any renovations, furniture or décor options for our home, Layne would build these incredible mood boards for every room in the home; they helped immensely in allowing us to envision what we were building together and to create the right vibe and environment for our home.
Aside from honesty and open communication, the two most important tips for working with a designer would be to make sure you have a clear vision of what you want your space to look and feel like. That’s critical to achieving the house of your dreams. And last but not least, trust is crucial. Designers all have their own unique sense of style and that’s why we loved working with Layne. Empowering your designer to do what they do best gives them the freedom to be their best creative self, and the results are even better than you ever could’ve imagined.
Now that your home is complete, which room is your favorite?
I don’t know if I could even pick one—do I have to? They’re all so warm, cozy and welcoming. I would definitely say my craft room and the kitchen are my top two. I love sitting on the floor, so I worked with Layne to create my very own “craft room,” which is this relaxing oasis of pillows, poufs and plants. The wallpaper is one of my favorite elements in our house. It has gold palm trees! Our kitchen is also one of my favorite spaces. It’s open and bright, the most perfect place to bake cookies, which is a staple in the Shapiro-Wohlner diet.
When you eat out, where do you usually go?
Despite my baking skills, I am a terrible cook, so we love to go out to eat and Denver has so many amazing restaurants. Our favorite restaurant in Denver is The Plimoth. It’s this little tiny spot, but everything is made from scratch with super unique items and delicious cocktails. The service is also incredible—everyone is so nice. Other places we love are Uncle, Dos Santos and Beast + Bottle (especially for brunch).
Empowering your designer to do what they do best gives them the freedom to be their best creative self, and the results are even better than you ever could’ve imagined.
What elements helped bring a cozy, intimate vibe to your wide-open concept space?
Definitely the plants! There is something so calming about being surrounded by nature without actually being outside. I also love a good, fluffy blanket and lots and lots of throw pillows.
What does a typical day in the life of Simona Wohlner look like?
I am addicted to barre. I actually teach at The Barre Code, so I typically start my day at the studio either teaching or taking a class. Then coffee comes next, always. Denver has some incredible coffee shops so Brian and I will either go out for coffee or we’ll make it at home, but we like to take this time to just hang out and relax before getting our day started. I’ll usually do some barre prep after or hang out with our pups.
In the afternoon, I teach piano and in the evening, we’ll either cook at home or go out with some friends for great food and good conversation. On the weekends, we’ll take our dogs to the park (it’s right across the street from our house) or go on a hike if it’s warm out. I like to be low key most days, and having such a cozy home makes it easy to just be and exist there.
What do you and your husband love to do most outside?
This is one we will never agree on. Brian loves to snowboard and I would much rather be on a beach than in the snow. But we definitely find ways to compromise. We both love to go on walks with our dogs, go hiking, ride bikes and just continue to explore the city.
What do you love most about living in Denver? Where do you always make it a point to take your visitors?
I love how close everything is. Coming from LA, there’s always traffic and it takes us forever to get anywhere. In Denver, we can bike to get some lunch or go to the farmers’ market or even the mall. Everything is nearby. When people come visit, we always take them to brunch at Beast + Bottle. Can you tell we like to eat? There is an outdoor patio that is ideal for a Saturday morning brunch. The restaurant also happen to have the best mimosas and Bloody Mary’s in the world.
Your bedroom feels so peaceful. What are your tips for promoting relaxation in this or any space?
Always make the bed. And not just because your mom told you to. It makes the room feel instantly cleaner. Clutter gives me a lot of anxiety and is distracting when you’re trying to relax. Our bedroom is primarily neutral and pastel colors, which I find super soothing.
I want people to feel comfortable and welcomed, like they’re in their own home. They should never feel like guests.
How did you manage to bring your love for the outdoors inside your home?
We kind of touched on this earlier, but just bringing in all different kinds of plants, crystals, scents and other natural elements into every room. I think we have like 30 different kinds of plants. They just breathe life into our home. We also have a lot of sunlight coming through the windows that gives the space a nice, warm glow.
What’s the first app you click into every morning?
Does this have to be a question? I hate how addicted I am to my phone. When I wake up, I typically browse Instagram and check MindBody to look at my class roster and when I’m teaching that day.
What are the three items you always have in your fridge?
Lots of cheese, fruit and La Croix.
What kind of experience do you want your guests to feel when enjoying time in your home?
I want people to feel comfortable and welcomed, like they’re in their own home. They should never feel like guests. I love little accents and details that add color and texture to elevate furniture that airs on the clean, minimalist side. Layne is a pro at creating a balance between those elements and made our home light and fun, while still somehow managing to make it feel peaceful at the same time.