Improve with Age


Proem Studio achieves maximum style for ultimate self-care at Cheeks & Co in Pasadena

“Our favorite element in the space is the reception desk.” says Drost on the pewter-colored tiled custom desk. Photos by Tim Hirschmann.

“We approach all projects as the beginning of a new story for each client and strive to create fresh yet timeless spaces that only improve with age,” says Ashley Drost, co-founder of L.A. based design firm Proem Studio. “Central to our process is our commitment to detail, comfort and functionality.”

It was this way of thought Drost and her partner Marie Trohman applied when designing Cheeks & Co., a self-care, skincare salon in Pasadena. The client wanted a modern, approachable space that was an extension of their brand but could also serve as an escape for their customers.

Proem designed custom shelves to showcase the Cheeks & Co. product.

Formerly a bookstore, the team gutted the 1,100 square foot space and transformed the open floor plan into a more intimate environment. “Our goal was to create separate spaces for a retail/ reception area, five treatment rooms, a vanity station, bathroom, employee break room and kitchen,” says Trohman. “The client wanted a bright, unique space that is luxurious yet warm and approachable and appeals to a modern clientele.”

Wallcovering from Maison C adorns the bathroom.

The long, narrow space had high ceilings which posed a challenge for creating a warm, comfortable ambiance. “The ceiling had to be painted regardless, since the previous tenants painted clouds in the recessed ceiling,” notes Drost. “Instead of painting it white, we chose a warm burgundy color that scaled the space down a bit, allowing the rooms to feel more private.” This ceiling application creates a cohesion throughout while making each area feel more confined in the best way.

The grounding hues of burgundy and black are soothed by pops of sky blue, cream and light blush found in tile, wallcovering and paint details. For instance, the team installed a recessed blue tiled wall detail at the end of the long hallway that is illuminated by a sconce from In Common With.

A sconce from In Common With sits atop a blue tile ceramic wall at the end of the hallway.

“Our favorite element in the space is the reception desk,” says Trohman. “We drew inspiration from gold Roman mosaics and mirrored, freeform Karl Springer pieces when designing the desk. Since the reception desk is seen from the street, and is a natural gathering spot, we knew it had to be special.”

The final result is an uber cool and relaxing spa full of inspirational design moments, please both the clients and their customers. “We were able to achieve a design that granted all of our client’s requests and exceeded her expectations, all while staying on budget,” says Drost. “She couldn’t have been happier and we can’t wait to work on Cheeks’ next location!”