Ben and Kenesha’s Altadena cottage is a dream oasis for any design lover looking to escape the hustle and bustle of the city. With exposed wood ceilings, an original brick fireplace, and a backyard full of fruit trees, their home offers a welcoming environment and plenty of charm.
The two have taken time to carefully fill each room with handmade ceramics by Kenesha’s Tactile Matter, and custom furniture from Ben Tetro’s woodworking studio. The overall effect is minimalist meets comfort with bold pops of color.
It’s no wonder the two are able to work so well creatively — they originally met at an artist’s community warehouse in Downtown LA where they were working individually. Though they each have their own shop, Kenesha and Ben have collaborated on a couple projects — including a series of hair picks that join wood and ceramics.
Apartment Therapy Survey:
Our Style: Minimal with a pop of color.
Inspiration: The mid-century feel + the brick-lined fireplace makes the space feel unique and cozy. We bring a lot of pieces we’ve handmade into the environment so it reflects our individual style.
Favorite Element: Citrus trees! We’re never low on lemonade over here.
Biggest Challenge: Staying cool in the summer heat! We have a small window AC in the bedroom but try to conserve power as much as possible.
What Friends Say: This space is a nice balance between both of our personalities.
Biggest Embarrassment: Hoping when friends come over, they don’t hear the few squirrels that get into the walls every once and awhile.
Proudest DIY: Backyard garden beds
Biggest Indulgence: Our place before this had zero parking on one of the busiest streets in Los Angeles so having a parking spot is everything!
Best Advice: “The architecture speaks for itself, a little goes a long way.” Almost immediately after hearing that I covered walls with textiles/ shelves and plants!
Wall African textile / woven basket — Pasadena Flea market
Ceramic pieces — Tactile Matter
Books — Unknown Wyoming, Alexandra Elle, Tribal decoration, Conflict & Costume
Deer skull — Salvage yard
Record cart — Pasadena Flea Market
Record player — A gift
Walnut lounger – One of the perks to living with a furniture maker, designed and handmade by Ben Tetro.
Planter — this was a fun project between the two of us where Ben designed/ created the wooden stand for the large pot that I made.
Framed/ unframed artwork — Painted by Kenesha. You can also find a larger version in printed form at Thejungalow.com
Ceramics — Tactile Matter
Books — In the company of women
Textile pouf — Aelfie
Eye pillow — Arro
Daybed — Rose Bowl Flea Market
Leather sofa/ Coffee table — Craigslist
Kilim rug — Pasadena Flea Market
Coat hanger — Made by Ben, Denim jacket that’s hanging on it was bought from my girlfriend Jaimee’s Vintage clothing line C2C.
Benches — Made by Ben originally for a girlfriend’s baby shower we hosted in our space. After buying the dining table, we had no seating so those were brought in after months of sitting outdoors.
Dining table — Rosebowl flea market
Dining light — Came with the home
Citrus Print — illustrated by Kenesha. This was a fun limited edition screen print that can be found at Of A Kind.
Ceramic mugs/ Pour over — Tactile Matter
Copper Kettle — I received this brand new years ago as a gift and it’s aged over time from the amount of use it gets. We don’t have a coffee maker so we use these ceramic pour overs.
Rocking chair — Modernica
Credenza — Pasadena Flea Market
Bed — DIY of cinder blocks / plywood
Hair Picks — Another fun collab between Ben & Kenesha– Combining our wood+ceramic backgrounds.
Polka dot ceramic pot — Tactile Matter
Products — a mix of Moonnectar apothecary, Balm co., Folie Apothecary , Aesop