If you’ve ever shopped for home audio components in person at a retailer – be it speakers, amplifiers, headphones or receivers – one of the challenges facing the discerning ear is accurately determining sound quality. This is because the open air and cave stores of most retailers are not set up to approximate the average residential setting. Wrensilva LA in West Hollywood’s Design District was designed in an effort to scale down shopping for audio consoles by bringing the immersion to an intimate level.
Located next to the Pacific Design Center within an architecturally charming storefront painted deep green with large bay windows. Furnished to literally seat listening guests in almost every corner of the modest layout, the Wrensilva LA store takes on the appearance of a design/decor destination rather than a home audio specialist. And considering its location in West Hollywood’s Design District, it’s an effort that matches the home design focus of the design retail and commercial neighborhood.
Wrensilva’s specialty since its foundation in 2016 has been focused on the design and construction of hand-built hi-fi record consoles that emphasize attention to its decorative footprint as much as the sound performance. Steeped in the classic design language of mid-century style, the console systems are not mere reproductions of yesterday. With just enough contemporary details paired with today’s technology upgrades, they bridge the era of vinyl directly with wireless options like Sonos and Bluetooth. The showroom is intended to contextualize the listening experience in a “cozy library” and “minimal gallery” environment.
Designed by Studio Collective, the store is furnished as an aesthetically pleasing space, emphasizing the feeling of listening within a home rather than a store. Details include cork tile panels installed across the ceiling to absorb sound rather than reflect sound; similarly custom millwork shelves backed with velvet fabric panels to help improve the acoustics of the room. Even if you’re there to simply window shop, you might have an idea or two about how to improve your own acoustics at home.
Like a record collection, the space is tangible, designed to be touched. We explored a level of detail synonymous with Wrensilva’s reputation for high-quality, gallery-like pieces. The result is something between a cozy library and a minimal gallery for the joy and discovery of music.
– Studio Collective Lead Designer Christian Schulz
The entire Wrensilva console family – M1, The Standard and the compact Loft – is on display, inviting customers to stop by and sample the curated record collection featured in the floor-to-ceiling displays.
Wrensilva LA is open Tuesday – Friday from 12:00 – 17:00, and by appointment. But maybe if you pop in long enough – and long enough – the Wrensilva team will let you in for a listening session.
Photos by Ralf Strathmann.