Most of the experiences in our lives are chalked up to serendipity... or so we think. We don't believe in accidents but we do believe in taking an unexpected moment and capitalizing on the seeming randomness of it.

We look at each client as if they were a new country waiting to be explored. We prod and poke to find out who they really are and what they really want. What we find usually surprises them.

We bring the expertise of working on dozens of projects from the highlands of Hawaii, the coast of Carmel, the slopes of Aspen, the banks of the Potomac, and the streets of London.

We love challenges and we will not be categorized into one way of thinking. That's the fun of it! And that's the beauty of great design. That's who we are.

We welcome you to that experience.


Our history defines who we are. The future allows us to become who we want to become.

Through the design process we take all that you are now and allow you to express what you want to become…with a little prodding from us.

We like to stretch your design sense just a little. We want you to get out of your comfort zone just a little. We want your home to express that journey.

MONARCH was created by Charlene Kennerknecht over 20 years ago. The firm is bicoastal with Charlene in Virginia and design partners in Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Salt Lake City. These origins are reflected in the work, as it seamlessly combines a casual West Coast vibe with a traditional East Coast sensibility. Monarch’s work stands the test of time – a hallmark of great design.


A home is simply a collection of living spaces. At a basic level those living spaces are for a limited number of uses. IE, sitting, sleeping, eating etc. It’s how we treat those spaces that make our designs unique. Would you rather sit in a living room with sofa and chairs or would you rather sit in a music room appointed tastefully to listen your

favorite composer being played by your aspiring fifteen year old prodigy. We create destinations not living spaces.

What Inspires Us

As you open your front door the curtain is drawn up on your life. You gaze, and others gaze, at who you are. Your love of life is reflected in the books on the table. Your sense of whimsy is on display by the piece of art that you bought but thought you shouldn’t have. Your desire to be comfortable is noticed in your well appointed family room that suits your desire to relax but also is a

backdrop for your collection of odds and ends collected from around the world. This is your life and we as designers celebrate it. We want it to be your home, not ours with you living in it for a while. We listen to what you want and then make it better than you could have imagined.

How We Work

The design process can be daunting. There are thousands of decisions to be made. Enough for even the most experienced client to cower. The process is not to be feared but to be broken down into smaller pieces and conquered. We call it a “Global Plan”. Even if your desire is to do one room or thirty, we look at each room as it relates to every other. Piece by piece, layer by layer we create a home that is complete. The plan encompasses everything from the shape of the stair rail to trim on

the pillow. The details are brought together in one unit that can be understood and better yet executed. There is no time wasted on reworking items that were not thought out because we did not understand the relationship between one room and the next. This process has been developed for years and one that can actually make the process not daunting but enjoyable.

Good Bones

A room is actually nothing more than four walls. But oh, what those four walls can become. Our unique understanding of architectural history and design allow us to embellish and enhance those walls to become the palate on which the design is painted.

We call it “good bones." Before we add furnishings and art we make certain the room is ready to receive them. Obeying the rules of great proportion, as observed in great architecture, allow us to create spaces that exceed their natural capability.


Life is all too short. With the blink of an eye we move from decade to decade and wonder where the time went. Timelessness is a concept too little understood and less often experienced. As you travel you get a sense of time standing still. A quiet street on the southern coast of Spain has been unchanged for centuries and yet has a vitality that still excites and inspires us today. We understand that unique quality of timelessness and it

is reflected in our design. Pieces of furniture that are well made and exhibit time tested qualities of form and function are not replaced in a few years but are cherished heirlooms that will be handed down through generations. Colors come and go, fabrics wear and tatter, but pieces beautifully designed and well bought will remain an example of timeless quality throughout your life.