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A lthough they grew up a mere mountain apart in rural Boone County, West Virginia, Kristan Cunningham and Scott Jarrell didn’t meet until college—and immediately started making up for lost time. “We talked about getting married on our second date!” Cunningham says. It’s precisely this conviction that the couple brings to everything they do—from the renovation of their loft in downtown Los Angeles to the launch of their design firm and interiors store, Hammer and Spear, in the burgeoning arts district just two blocks away. 136 Lonny It all began with a rented U-Haul and a cross-country trip to the West Coast. “This was 15 years ago. We were very poor; we had our yearbooks in crates in the back. We were that story,” Cunningham recalls with a laugh. Jarrell found work in an LA recording studio, while Cunningham cut her teeth [more specific info TK from writer] in the California design world. Given her buoyant, infectious personality, it was almost inevitable that she’d be tapped for network television—and she was, in Year TK, to host HGTV’s Design on a Dime. Behind the scenes, Jarrell became Cunningham’s manager, freeing her to take on design projects and additional shoots. In the years that followed, Cunningham went on to create sets for [CK] the Rachael Ray Show, The Talk, and Today, but after a decade of designing [CK] TV-friendly spaces with mass-market appeal, the job had lost its luster. Not only were she and Jarrell working 90-plushour weeks, but with shooting and endorsements also came lots of restrictions. “You can’t push any design limits,” Jarrell explains. Enter Hammer and Spear. (The name is a combination of Jarrell’s nickname for his wife—Hammer—and the meaning of his surname, “brave with spear.”) This month, in addition to their design services and seven-month-old brick-and-mortar shop, the couple is launching an e-commerce site, as well as a collection of Hammer and Spear–branded leather goods. “This is our own vision—no one else has input,” Jarrell says with pride. History, character, and an unexpectedly cohesive mix of eras and styles all play a part in their compelling design sensibility. “Our aesthetic is dark and moody, cozy and tucked-in,” Cunningham says. “In the fall and winter, you let your home be a hug. That’s what we want our interiors to be all year long.” Nowhere is this more apparent than in their 3,500-square-foot loft, which they share with their two dogs: Floyd, a 14-yearold Yorkie, and Bean, a four-year-old bichon frise–poodle mix. The home was one large open space when the Subtlety is not Watts’s strong point. Here, the photographer vamps on a custom Vespa in his driveway. opposite The flags of Great Britain (where Watts was born) and Australia (where he spent much of his childhood) wave in the front yard. Lonny 137