Since opening its doors to the public in June 2015, Studio Elevate in Culver City, CA has strived to create a unique experience for guests—and succeeded. Founded by fitness guru Leah Kitching, this one-of-a-kind workout space incorporates spin and Pilates into one workout so that clients get the best of both worlds. Classes offered include Reform and Ride (half spin, half Pilates), Fundamentals (for first-timers looking to learn the exercises and machines), and Strength and Stretch (a combo class ending with 20 minutes of deep stretching).
When asked to describe the workout experience at Studio Elevate, Kitching says, “We offer endurance Pilates and spin classes that create an experience for the student that is unforgettable. We challenge in a loving and inspiring way while honoring each and every person’s journey. We love each teacher’s creative energy in their music choice, but everyone follows the guidelines of music building up as the class intensifies.”
The other big draw is the studio’s Zen vibe, which lends to the relaxing and tranquil atmosphere that greets clients when they walk in. Designed to resemble a comfortable living room in your stylish friends’ pad, the lounge area is outfitted with an assortment of handmade pieces and items sourced from thrift shops to create a stunning individualized space. What’s more, the retail area is conveniently located next to the comfy couch, so guests relax as they browse the assortment of candles, workout wear and more—potentially making a purchase or two before walking out the door.
DAYSPA: What makes Studio Elevate unique?
I taught Pilates and spin for over five years before starting Elevate. Everywhere I taught I ran into the same problem. There was no memorable experience. While natural light from windows is nice in homes, it was a distraction when it came to a workout—people would stop and stare, students would look over. The other problem was a class program: Teachers came in and just played shuffle on the EDM music. I felt there was no bridge into the intensity. So I created a space that changed that. People still get the great workout, but in a calm environment with more soul. We take the manic out of a hardcore workout. The classes are very challenging in a calm and strong setting.
DAYSPA: What does Studio Elevate mean?
“Elevate” means to go above and beyond. Change happens when you challenge the body and mind. They work together to reach a higher level. Constant challenge is constant change, and Elevate has no boundaries.
What inspired the studio’s design and theme?
I like clean, warm spaces with a bohemian vibe. We wanted to create a space that facilitates change; a place where you can leave all your baggage at the door and truly focus on the journey to health and wellness. We did this by designing a space that is closed off from the street—no windows means no distractions. Dim lights create a comfortable and relaxing atmosphere, and we have a blue neon light in there. The color blue makes people feel calm.
Tell us about the lounge concept.
We wanted an inviting and comfortable entry space that is a transition from the hectic outside world to the transformational workout space. Our studio embodies an inclusive and inviting space. People feel welcomed and not rushed when they enter a comfortable space.
Where do you source your décor?
We literally get things everywhere. Our friend built some of the furniture, we were gifted some things, others we found at thrift stores. Rarely do we buy something brand new.
What do you sell in your retail area?
We have a small section with local products: water bottles, grippy socks for Pilates, skincare, candles, etc. Our favorite brands at the moment are Maison Louis Marie, Murchison Hume, and S’well.
Any plans to open future locations?
We would certainly like to! We are planning on opening another two to three locations throughout Los Angeles.
Caption: The combined lounge and retail area offers everything from candles and water bottles to workout threads
Studio Elevate is located at 12462 West Washington Blvd, Culver City, CA 90066
—By Kamala Kirk
[Images courtesy of Studio Elevate]