Charlene Kennerknecht, a founding principal at MONARCH, has dedicated over two decades to crafting elegant interiors characterized by a light, airy ambiance and a commitment to simplicity and refinement. With a discerning eye for quality furnishings, materials and finishes, the designer endeavors to create homes where clients truly love to gather.

Operating within the firm’s bi-coastal framework, Virginia-based Kennerknecht collaborates with design partners in Los Angeles, San Francisco and Salt Lake City, including longtime colleague Arch Williams, an important member of the team. “This geographic diversity is reflected in our portfolio, which seamlessly blends a laid-back West Coast vibe with a traditional East Coast sensibility,” she explains.

As lead designer, Kennerknecht is dedicated to building strong relationships with clients, understanding their needs and preferences, and earning their trust through collaboration with Williams and the rest of the team. “It’s these enduring connections that underpin our ongoing success,” she reflects.

Whether embarking on a renovation or crafting a new home, Kennerknecht, along with her team and Williams, applies extensive expertise to fulfilling their clients’ vision. Their work strikes a balance between being on-trend and withstanding the test of time. For example, MONARCH reimagined a Bethesda residence for a client who revealed a love for the color blue. Dated rooms were transformed into spacious, inviting interiors that foster entertaining. “With a palette anchored in subtle grays and pearl tones, we strategically infused hints of blue—from serene steel to vibrant azure—throughout, echoing the ever-changing sky,” says Kennerknecht.

“The owners are thrilled,” she adds. “The biggest compliment we get is when clients tell us they love spending time at home.”