The owners of this Cape Cod-style house in LA wanted a place that felt sexy, but it wasn’t exactly communicating that feeling when they purchased it. It had recently been renovated and had great potential but was slightly too classic, as it was, for the young couple’s preference for a glam ’70s vibe. They turned to designer Stefani Stein to help them bridge the gap – something like Mrs. Robinson with a little bit of rock n’ roll.
The problem was that even the couple themselves didn’t have exactly the same design taste: she was drawn to color, brass, and a big dose of glam. He preferred more earth-toned classic pieces. What they did immediately agree upon was that they wanted a black bedroom. “The sisal grasscloth wallpaper added a great textural element,” Stefani shared. “The wife really wanted some pale pink or nude elements, but I had to keep it to a minimum, as it felt a bit too feminine for her husband’s liking. The tape on some pillows in the bedroom allowed for little hints of these elements to shine through without feeling too overwhelming. “
Another challenge for Stefani was that they didn’t gravitate towards any natural wood tones. “Through some shopping visits, we discovered that the clients were open to ebonized wood finishes which helped keep an organic element in the mix to balance all of the brass and glass,” the designer said. The brutalist sideboard in the dining room is a great example – it grounds all of the brass lighting elements and dining table, as well as poses as a masculine counterweight to the feminine custom rug created by Apadana Fine Rugs in Connecticut.
Although the home’s transformation didn’t include renovating the space, changing its design through decoration took ten months to complete, start to finish. “We were really able to have fun and focus on the details and accents that pulled the spaces together,” Stefani said. “The details are often where design really comes to life. It’s a small thing that many people don’t even notice, but the tape and trim on the pillows, for instance, can really add to the layered feel of a space and make it feel more finished.”