LA House Tour: Stefanie's Old World Modern

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Name: Stefanie (plus 2)
Location: Santa Monica, CA
Size: 3 Bedroom
Years lived in: Almost 3 years

Having moved from Germany 3 years ago to Santa Monica with her husband, Stefanie already had some great antiques in her collection. They shipped them all stateside and have slowly been blending incredibly classic pieces with beautifully modern ones. The result? A house we're crushing on and a list of resources and inspiration that leaves us breathless.

We're always looking for more candidates for house tours. If you or someone you know is interested in inviting us for a tour, please email us!

When Stefanie first contacted us about doing a photo tour of her place, she let us know what design challenges she was working with:

"We are renting (need to deal with many ugly details), we have a 2 year-old daughter (nothing that can break-get-dirty-too-sharp-too-white-too-pricey), a taste that keeps changing (we need to mix our older-style furniture with my newly acquired obsession for modern pieces) and we are on a strict budget". We thought that might be something that a lot of people would be able to relate to. Did we mention the place is stunning?

Inspiration for our home: Everything: retail stores, designer blogs, many many magazines (my favorite one: Living Etc from the UK, fashion (for color choices), our young daughter (who pushes me to be well organized, to edit, to keep things simple and unbreakable…), the house itself (the fact that we are renting and can mostly play with furniture and accessories) etc

Our Style: Our style is created by compromises: It’s a mix of old furniture that has sentimental value with our love for modern pieces. You could call it: Happy Classy. We really make every decision based on whether it makes us happy and if we’ll want to look at it for many years to come! I laugh when I see the disco balls’ reflection dancing all over the living room in the morning, I smile when I look at our Jonathan Adler’s horse and giraffe, I’m happy when I look at our arts on the wall, I love the touch of my Japanese stone coffee mug in the morning (from Tortoise... I could go on like this forever…

Favorite Room: Our living room/dining room. It’s an open space with great views, beautiful lights and it’s so comfortable.

Most Talked About Element: People talk about our artwork. We love the Lumas Gallery for affordable photography. We have a couple of pieces (such as our Bansky graffiti and the Loretta Lux’s photo in our daughter’s bedroom) which we just scanned and printed on canvass.

Most Embarrassing Element: Our laundry room, this room is completely and utterly chaotic. We lost control. It would give Martha Steward a heart attack. The last time I found the courage to attack it was two hours before going into labor (blame it on the hormones). I didn’t touch it since then.

Proudest DIY: I’m a proud believer of the ‘white therapy’…I love to just paint most of my furniture in white. It is so rewarding and I feel much better after. Most of everything that is white wasn’t bought that way…but lately I’ve started the black therapy as well (see dining table) and it
is very gratifying as well.

Dream Source: Who doesn’t want to move in a Design Within Reach store? Or even better Moss and Twentieth.

Reality Source: I look at everything. Some of my favorite stores and online shops are:
modern child

I’m also planning the opening of an LA store that would offer products from young European designers so I’m always on the lookout for new products. I love those websites:,,,,,

Best Advice: Take your time, this is your nest, you can’t buy everything at once; invest in small details that make you smile; if you are allowed, give each room a fabulous color scheme, visit as many flea markets as you can!

Found Treasure: We found a wonderful lamp that someone had thrown in the trash…the street can be such a great resource!

Had forever: Our kitchen armoire belonged to my husband’s mother and our dining table was my parents’ first table. It is from Ikea. It was originally a dark wood but I painted it red, white and now black and it followed me everywhere: from Montreal to New York to Los Angeles to Munich to Cologne and back to Los Angeles…

Just got: We just custom made our coffee table at room service and we love how it turned out.