Stefanie's Refreshed Space For Four

House Tour

Name: Stefanie Gelinas, Randolf Hillebrand, Josephine & Matis
Location: Venice, California
Size: 1,600 square feet — 3 bedrooms
Years lived in: 6 — Rented
When we last saw Stefanie, she and her husband were renting this same house with their daughter. Now three years later, they've added a son and her design store to the mix and their eclectic home reflects those changes.

The best part about Stefanie's house is the fact that its got tons of style even though it's a kid friendly house. Kids have added to the playful nature of the decor but there's still room for Stefanie to bring home the design finds that she test runs for her store, Sleek Identity, a modern marketplace for independent European design.

Leaving a job in TV, Stefanie has devoted her time to sourcing and researching design in order to give European designers an outlet in the states. With an eye towards smart, simple design with a sense of humor (check out these bookends), her home has followed a similar path: color was brought in along with more modern pieces, fewer old world antiques and more mid century notes. An office was made into a bedroom and the place got happier, brighter colors, funnier moments, more objets on display, and a fun sense of scale (like the giant teacup side table in the bedroom).

Overall, the house reflects how much you can change as a renter. There's no need to knock out walls or overhaul a space to make it feel totally different. For a refresher, check out Stefanie's house tour from 2008: Stefanie's Old World Modern.

Apartment Therapy Survey:

Our Style:
I guess you could describe our philosophy as: Playfulness Follows Functions. We love happy things that make us smile but are useful at the same time. We love colors, textures, quirky artwork and flexible objects that can be moved around. I get bored easily and moving furniture and accessories around is my kind of therapy!

Owning a design store is obviously an incredible inspiration. I spend my days scouting products from all over the world and we test every single item in our home before selling it on the site. I like to think of living with kids as an inspiration rather than a limitation. It makes you keep things simple, not take yourself too seriously and look for creative storage solutions everywhere.
I'm also addicted to design magazines and books. I love the ones from the German publishing house Die Gestalten. And what can be more inspiring than traveling? Especially to Berlin. There's something about this city that just sparks all kind of new ideas.

What did you modify since the last House Tour and what prompted the changes?
When pregnant with our second child, I felt like bringing lots of colors into our home so we painted the bedrooms and added vibrant accessories everywhere. We played it safe color-wise with our new B&B Italia sofa. It was a big investment but we love to think that we will keep it for a very long time. We gradually sold some of our antique-looking pieces on Craigslist and went a little crazy with the whole mid-century thing. Being new in California, I guess it was meant to happen. Now you'll see them popping up on Craigslist as I'm hoping to add more contemporary pieces that I find during my travels to Europe.

Favorite Element:
We have a beautiful view of the mountains and I wish every single room could face it. I love the airy feel of our living room. I need space to think and for the kids to run around wild. I also love to integrate fun modern pieces such as the knitted Matt lamp and the futuristic-looking Plopp stool with our antique and mid century objects.

Biggest Challenge:
The whole house is a challenge, especially the kitchen and bath (the rented-life affliction). My husband and I spend many hours drawing imaginative restoration plans but as long as we are renting, it's all about finding creative solution with paint colors and objects.

Proudest DIY:
We are so busy with work and the kids that our proudest DIY project is vacuuming. But we love our red kitchen floor that we found in the garage-flooring section of Home Depot. It's warm and hides stains beautifully. I also love scanning pictures and photography and having them printed on big canvass. It makes you feel like a real art collector!

Biggest Indulgence:
I love design and home furnishing so much that I left a great job in television to start my own design store. Can it get any more indulgent? Or crazier?

Best Advice:

    Curate your home constantly. Get rid of what you don't love and move things around to keep a fresh perspective on life. Ask your friends for advice. It's hard to see clearly when it's your own home.
    Show off your things. We pile books everywhere, display our children's' toys, jewelry and accessories. We love storage solutions that do not hide things but display them beautifully.
    Make bold statements. We call them exclamation pieces! Add a couple of fun, colorful and unusual pieces that will make you smile and give your house its own personality.
    Small is beautiful. Don't underestimate the pleasure of using great designed everyday objects: teacups, cutting boards, shower caddy, candelabra. They are your home fashion accessories!

Dream Sources:
For some shameless self-promotion: But we find treasures everywhere, from CB2 to Target to flea markets to Craigslist to friends' left overs.

Resources of Note:


    • Sofa: B&B Italia
    • Coffee Table: Room Style
    • Red Tea Cup Stool: Sleek IDentity
    • Green Lamps: Vintage
    • Purple Bold Chair: Sleek IDentity
    • Daybed: Modernica
    • Yellow Plopp Stool: Sleek IDentity
    • Cow rug: eBay
    • Eames Chairs: Modernica and DWR
    • Knitted Matt lamp: Sleek IDentity
    • Wall Hooks: Sleek IDentity
    • Sideboard: Surfing Cowboy
    • White Boot: AplusR
    • Balloon lampe Vapeur: Sleek IDentity
    • White horse: Jonathan Adler


    • Rug: Target
    • Table + chairs: ebay
    • Magnet Shelvings: Sleek IDentity
    • Green Samsa Buckets: Sleek IDentity


    • Bed: Blue Dot
    • Side Table: IKEA
    • White lamps: West Elm
    • Red Tea Cup Table: Sleek Identity
    • Twig rack: Sleek IDentity
    • Red Drawer: CB2
    • Artwork: lumas


    • Crib: Wallmart
    • Rug: Target
    • Sticker lamp: Sleek IDentity

Thanks, Stefanie!

Images: Stefanie Gelinas

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