Name: Stephanie Betant and Chace Vanderwolk
Location: French Concession — Shanghai, China
Size: 2,150 square feet
Years lived in: Rented 6 months
Beijing and Shanghai dwellers often engage in friendly spats over which city is the better one. Stephanie Betant and her husband Chace Vanderwolk recently found themselves in the unique position of getting to know both. When Stephanie and Chace were told they had to relocate from China's capital for work, they moved their Beijing antique finds from their modern home in the Sanlitun DRC into a historical lane house full of 1940s Shanghai character in the French Concession.
Despite moving away from a place they had only recently (painstakingly) renovated, starting over was a cinch for a couple who had grown up in Hong Kong, but then spent most of their twenties moving between cities around the world. Their three-story home effortlessly reflects this trail as it's dotted with treasures that have traveled with them, like an Eames chair picked up in Paris (and favored by Naomi Campbell when she came for dinner once), an elegant jewelry box from New York, and a bright blue lamp from a Beijing flower market. Combined, one would never guess Stephanie and Chace have only been at this stop in their journey for half a year.
Apartment Therapy Survey:
Our Style: Vintage with a contemporary twist. I have moved around a lot between New York, Paris, Beijing, Hong Kong, and Shanghai in the past 10 years, taking everything with me each time. So our house is a mix of all these places.
Inspiration: It evolves all the time, but generally the places I visit and the art I see. A constant is Railei Beach in Krabi, Thailand where my mother has a house. The nature is wild there, and she has the most incredible garden. I am very excited about our courtyard — it's the first time I have a garden of my own and the chance to check if I have inherited my mother's green thumb. I also must admit to be completely obsessed with Art Deco and can't believe my luck that I am surrounded by the style in Shanghai.
Favorite Element: My latest Alexander Åhnebrink Firefly lamp by de Padova, a brilliant design inspired by life in the Beijing hutongs.
Biggest Challenge: Our previous apartment in Beijing was very modern so we had to bring character to it, but this house is full of it so we need to let it speak for itself. Also, with moving all the time, I have to make sure what we have will suit our next home.
What Friends Say: We are lucky that our friends visit, so having a place where they feel comfortable is a priority for us, and they generally say they are coming back!
Biggest Embarrassment: Still haven't put up curtains…and dog hair.
Proudest DIY: Fixing the pipes — this is an old house. Most of these houses were taken over during the Cultural Revolution with very little upkeep for the best of 50 years. When we moved in, we lived in a construction site, but it was worth it.
Biggest Indulgence: Taxidermy — I make sure it's legit though.
Best Advice: Make your own rules. When in doubt, put a plant.
Dream Sources: The Marché Paul Bert at the Parisian flea market, and Puces de Clignancourt — I would buy everything there if I could. And I lust over Chinese designer Naihan Li's designs.
Sofa — self-designed
Pillows — Xenomania, New York
Floor Rug — Pangjiayuan Antique Market, Beijing
Coffee Table — secondhand
Eames Chair — bought in Paris
Mid-Century Danish Chair – Paris antique fair
Charcoal and Wood Chair – custom-made
Bamboo Chair — Beijing market
Side Table – Casa Pagoda
Floor Lamp — Ikea
Blue Lamp — Liangmahe Flower Market, Beijing
Alexander Åhnebrink Firefly Lamp — de Padova
Pig — Moss Design (now closed)
Bookshelves — Beijing antique market
Taxidermy — Beijing antique market
Record Player — Taobao
Buddha Statue — souvenir from Thailand
Vintage Christofle Candleholders — gift from Stephanie's mother
Iron Candleholder — Beijing antique market
Dining Room Table — Lily's Antiques, Shanghai
Louis Ghost Chairs — Phillippe Starck
Overhead Lights — a light fixtures market in Beijing
Utensil Holder — Pangjiayuan Antique Market, Beijing
Ceramics — Most are from Spin Ceramics, Beijing
Malm Chest — Ikea
Headboard — photo by Matthew Neiderhauser
Bedside lights — Galerie Sentou, Paris
Rugs — gifts from Stephanie's mother
Desk — Beijing market
Table — Casa Pagoda
Tullsta Chairs — Ikea
Floor Lamp — Beijing 3.3 mall
Couch — DIY upholstered with vintage fabric
Framed Photo — Matthew Neiderhauser