Stefan’s Inspired & Eclectic Studio

published Feb 18, 2010
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(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

Name: Stefan of ArchitectDesign
Location: Logan Circle neighborhood of Washington DC
Size: studio 475 square foot studio, owned
Years lived in: 2½ years

Most people may think that being a collector of beautiful things is incompatible with dwelling in a studio apartment, but Stefan shows that big style can exist in small spaces. With careful arrangements and clever storage, he manages to create intimate conversation zones and large-scale displays of his expansive art collection while still preserving an overall feeling of spaciousness. And of course, the open floor plan, high ceilings, and wall of windows don’t hurt.

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)
(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

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Stefan built the shelves into an used nook in the bathroom where he displays family photos and other favorite treaures. The back of the shelves is painted the same slate blue as the bathroom ceiling and main room accent wall (Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

The first thing that struck us about Stefan’s home — aside from the spaciousness of its small footprint — was the artful integration of traditional and modern elements. It’s common to see classical architecture decked out in mod furnishings, but it’s a rarity to see a successful execution of the reverse where industrial modern architecture looks at home filled with very traditional embellishments. However, Stefan manages to pull it off by sticking with clean-lined, contemporary styles for most of the large furniture (i.e.- the long narrow bookcases that run the length of most of the room) while reserving more ornamental pieces for the gallery-styled display wall. It’s this balance of styles that first attracted us to Stefan’s famed blog, ArchitectDesign, where he continually awes us with an inspiring mix of contemporary and classic design.

Although he jokes that he’s been accused of decorating with doilies, we found Stefan’s refined style to be timeless and distinctly masculine. He mixes warm woods and gold accents against a crisp, cool backdrop of gray, blue, and white paints, and creates contrast with touches of black and steel that play up the industrial style of his modern apartment. However, despite his careful attention to detail, Stefan’s home is not overly styled. It’s comfortable and inviting, and clearly filled with things that have both personal and aesthetic meaning to Stefan.

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

Apartment Therapy Survey:

Style: Simple lines spanning neoclassical through modern. I like an eclectic mix!

Inspiration: Magazines and books! World of Interiors, Elle Décor, Domino (no longer), Architectural Digest

Favorite element: Lots of light and glass

Biggest challenge: Size — it’s so small!

What friends say: It’s very grown up for my age

Biggest embarrassment: I don’t like to dust! Again, the size — it’s so small!

Proudest DIY: Bathroom shelves built into an unused nook.

Biggest Indulgence: Basic pieces — a good sofa, good table and chairs, etc. The basics need to be right. And candles…

Best Advice: Craigslist and eBay are godsends! Don’t worry about it being ‘used’ — the finest antiques are ‘used’!

Dream Source: 1stDibs

Other Inspiration: artwork and china. They bring life to a space and life to my existence!

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)


Appliances: stainless steel GE monogram (came with apartment)

Furniture: Crate & Barrel, DWR, IKEA, auctionhouses, craigslist and eBay

Accessories: everywhere under the sun

Lighting: CSNlighting online or vintage, Ms. Pixies here in DC, The Brass Knob in Adams Morgan, eBay

Rugs & Carpets: hand-me-down ‘orientals’ and eBay

Tiles & Stone: black granite, ceramic faux stone slabs from Italy

Window Treatments: roller shades

Beds: West Elm — but I love Restoration Hardware beds

Artwork: family, eBay and friends!

Paint: Duron – ‘titanium’ walls, ‘shell white’ trim, ‘intellectual gray’ ceiling
Accent color – ‘blue slate’

Flooring: tile that came with the apartment

Thanks Stefan!

Images: Leah Moss

Originally published 3.26.2009 – AA

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