House Tour: Ben's Mid-Century Mecca

House Tour: Ben's Mid-Century Mecca

Grace Shu
Sep 19, 2008

Name: Ben Wolfinsohn, director and co-founder of Stop Following Me Productions
Location: Santa Monica, CA
Rent or Own: Rent


When Ben sent us a link to his home, we pretty much jumped at the chance to feature it in a house tour. If you love mid-century modern, then this space will have you green with envy. But what we love the most about his home is that he makes each of his show-stopping pieces work together cohesively with unique art pieces and plants, creating a warm and inviting space that feels effortless and unpretentious.


AT Survey:

Tell us a little bit about your home: When I moved in, I told myself that I would only allow things in the door that I really liked. If I didn't like it, then I wouldn't have it. So it took me about 3 months till I had my first light and about 3 years to get my first planter. My friends got me a little addicted to "architectural pottery," the pottery originally designed to go along with a lot of the first Case Study Houses.

My/Our style: Straight lines.

Inspiration: Too many things to say, but here are some of my favorite artists, architects and designers: Ray Kappe, Louis I. Kahn, Edward Killingsworth, Robin and Lucienne Day, Rudolph Schindler, Walter Gropius, Richard Prince, James Rosenquist, Robert Bechtle, Sarah Sze...

Biggest Challenge: The place had molding everywhere, weirdly placed windows, and a kitchen that looked like a long hallway with a sink.

What Friends Say: They say they like all my paintings.

Most Talked About Element: Most talked about might be my 1970 JVC video sphere that I rigged to be able to play the Daily Show any time I am cooking. And how I wired every speaker, projector, tv and computer in every room (minus the bathroom) together so no matter where you go, you see and hear the same thing.

Biggest Embarrassment: That at any moment all my improvements will all come apart like in the hotel in Barton Fink and that I will just give up and use duct tape to hold everything back together. That's kind of what is about to happen with my cork floors. My neighbor is a perfect craftsman, so every time I'm doing an upgrade, he comes over and tells me how I didn't line anything up right. Then every day I look at what I did all I can think about is how I messed it up so badly and how I can't even paint a straight line.

Proudest DIY: Snuck into a famous LA artist's studio so I could cast George Nelson knobs for the kitchen.

Cleaning or organizing tip:Make sure everything in your house has a place to live. That's even down the the last key. Even if it means you have to have a box titled "temporary spot for things I have no idea where I will put."

Best advice: Kurt Versen makes great lamps.

Favorite Store: "A.K. Eleven 14" on Abbot Kinney in Venice is owned by possibly the most knowledgeable human on earth when it comes to mid-century furniture. "California Living" on La Brea in Hollywood makes the best outdoor furniture in the world and is one of the most knowledgeable places; VKG would be proud of them. And "Ten10" on Silverlake Blvd. in Silverlake is another great place.

Dream source: If Vitra Design Museum decided to have a garage sale in my backyard because they decided to only showcase the likes of Rococo Style furniture.


(Thanks, Ben!)


Photos by Ben Wolfinsohn

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