Matthew Mau’s Creative Loft in the Chapman Building

published May 19, 2010
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Name: Matthew Mau
Profession: Graphic Designer by day and DJ by night
Location: Downtown Los Angeles, California
Size: 845 Square Feet
Type: Studio Loft
Years lived in: 2 Years

I met Matthew through school and was visiting him at his downtown loft talking about websites. As he was talking to me, I was looking around and couldn’t help but be distracted by his designer’s eye for decor. His personal space is a close replica of his interests and personality. His home contains a work element with dual computer monitors and every necessity for a graphic designer, yet it retains color and warmth.

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

Matthew’s loft in the Chapman building includes original architectural details from the year the building was constructed. It was built in 1912 and features hexagon tile, original brass elevators, original marble walls, stairways and tiled hallways, concrete floors, exposed brick, and a twenty-foot high lobby entrance with the original chandelier. It is easy to indulge in the architecture and history of the Chapman building, while still enjoying its modern conveniences.

AT Survey:

My style: Contemporary

Inspiration: I travel a lot to different countries and cities all around the world. I have stayed at many different types of hotels; therefore, my biggest inspiration comes from the team of designers that constantly create those unique experiences for their guests.

Favorite Element: My otto chair

Biggest Challenge: To make everything work without the clutter and working within a small space. I like to keep areas of my home separate: living vs. workspace. I have lived in open floor plan spaces since the mid 1990’s. I love how you can section off areas without having to build physical walls.

Also, lighting has always been an issue. Whenever I move into a space, I immediately change out the plastic fluorescent flying saucers in the ceiling to softer light in the living and bedroom areas. I use color correct lighting for my work area.

What Friends Say: They still say “you have a lot of records.” I have been a world class electronic music dj for over 10 years. My collection doesn’t consist of my Mom’s Madonna records, it’s straight up electronic music. I have condensed my collection over the years to two shelves and maybe 10 boxes stored in the closet (about 8500 records total).

Biggest Embarrassment: Having a cat can be challenging with furniture. My biggest embarrassment is the cat hair getting out of control. I should try to make a sweater out of the excess cat hair; there’s probably enough to produce another cat on a monthly basis.

Proudest DIY: I wouldn’t say I have a proud DIY project. However, I did use shelves to make a headboard and intermixed lighting electrical parts to make different lamps.

Biggest Indulgence: My biggest indulgence in respect to my home is an original art piece from a Los Angeles local artist, Jamie Zollars. It is inspired by fairytales with a painted scene from Hansel and Gretel. The tempting candy house is made up of acid free scanned and cut out candy wrappers carefully glued to the art board and then painted.

Best advice: My advice is keep it simple, don’t get too overwhelmed with clutter and decor you think you need. You can get creative with the space: break it up, don’t put everything against the walls, and good lighting and a little color go a long way.

Dream source: Life

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)


Whirlpool Gold Series range and refrigerator

Crate and Barrel, Ikea, Target, Eurostyle Low-back Otto chair

Crate and Barrel, Ikea, Target: vases, candle holders, etc.

Home Depot: track lighting, Ikea, Target: lamps

Color: Espresso Cream with Safari Brown trim

Polished slab concrete with original 1940’s tile

Rugs and Carpets
Home Depot, Pier 1 Imports, Cost Plus

Queen size bed with a DIY headboard made from Ikea shelves screwed to the wall

Jaime Zollars original “Hansel & Gretal”, Various pieces from friends

Electronics: (Living Areas)
Bedroom: Panasonic 42″ plasma, Apple TV ,
Living: Philips 42″ LCD, Apple TV
Both bedroom and living areas stream wireless from central 6TB media sever for music and video. Additionally, all DVD’s and CD’s have been converted and stored to eliminate clutter from discs, boxes and cases.

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

(Thanks, Matthew!)

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