Steve Jones' Very Own Better Shelter

Steve Jones' Very Own Better Shelter

Marcia Prentice
May 2, 2012

Name: Steve Jones, owner of BetterShelter
Location: West Hollywood - Los Angeles, California
Size: 1,200 square feet
Years lived in: 8 years

I met Steve last summer at Dwell on Design and have been following his design work since then. His personal style is defined by vintage pieces, taxidermy, and a love of the ocean, with an eye on what will best complement the surrounding architecture. You have probably seen one of his BetterShelter homes, but few have been inside his own personal home.

Sharing your own home is such a personal experience. Even though Steve has definitely proven himself in the design community, when it came to his own home it took a month of prepping before he opened up his doors to me. The home had to be perfect. I fell in love with his place and can say that it is even more magical in person!

Apartment Therapy Survey:

My Style: Flea market eclectic.

Inspiration: I was really driven by the home's style, which I call "Hansel & Gretel on acid". Built in 1927, it is a mash-up of Spanish and gingerbread with a gothic overtone thrown in for good measure. The beach is also a big part of my life — you see it in a lot of what I do. I am mad for seascapes! And mermaids!

Favorite Element: I fell in love with the home the moment I saw it, it has a certain charm that just does not happen anymore in today's homes. Original details abound! All the dark wood is original. I love the Juliet balcony, the oversize fireplace and the outside courtyard.

Biggest Challenge: The home was a hot mess when I bought it, had been a run down rental for years. I restored basically everything. The kitchen and bathrooms were torn down to studs and completely rebuilt.

The home is on the small side and I am a collector, so.... it is like living on a boat, something comes in, something goes out. It forces me to consider every purchase, but I usually buy it anyways, as all my friends can attest!

What Friends Say: They love the home! People fall in love with it.

Biggest Embarrassment: Forgetting to design the fridge into the kitchen. It ended up in the dining room. Oops.

Proudest DIY: Transforming an old run down house into a restored jewel, it really was a labor of love.

Biggest Indulgence: I have a built-in towel warmer in my bathroom!! Great for cold winter mornings.

Best Advice: Don't use recessed lighting, the worst EVER. Flea market shopping is the "greenest" thing you can do, supporting all the vendors who comb through thrift stores, garage sales, etc. to give all this stuff a new life and new home.

Dream Sources:
Rose Bowl Flea Market

Resources of Note:







  • Interior Swiss Coffee White Behr from Home Depot


  • Skinny oak planks stained dark ebony. I did not want to see much grain, so we mixed the stain in with the clear coat to give it a more "painted opaque" look.

Rugs & Carpet

  • Oriental rug, living room: vintage from Rose Bowl


  • The entry path to the front door is made of pre-fab "stones" from Home Depot set into a winding concrete pathway. We curved it to lend itself to the storybook vibe.




Thanks Steve!

(Images: Marcia Prentice)

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