Ep. 172: designer Stefani Stein
This week our guest is Los Angeles-based interior designer Stefani Stein. Her work has been featured in Architectural Digest, Conde Nast House & Garden, Elle Decor, HGTV, House Beautiful, House & Home, and more. She was also named one of California Home + Design's 'Rising Stars' and has recently launched luxury wallpaper brand, August Abode. We talk about Stefani’s relaxed yet refined style, how California lifestyle affects her design, her love for an earthy palette and embracing imperfections.
What You’ll Hear on This Episode:
Trials & Triumphs about eroding light fixtures, basement updates, lighting trials and triumphs, budget solutions on flooring, storing gift wrap, falling branches, broken fountains, plants, bushes and trees…oh my!
Regardless of the style, Stefani doesn't like clutter. She appreciates the negative space; as in having mindful or selective emptiness and leaving breathing room around items.
Stefani took a risk and left her first, successful career to go to school for design.
How to make rooms feel light & airy; mix traditional, clean lines and vintage, choose lighter fabrics, and avoid high gloss finishes.
Stefani is influenced by the wabi-sabi philosophy; appreciating beauty that is imperfect and incomplete.
How to work multiple wood finishes into a room; pay attention to the tones.
Some tips and tricks on how to care for brass.
Why Stefani prefers an earthly palette for its lasting power.
A Cape Cod glam project where Stefani brought in elements she hadn’t ever used along with some cozy elements.
How to compromise when one member of a couple has a very different vision than the other.
Designing for the bungalow means packing function and beauty into a small space. It’s all about understanding the client’s lifestyle.
Mentioned In This Episode:
Stefani Stein on Instagram
August Abode on Instagram
From what I understand, the back countertop would stay but the island would change. What I would do to give this a more current feel is I would actually hone that back countertop. It would help the 90s granite feel more like a soapstone. I absolutely think you can have a different material on the island. I personally like a calacatta paonazzo because it’s a mostly white-beige background with warm veining. The cabinets are quite a bit of wood; my inclination is to keep the uppers wood and paint the lowers. The uppers should probably be bleached to be more modern, as well. Or you could paint all of it and do darker lowers and lighter uppers. I don’t think white cabinets are the way to go in this kitchen. If you want to keep them light, maybe do ivory. For the backsplash, I would go with a zellige. It has the imperfections in there and feels more current, plus it would go well with everything. I would maybe change the cabinet hardware to a matte black or an oil rubbed bronze. For the range; I agree with the one you chose. I like the simple, clean-lined hood. The part where it has wood on the bottom, you may even be able to use the remnants of your marble slab and tie it in here. When it comes to the pendant lights, you could get away with doing only two that are larger in scale. My personal preference would be a round table, but the oval still works if that’s your preference. I wouldn’t move the light from where it is, but you could swag it so that it’s centered over the table. Just use a chain instead of a chord as we think it looks better. What you have there now feels too light so I would recommend something heavier like the Remington. For the bar stools, we have a lot of suggestions like the Dayna, Allister, Dorchester, Adrian and Southport, but it’s hard to say for sure without knowing the paint color you choose for the lower cabinets. Make this decision last after you make all of the other choices. We think your instincts are spot on about what you should change.