Design house: A small, space-saving house in Los Angeles, designed by Stefani Stein
Compact and clever, this quaint home is full of genius ideas for maximising space.
The inspiration behind this small house renovation began with the clients, Ryan Scott and Lauren LeFranc who are both TV writers.
'For their Los Angeles, California-based home, the couple began by telling me how much they loved a colourful and eclectic space, but through the discovery process, we unearthed that one of them loved colour and traditional patterns, while the other was more drawn to a muted palette and understated selections,' says Stefani Stein.
'A fun, and sometimes challenging, aspect of many residential projects is striking that balance that unites both clients’ tastes cohesively.'
In addition to a young son and two adorable dogs, the clients have a large extended family and like to entertain. 'They wanted to easily seat eight in the dining room but have the ability to squeeze in a few more occasionally,' says Stefani. 'This definitely posed a challenge, as the space didn’t allow for that with a standard, central table furniture arrangement – particularly, because of the open plan.
The only way to make this work, while still having an unobstructed path to the back of the home, was to incorporate banquette seating and design a square dining table, rather than a rectangular or circular table. In the end, this challenge resulted in one of my favourite elements of the design.'
See more design projects:Design house: an artistic bathroom, designed by ABH Interiors
The dining area is just so fantastic. I’ve always been drawn to figural woods and am absolutely smitten with the custom burl wood dining table paired with the August Abode wallpaper.
Burl wood can often feel formal, but the clients’ lifestyle is much more relaxed. Pairing the table with vintage French 1950s garden chairs with rush seats, provided a nice counterpoint to the table and a great textural mix.
The tassel ties for the seat cushions are one of my favourite little details in the home.
The vintage coffee table was an exceptional find—the glass tiles are quite unique and the patinated brass had just the right amount of ageing.
The home was recently renovated, just before the clients’ purchased it, and the builders' decision to raise the ceiling and leave the structural beams exposed really opened up the space.
'The clients had this adorable needlepoint pillow that read “call your mother—she worries”. It was so tiny, I wasn’t sure it would make sense anywhere, but very much wanted to use it in the design. The low-profile accent chair ended up suiting it perfectly.'
Additionally, the Moroccan saddle ottoman was a family heirloom and originally belonged to the client’s grandfather. There was a strong sentimental attachment, but the cushion and cover were in very poor condition.
The clients loved the plaid fabric, which I had shown them early in the process. This was nicely suited for the ottoman, adding depth without overpowering the space. 'We used tape and cord to box the cushion and keep the original shape and structure,' advises Stefani.
See more small inspiration: Small kitchen ideas – to turn your compact kitchen into a smart, organised space
'I absolutely love how the finished space came together. Getting to know the clients and creating a design that is tailored to the unique parameters of their space, preferences, and lifestyle is one of my favourite aspects of the design process, says Stefani. 'This home feels so much like Lauren and Ryan, and knowing my clients love the space as much as I do is always rewarding. '
Photography/ Jenna Peffley
Interior design/ Stefani Stein
Stefani Stein, stefanistein.com
Jennifer is the Digital Editor at Homes & Gardens. Having worked in the interiors industry for a number of years, spanning many publications, she now hones her digital prowess on the 'best interiors website' in the world. Multi-skilled, Jennifer has worked in PR and marketing, and the occasional dabble in the social media, commercial and e-commerce space. Over the years, she has written about every area of the home, from compiling design houses from some of the best interior designers in the world to sourcing celebrity homes, reviewing appliances and even the odd news story or two.
Can't get to Kips Bay? Visit this virtual showhouse any time you please
The Living by Design virtual showhouse returns for 2023; hosting 12 designers and eight sponsoring brands, it's the chance to see high end design from home
By Lucy Searle • Published
5 minutes with... interior designer Veere Grenney
Interior designer Veere Grenney explains how to decorate for the country, and why dark taupe (not brown) transcends all situations
By Rory Robertson • Published