Name: Julie and Matt Stephenson
Location: Culver City, California
Size: 2900 square feet
Years Lived In: 6 months, owned
It’s no secret that sticking to a minimal color palette can help create a sense of order and cohesiveness in design. Inspired by the stark and minimal styles found in Brutalist architecture and Icelandic design, homeowners Matt and Julie fully committed to a strict black-and-white color scheme and it definitely paid off. They welcomed their first child, Van, in June of this year and their cool and collected home has a calming energy that seems ideal for adapting to family life.
Julie is the founder of the creative agency and stationery brand Well Received, whose striking minimalist aesthetic mimics that of her own high-contrast home. Although self-proclaimed “not interior designers,” Julie and her husband Matt worked with the home’s architect Bassenian Lagoni from concept to completion, exclusively decorating and designing the interior themselves.
Apartment Therapy Survey:
Our Style: Minimalist
Inspiration: Scandinavia, Iceland, Tadao Ando, Brutalist architecture, David Nash, local LA designers, clean lines, photographer Pia Ulin,
Favorite Element: The indoor/outdoor living and kitchen area where we can entertain/socialize with our friends and family
Biggest Challenge: Convincing our builders that we wanted black-stained cabinets, a black front door and black counter tops in the kitchen and our master bath. Everyone doubted us the whole way and then ended up loving the final product!
What Friends Say: That we did a really good job sticking to the minimal, black and white color scheme throughout the house and that the house is a direct reflection of our personal style and interests.
Biggest Embarrassment: When we had our pastor over for dinner and forgot to remove the Helmut Newton: Sumo coffee table book with the naked woman on the cover ☺
Proudest DIY: Conceptually the coffee table! We hand picked the slab at the marble yard, mapped out all the specs, how it would function and then found a great fabricator to actually build it.
For a real DIY – It would have been Matt’s herb garden, but I accidentally killed it while he was away on a business trip! Whoops!
Another favorite is our collage wall going up the stairs. We have collected that art for many years, just collecting as we travel, visit markets, share life experiences, etc
Biggest Indulgence: Our built-in wine cellar and Hans J. Wegner Elbow Chairs
Best Advice: We want to tell everyone…when designing your house, stick to the aesthetic that feels the most comfortable and the most “YOU.” A lot of people will have personal opinions on what you should do but stick to what YOU like.
Dream Sources: Iceland’s color palette, Ion Hotel in Iceland, Mar Adentro Hotel in Mexico, David Nash, Rick Owens, modern churches like the Rock Church in Finland, Tadao Ando church of Light in Japan, Heike concept store in China by An Interior Design Co, Louisiana Museum of Modern Art
PAINT & COLORS
Accent Walls in Master Bedroom & Bonus Room — Benjamin Moore Cape May Cobblestone (1474)
Baby’s Room – Dunn Edwards Black Tie (6357)
Leather/Fur Chair – Flag Halyard Chair from Rove Concepts
Cloud Sofa – Restoration Hardware
Coffee Table – Custom Soap Stone Coffee Table
Credenza – Refinished Danish Credenza from the 1950s
Rug – Restoration Hardware’s Nahla Rug in Style Fog
Custom portable cart (using as a changing table) – Harrington Garnero (Caeserstone top with powder coated steel base)
OUTDOOR LIVING ROOM
Couch and Chair – Stephen Kenn custom outdoor furniture
Table — Custom Charred Oak wood dining table with powder coated steel base by Harrington Garnero
Dining Chairs – Hans J. Wegner CH 20 Elbow Chair
Lighting – Daikon Studio 3 Branch Stilk Chandelier
Artwork – Commissioned art piece by Michael Wall
Crib – Kalon Studios Caravan Crib, Custom black and Raw wood combination
Dresser – Leander Linea Dresser from Scandinavia
Artwork — Mrs. Mighetto Mr. Jack print (sold out); Miniwilla Superhero print; Pony Ryder Wolf Pack Banner (Sold out); Cy Twombly Print
Little Pine & Co Play Gym – Scandi Inspired Playgym Set
Lego Storage Blocks
KAWS doll – limited edition
Monte Design Rocking Chair – Jackson