Destined to Design


Stefani Stein embraces her childhood calling to design amazing spaces

The beautiful deep hue Nori by Portola Paints & Glazes complements the soft, custom area rug made by Apadana Fine Rugs. Photography by Dan Arnold.

FROM A VERY YOUNG AGE it was inevitable that LA-based designer Stefani Stein was going to be a designer. As a child she would spend countless hours drawing up floor plans. This passion led her to enroll in UCLA’s architecture and interior design program, which was diverted by her parents because of concerns that their daughter needed a more practical career path.

In the master bedroom, Stein covered a cozy Edmund Bed from Lawson-Fenning in Stroheim fabric. Photography by Dan Arnold.

“I regretted not following my passion, and when I realized life was too short for regrets, I decided to pursue what I loved,” says Stein. She soon left her corporate position and took a job with a successful design mentor who inspired her to embark on her own journey to start a firm.

The Studio, by Donald S. Vogel, 1964, oil on canvas hangs in the master bedroom. Photography by Dan Arnold.

Inspired by fashion and design greats including Charlotte Perriand, Christian Dior, Syrie Maugham, David Whitcomb, Josef Hoffmann, Koloman Moser, Billy Baldwin and Carla Venosta, her work presents a harmonious blend of styles with an acute attention to detail. It was this force of raw talent that encouraged a newly engaged couple to enlist Stein to transform their Cape Cod-style home into a modern, sultry space. “The clients’ own preferences were actually quite a contrast with the architectural style of the home,” comments Stein. “The husband, who is originally from England, was drawn to classic British colors and earthy hues and wasn’t as into trendy designs, while the wife preferred pieces with ’70s lines, a glamorous touch and youthful feeling.”

Onna Sisal
in black by Schumacher adds rich texture in the master bedroom. Photography by Dan Arnold.

In order to create a balanced project that represented both of their styles, Stein kept the white millwork and complemented it with darker-toned walls, bold textiles and textures in the master bedroom, dining room and living room spaces. An eclectic mix of vintage and ’70s-inspired furniture fill each room with rich warmth and personality while ebonized and cerused oak finishes ground any hint of glam. The designer notes, “This posed a fun and interesting challenge in creating balanced spaces that delivered on their requests.”