When asked to describe her style, Julie Van Daele doesn't hesitate: "minimal and monochrome" she beams. From her sleek wardrobe to her striking home, this creative consultant and founder of über stylish stationery line, Well Received lives and breathes the stripped back and classic aesthetic. And while in theory that sounds a little cold and stark, in reality, it's anything but. Her hue of choice might be black and white (with a peppering of gray thrown in), but Van Daele's home invites you in like a big warm hug, which is the exact sentiment she was aiming for.
"Our goal with the house was to create an environment that was a direct reflection of my husband and me," she tells MyDomaine. "We're obviously fans of a minimal aesthetic, but we still wanted it to feel warm and inviting." A recent feature in Rue Magazine showcasing the home shows that the couple has done just that. From the minute the young family (their baby boy is just 10-weeks old) purchased the teardown, the interior design began. From collecting artwork to purchasing rugs on overseas trips, the pair used the time it took to build the house wisely and prepped each room with carefully considered pieces.
Ahead, Van Daele shares her style notes for each space along with tips on where to purchase the pieces to get this minimal, monochrome look at home.
You're welcomed into the dark side as soon as you step into the living room, thanks to the cozy cloud sofa from Restoration Hardware. It was the first big purchase when they started building the house. "We fell in love with the cozy warmth of the couch," she says. "We knew the black color could come off as stark and uninviting, but then the look and crazy-comfortable feel of the couch totally warmed up the space."
But the real hero of the room is the custom black-and-white soapstone coffee table. Interior designer David John Dick of Disc Interiors gave her insider details on where to find the soapstone slab. From there, she worked with a local fabricator in L.A. to bring it to life.
Every single piece in the house has a purpose or a specific design element that it brings to the space. This Flag Halyard classic lounge chair is a stylish respite for the busy mom.
Figuring out the color scheme was the "easy part" of the whole building and design process. "For years we have loved a Scandinavian and Japanese aesthetic (think Tadao Ando when I say Japanese), so when we were finally able to build, we knew that the color scheme would be black, white, and gray with some added warmth throughout the space," she says.
While there are always challenges when entering such a massive project, Van Daele tells us the biggest hurdle had more to do with their aesthetic choices than anything else. "Probably telling people over and over we were committed to black cabinets and black countertops in our kitchen," she laughs. "I think we had almost everyone (family, contractors, builders) second-guess us on that one. But we are so happy, and everyone that fought us ended up really liking it." It pays to stay true to what you love.
When we said no room was left unturned, we meant it. Even the powder room has original artwork by Hannah Lemholt and marble detailing on the vanity.
With a 10-week-old baby and a business to run, this is where Van Daele takes a time out to soak away the busy day. And we want in.
Jason Wu for Brizo Single-Handle Freestanding Tub Filler (price upon request)
The home is filled with original artwork that Van Daele and her husband collected from around the world. "We love collecting pieces from every place we travel," she says. "So, in addition to local L.A. artists like Tasya Van Ree and Langley Fox, we also have pieces from Copenhagen, Sweden, Cambodia, Australia, and more." This piece is by Australian artist Kerry Armstrong.
Kerry Armstrong Because It Lives in My Head Girl on Wire Series (price upon request)
Before the first nail was even hammered down, the couple started planning the interior. "Is it bad that we've been designing and buying things for our house before we ever even bought it?" The first thing they bought was the rug in her office. "We were on our honeymoon in Turkey in 2014 and loved the rug," she says. "We didn't have anywhere to put it at the time, but we said, one day it will be perfect for our house." And it is.
A lot of the art pieces on their collage wall and throughout the home were pieces the couple already owned before they started building. "We used to live in a one-bedroom apartment, so we never had enough room to hang them all," she says.
If she had to play favorites, the combined kitchen/dining and indoor/outdoor living room would be at the top of her list. "Growing up, whether it was just my family of six or a group of friends that would come over, we always gravitated toward hanging out in the kitchen," she recalls. "I am so grateful to finally have this large, communal space that invites guests to get cozy, grab a glass of wine, and just hang."
The real beauty of this home is in the abundance of natural light. The sun layered in over the top of the black, white, and gray tones makes you feel instant warmth and happiness. "A friend asked me if living here was starting to feel like my 'new normal,'" she says. "I laughed and said, 'absolutely not!' It took a village to get us to this point, and every day I consider this a gift. It's definitely not my new normal. Also, now that I have a 10-week-old baby, my house never looks this picture-perfect, nor do I think it ever will again."
How would you design your dream house if you could build it from scratch? Head to the latest issue of Rue Magazine to more interior design inspiration.