It seems only natural that someone who practices design full-time should have an amazing home—and Michael Stehlik is no exception. As a professional interior architect who leads his own self-named design practice and also acts as a design associate for Room & Board on the side, Stehlik boasts an impressive design pedigree that includes a master’s degree in architecture and a background in residential remodeling. It all shines through in the home he shares with his partner, media executive Justin Waller; since buying their Adams Morgan rowhouse in 2008, they’ve developed an eclectic, carefully curated look that skillfully blends eras and styles, combining gems like a midcentury tulip table and an antique Steinway piano with playfully masculine art and cheeky decor (check out that rhino head!).
We stopped by Stehlik and Waller’s home recently to take a peek at their ever-evolving aesthetic. Read on to hear more from Stehlik on his home, then click through the slideshow to see the tour.
Describe your design style.
Spaces should convey authenticity. Homes are individual canvases and should tell a story—a reflection of who lives in them. I build off of the individual style of my clients to create spaces that are functional, beautiful, and make them smile at home.
How has your style in your home evolved since you moved in?
The 1908 house has seen a lot in its day, from being first bought by the chief electrician of the US House of Representatives in the early 1900s to being sold at a tax sale in the 1960s. The home had good bones but needed substantial love. Nearly every room has been redone across the past five years, and the style of our home continues to be refined with each new piece of art, furniture, or found object. The home looks very different today than it did five years ago, and I expect it will look and feel very different five years from now.
What inspires your style?
I’m most inspired by seizing on serendipitous moments of great finds, whether on frequent travels or in one of my favorite local shops and markets. Curating great objects is part of the fun.
What’s your favorite piece in your home?
The green wingback chairs in the living room make me smile. In a fun way, they speak to how much I love to see classic and modern come together. Also, the piano, one of the first finds for the home, is an 1880s upright by Steinway. I love how it honors the era of the home.
Any favorite DIYs in your home?
We’ve done everything at least once—from demolishing 100-year-old tiled bathroom walls to repainting all the rooms. Our most recent DIY project is the painting on the garden wall, inspired by Josef Albers’s “Homage to the Square.”
Share your favorite local resources for great finds.
There are so many! I frequent Millennium, Good Wood, Room & Board, Miss Pixie’s, and Foundry. When feeling like a road trip, Home Anthology in Catonsville is a terrific resource.
How about those “if-money-were-no-object” resources?
Rarely do purchases come out of a catalog. I truly love the hunt—even better if what we find comes with its own life story.
What’s the next design project you want to tackle?
The house is constantly evolving, but a kitchen renovation is likely next!
Find Michelle Thomas on Twitter at @michellethomas4.
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