From The Ground Up With Julie Van Daele
Julie Van Daele’s foray into interior design is proof that one should never pass up an opportunity. The founder of Well Received began her career in New York, working in public relations and marketing, but always harbored a passion for art and design. After relocating to California and building her dream home, Julie instinctively pivoted into the interiors industry, where she has become renowned as much for her warm personality as her textural aesthetic. We spoke to the designer about being authentic in life and work, and interweaving her personal style into the homes of clients.
Styling by Lisa Rowe
Photography by Sam Frost
What were you like as a child? Do you come from a creative family?
When I was young, I was shy, tender and moody. I was often nervous to try new things or be too far from home. I eventually grew out of my moody toddler tendencies, but not until I was 21 did I decide to take a big leap, leave all that I knew and move to New York. It was there that I came to really understand my interests, passions and better understand who Julie is.
Re: my family, none of us are “creatives” so to speak. Everyone has taken a more traditional path.
You have had such an interesting career arc, starting off in public relations before segueing into design. How did you know that the world of interiors was for you?
Funnily enough, the world of interiors fell in my lap. I had always been interested in fashion, design, architecture and travel, and had started a very “architecturally-driven” line of stationery/greeting cards, called Well Received. In 2015, my husband and I got the opportunity to build our home from the ground up, and I began sharing the process on Instagram, because it tied into some of my stationery inspirations and designs.
Fast forward to 2017, with a 3-month-old baby, someone in New York reached out to me on Instagram and asked me to design their apartment. I told them I had no formal experience, but if they liked my aesthetic, I could do it! And that was the beginning of Well Received, the design studio!
You’re known for your impeccable personal style. Do you think your taste in fashion has any bearing on your aesthetic as an interior designer?
Yes – to me, I strive to have Well Received as a business be an extension of who I am as a person, so that there is a real genuineness, clear vision and continuity.
Give us a little insight into your design process. From initial meetings to breaking ground and beyond, what aspect do you enjoy most?
From a design perspective, my favorite part is the install – when you see all your hard work come together!!
From a personal perspective, I love the fact that almost all of my clients become friends. This business doesn’t feel transactional to me.
We were so excited to see your latest project revealed. What was your vision for this beautiful Santa Monica home? How does it reflect the way your clients want to live?
This client gave me almost complete control and we shared a lot of the same aesthetics. We also shared a similar place in life, both raising kids, working and trying to make a home feel peaceful and warm, so everything felt so easy. It was like I was designing a home for myself.
In terms of design visions – warm, textured and unique.
What were some favorite standout pieces that you sourced?
I am obsessed with the Paul Matter chandelier in their dining room. I also love their TRNK custom sofa and the art from Tappan Collective and Homebody LA.
I would be lying, if I also didn’t say that the Armadillo rugs totally made both rooms, especially the green rug [Agra in Artichoke]. When I presented it, she was shocked she liked it, but I feel that it totally makes their family room all come together, with a subtle bit of “pop”.
On Instagram you’ve shared before and after images of various rooms. What transformations have struck you the most?
I think the family room was the biggest transformation. We took it to the next level with Roman Clay by Portola, which changed the entire feel of the room.
We’re fortunate to have had our rugs featured in a few of your projects. What considerations are front of mind when you are choosing a rug for a space?
Quality, price and [a] unique design.
You’ve made your mark living, and working on projects, on both coasts. What excites you about the design scene in Los Angeles versus New York City?
I have absolutely loved the support and willingness to help from the design community on both coasts. I have so many interior design friends that are happy to share a source, advise on fees or encourage me when I’m totally doubting myself!
You juggle many things, including a young family. What’s keeping you inspired and creatively stimulated these days?
Travel! It is truly life-giving for me to be able to step away, stop for a moment to observe techniques, furniture or art and simply be in a place that is not as chaotic and fast moving as my current life.