This warm and family friendly modern home is located in Venice Beach, California, designed by studio Minarc. The Horwitz residence is a 4,500 square foot, six-bedroom, two-story home featuring soaring ceilings and enormous planes of uncurtained windows that give sweeping outdoor views from every room in the house, including the bathrooms. To soften right angles and lack of architectural ornamentation, the designers kept many of the materials warm and organic-feeling. They applied richly patterned, burnt oak floors in most of the ground floor areas, and even wrapping up onto the walls in the family and living rooms. The effect was to trick the eye to give it a sense of not knowing when the floor ends and when the wall begins. They designed around many of the property’s original sycamore and magnolia trees, creating a space that feels protected by foliage, not barren of it.
When it came to the orientation of the house, the architect’s goal was to create natural ventilation and keep the bad afternoon sun out of it while still getting tons of light. The result of such a high-functioning, form-pleasing space is that the owner’s do in fact spend much of their time in the command center of the kitchen/dining area. Homework is done while dinner is cooking, and swimming, TV watching and relaxing can all happen simultaneously in different areas that are nevertheless linked by carefully planned sight lines. A heated patio and fireplace for outdoor dining maximizes indoor/outdoor living. There is solar thermal radiant floor heating throughout the house.
Every common area throughout the home has more than one point of entry to encourage effortless flow and the few doors that are found on the ground floor were installed by the owners, not included in the original design. They wished for privacy on the bathrooms and master bedroom, but they wanted the rest of the home to have a feeling of water flowing freely down a river and hitting rocks to keep it moving. The overall effect of such openness allows the clients to see and hear their kids almost all the time. The master bedroom is located on the ground floor, and the four children’s bedrooms are all on the second floor, for privacy. Magnetic chalkboard sliders in the play area outside and paperboard sliders in the kids’ rooms transform the house itself into a medium for children’s artistic expression.
A disappearing 40-foot window extends along the kitchen/dining/family room to encourage effortless outdoor access.
The downstairs powder room wraps the burnt oak floors up the wall to play with the viewer’s sense of perspective.
From the backyard swimming pool, almost the entire house is visible, including the kitchen/dining area/family area, the living room and master suite.
In the living room area, burnt oak floors wrap all the way up the wall.
A steel staircase that leads from the kitchen to the upstairs area helps keep the light flowing into the downstairs.
The master bath is big enough for the family’s four children and three dogs. The room looks out onto the front courtyard area.