Birch Residence is a two story modern pad designed by Griffin Enright Architects, located on a flat, semi-urban site in the design district of Los Angeles, California. The entire house opens and a pool extends the geometry of the curved skylight. The elegantly designed home is comprised of 4,600 square feet of living space showcasing stunning vistas to the city and landscape beyond.
According to the architect, “the residence is compact, yet designed to create a sense of expanded volume. A double story central volume curves through the house, creating extended views and maximizing daylight from the skylight and sunshade above. A sculptural stair punctuates the sinuous movement of the house, while a glass bridge reconnects the two wings of the upstairs. An elegant palette of contrasting materials contributes to the expansive feeling of this home. The backyard has a courtyard feel and a curved pool echoes the form of the central volume drawing attention through the house.”
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The pool extends the lines of the house and skylight beyond.
The master bedroom deck cantilevers over an outdoor room.
The master bedroom deck extends the space of the the room.
A stepped path leads to an entry into an open hall.
The curved skylight brings natural light to the center of the home.
The stair is sculpted to create varied spaces around it.
The Living room orients itself around a fireplace that is slotted into a window.
The open kitchen has an onyx counter on the island that is lit from behind at night.
The curve of the hallway creates a dynamic living room space.
A view from the landing seeing into the backyard.
Natural light animates the space.
The pool comes into the house.
The home extends vertically and horizontally.
The curved skylight follows the path of the sun.
The wood floor is carried up the wall to create an elegant master bedroom.
An expansive mirror brings the view of a Sycamore tree deep into the bathroom.
The pool extends into the backyard where it becomes a waterfall element.
The shade canopy lights up to compliment other ambient qualities of light incorporated into the project.
A concealed projector creates an elegant ambiance in this incredible living space.
Photos: Benny Chan Fotoworks & Art Gray
Lake Tahoe Residence was designed by Chelsea Sachs Design for a couple living in San Francisco wishing to create an idyllic vacation retreat in the woods near Lake Tahoe, California. After years of looking for the perfect home, they decided that what they really wanted was to start from scratch and to find the perfect land, then to build on it. One day, they finally found it in a plot that backed up to a nature preserve and a beautiful, winding stream. The land was within walking distance to the lake and was nestled in a grove of beautiful pine trees. Designing this house from the ground up, my clients and I got to create and then to build the perfect vacation home for their family’s needs, and as a designer, I have never been more inspired or thrilled with the process and the result.
Elements: I believe that the most important material part of interior design is the floor — it is the base that supports the rest of the elements in the room. My clients felt strongly about having a dark floor and we sourced wide and beautiful oak planks from Restoration Timber in San Francisco. Next I came across a complementary stone called “Montana Moss Rock,” and once we had these two elements locked down, the rest of our design scheme came to life.
Approach: My clients wanted a modern home, but they also wanted a comfortable and warm mountain retreat. The intentional and edited application of barn wood paneling throughout the interior of the house achieved this affect. The wood came from dismantled barns in Indiana, and it made the home feel weathered and warm. We used it on the fireplace column, on a few ceilings, on the accent walls, and on the entire exterior of the house. We had a very rich palette already with the dark oak floors and wood panelling, so we designed our built ins throughout the house in a walnut that was only slightly stained to reveal the true nature of the wood. The result was a palette that was layered and rich but not overwhelming.
Materials: I then moved on to the tile selections which ranged from a soft and beautifully veined limestone in the kitchen, to a metallic ceramic in the foyer. I had Blue Slide Art Tile make a gorgeous clay tile for the kids’ bath. The master bath was designed as a wet room and has no shower enclosure. We used a beautiful ceramic recycled content tile in a large format from floor to ceiling on most of the walls. In the rest of the home, the drywall finish, wallpaper selections, concrete fireplace, floating staircase details, hardware, custom cabinetry, beam treatments and window valences were all painstakingly selected.
Details: My absolute favorite element of this job was the lighting selection. We used Mizu glass pendants by Terzani in the foyer to mimic the rippling water found in the creek behind the house. I then paired them with two Saggina chrome chandeliers over the dining room table which mimicked the tree branches outside.
Inspiration: Nothing inspired this work more than the natural beauty of the Lake Tahoe area and the land that we built upon. My clients wanted their home to look as if had organically grown up from the land. We found rock that looked like it had been quarried right out their front door, wood that appeared to have been split off the bark in the surrounding trees, and concrete that matched the rock boulders surrounding the lake.
Journey: Building on raw land takes patience and it provides you with a great education. What began as drawings and inspiration boards came to life over the course of two years. When I first set foot on this property, I walked with one of my clients down to the stream and we picked up rocks and bark and leaves that I then brought home with me and kept on my desk throughout the entire design phase to remind me of what mattered most: a design scheme that was in harmony with the natural environment.
Photos: Peter Medilek
Ellis Residence is a new single family home designed in a warm contemporary style in 2014 by McClean Design, located in Laguna Beach, California. The clients wanted to move to a smaller home now that their children had moved out and chose a street to street lot high on a hill overlooking Laguna Beach and its famous beaches. The beauty of this sensational 3,500 square foot property is that views are available from both levels.
A key issue was trying to decide where to locate parking and entry. There was early opposition from the local review board which led to a split solution where parking is taken from the street below with guests entering from above. The garage can be reached by staircase or elevator ensuring that the house will continue to work for our clients as they grow older.
Removing the garage from the upper street allowed us to create an attractive garden for the kitchen to look out on. The entryway is reached by a staircase that traverses a water feature before the view is revealed. The house is designed for the couple to live mainly on one level which has the master bedroom sharing the top floor with the primary living spaces while guest rooms, an office, and storage are created below.
Photos: Jim Bartsch Photographer
Lake Tahoe Residence was designed by Turnbull Griffin Haesloop as a gathering place for an extended family of four adult sisters and their parents, located on the eastern side of Lake Tahoe, California. The family once shared a unique lakefront compound designed by William Wurster and they wanted the new house to recall their fond summer memories and incorporate their knowledge of the Tahoe microclimate.
Sited on the footprint of a 1950s house and garage, the main house and guest house nestle in among existing pine and fir trees and form a wind-protected courtyard that opens up to the forested hill beyond. Both houses look out across a meadow to views of Lake Tahoe through a stand of mature trees that flows up through the site. The interior features many sustainable materials, including reclaimed oak floors and recycled glass counter tops. The natural materials on the exterior – log columns, cedar shingles and a zinc roof – help the houses merge into the landscape of the high Sierra.
We believe architecture is primarily concerned with establishing a “sense of place,” inspired by the uniqueness of each site and each client. Since the concept for each of our buildings is rooted in its environment, we are particularly attentive to topography, microclimate, vegetation and solar orientation. We listen carefully to the aspirations and requirements of our clients. — Turnbull Griffin Haesloop
Photos: Courtesy of Turnbull Griffin Haesloop
This Los Angeles, California ranch house was designed by Janette Mallory Interior Design, perched on a hill in Mount Olympus, a neighborhood in the Hollywood Hills. It has incredible views of the Hollywood sign, downtown Los Angeles and the ocean. The classic 1950s ranch was worn and outdated, but Mallory’s clients saw past that. It had a wonderful layout, which the clients decided they wanted updated, but left the floor plan the same.
The couple wanted the 4,000 square feet (371 square meters) four bedroom, four bathroom house to be contemporary and rustic. The vision fit with how the house already was — it had all the rustic elements of a classic ranch with a twist of midcentury style. Playing on that, the designer produced a transitional look that incorporated the owner’s love of collecting and art. The space itself is furnished with a mix of classic, colonial, rustic and midcentury pieces — a similar stylistic brew that might have been found in many ranchers in the early 1950s.
Although the layout and the indoor–outdoor nature of the home were carefully preserved, many of the tired finishes had to be replaced. The cabinet is a replica of an antique, and it houses the couple’s collection of vessels. Throughout the house, furniture and accessories are large and simple, making for a graphic decorative statement. In this cabinet, the designer included natural elements such as corals, shells and ammonites.
The living room is separated from the dining room and kitchen by a pony wall (you can just see the top of the abstract painting that hangs over the sofa peeking above it). Before the remodel, this shot would not have been possible, as the breakfast room was separated from the dining room by a floor-to-ceiling wall.
The dining room table has oversize ladder back chairs on the sides and upholstered chairs at each end. The designer thought too many wooden chairs would make it feel heavy. The upholstered chairs help to soften things up a bit.
The family room is topped by another classic ranch house feature: A wood-paneled ceiling and exposed rafters. They were dirty and in bad shape yet the designer and the owners didn’t want to paint them, choosing to sandblast and refinish them instead. The statement ceiling is balanced by a floor crafted from reclaimed walnut.
In another classic midcentury move, the family room contained a wet bar. The owners chose to preserve it, and the designer gave it a new limestone top and accessories to freshen it up. The clients like to entertain a lot, so it made sense to keep it. The designer chose to front it with incredibly comfortable chairs, making bellying up to the bar a relaxing experience. A giant antique hourglass and a vintage hotel sign advertising “dining, coffee and cocktails” decorate one end of the bar; while a new metal-and-wood shelf displays select bottles behind it.
In the master bedroom, the designer started with the bed. She wanted to keep it simple and clean-lined. The designer put a chair on either side of the bed for her current event-loving clients. Each one has a place to sit and enjoy their coffee and newspaper.
The master bedroom already had a corner glass window, designed to embrace a swoon-inducing view. The designer selected this tub because you can select your own color for the exterior. She did not want a stark white tub there.
The elegant tub is positioned perfectly to enjoy the landscape — giving new meaning to the phrase “soak in the view.”
Photos: Courtesy of Janette Mallory Interior Design
The Flight House is a modern interpretation of a mountain home designed by Sage Architecture, set in the Martis Camp development in the high Sierras of Truckee, California. The clients were long‐time lovers of modern architecture, with a particular affinity for mid-century modern design. This home was meant to be a place to get away from the city life, get back to nature, and “play together” as a family. The architects named the home, “Flight House” to reflect the concept of escape but also because of the curving roof lines.
This is not your typical log cabin. Nor is it your typical square edged box‐like modern house or “A” frame. Instead, the home is graced by two large arching wing‐shaped roofs to shelter the main living space and bedroom areas. The two wings of the home offer very different experiences with the surrounding environment. In the main living space, the great room is slab‐on‐grade with a polished concrete floor that extends to the outside and feels “grounded”.
The bedroom wing “takes flight” off the land – as the terrain gently slopes down, the building gradually steps up, culminating in a floating 3‐sided glass box in the master suite for a tree house experience. The entry to the home is defined by a third smaller curved roof structure, sheltering visitors and creating a softly defined separation between the outdoor courtyard space situated on the front, sunny exposure side of the home and the street beyond.
All the roof structures are created with huge curved glu‐lam beams. Because we place a large emphasis on passive solar design in our homes, the exterior gathering space wanted to be on the front side of the house to gain the best southern exposure. A deep overhang at the main gathering space creates a second protected outdoor gathering space, while shielding the home from the hotter summer sun.
In the winter, when the sun dips lower in the sky, the sun penetrates into the inner spaces and with the polished concrete floor acting as a heat sink, absorbs this natural heat to warm the space. Overall, the home is heated with energy efficient radiant flooring. And there is no air conditioning. Instead, windows are strategically placed to allow cross ventilation through spaces for natural breezes.
Inside the home, spaces are left clean and unadorned to emphasize the sweeping curve of the roof when possible. As visitors travel down the gallery hall to the main living space, a series of cedar‐clad boxes sit within the larger space where the glu‐lam beams rise above. In terms of materials, the exterior is clad in stained cedar siding and Corten steel.
An emphasis was placed on low maintenance materials. The roof is a combination of standing seamed metal roofing where visible, but the majority of the home’s roof is actually a single ply membrane “cool roof” for better energy efficiency in the warmer summer months.
We selected a muted natural palette for the interior spaces, using woods in their natural colorations with no tinting or stains. The floors in the elevated wing of the house are sustainably harvested teak. Walls and ceilings are clad in cedar. And all cabinetry throughout is walnut. Other wall surfaces were painted a crisp white to function as gallery space for our clients’ art collection.
Light fixtures and tile products were all selected and placed to emphasize the long horizontal lines of the building and to pick up the mid-century modern vibe our clients loved.
This home puts a modern twist on what a mountain home should be. We were fortunate to work with clients who could see the sculptural beauty in the design and wanted to create a piece of art in the forest. Flight House was the result of marrying modern design with a mountain environment, with a little drama thrown in for good measure.
Photos: Vance Fox Photography
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