Originally published in Design O.C.
Surrounded by vegetation and overlooking the ocean, this secluded home reflects the owners’ love for modernism, nature and music.
Once part of a botanical garden, the lot on which this two-story house is located has the best of what Laguna Beach offers. Close to the ocean, but at the same time protected from the hustle and bustle, the 4,500-square-foot family residence was originally built in 1961 by renowned architect J. Herbert Brownell “to be suited to the physical environment, honestly expressing the use of simple materials, dramatic, warm in feeling and designed to function well for the intended purpose.”
Last year, Graham Architecture and Lucas Design Associates joined forces—for architecture and interior design, respectively—to adapt the house to its new owners. The couple, who have two young adult children, have a second home in Kauai, and aimed to reflect both their personalities and passions throughout the home while preserving the character of the original structure. “Our clients wanted to create a home that felt casual and showcased their love of nature, travel and modernist architecture,” says David Lucas, founding partner and creative director at Lucas Design Associates.
Remodeled with the objective of highlighting the dwellers’ collection of antique rugs, Indonesian wooden screens and antiques, the four-bedroom home goes against Southern California norms by featuring a dark palette. Textures were added through oak floors and cabinetry, natural stone patterned with fossils and blackened cedar combined with burnished concrete blocks and custom back-painted glass.
“We worked closely with the architect, Carlton Graham, and the clients to maintain the integrity of the existing floor plan, and intentionally kept the intimate scale of the home,” says David.
Inspired by the owners’ visits to the Schindler House and Eames House (in Los Angeles), the makeover of the four-bedroom house included the transformation of the indoor pool pavilion into a spacious master bedroom suite, the design of a custom 14-seat dining room table to comfortably host family and the preference for an indoor/outdoor living style. For example, the courtyard is now fit for spontaneous dance parties and entertaining.
Inside, everything was chosen to align with the owners’ taste, interests and personal experiences, including the many midcentury furniture pieces and the Quadraflex mono speaker from the 1950s, echoing the couple’s love for music. “You’re able to find well-designed, high-quality pieces that are full of character yet are made of simple, comfortable materials that are not overly styled or gaudy,” says Suzie Lucas, founding partner and lead designer at Lucas Design Associates. “We focused on integrating nature-inspired elements and modern accents in order to create a retreat for our clients, a sort of safe sanctuary immersed in a picturesque landscape,” David adds. lucasinterior.com
Lucas Design Associates, Images by Aaron Leitz