modern living + innovative design + inspiring ideas
Regina-Andrew Arc21" Metal Wall Sconce
“Love the polished finish on this light. The swing-arm style is perfect for the bedside.”
- T. Jackson, Interior Designer
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One of the most sought after locations to live is along the picturesque Pacific Coast of Southern California. Residences on either side of the Los Angeles Pacific Coast Highway easily qualify as "dream" homes and feature award winning architecture. The interiors deserve just as much praise, designed full of chic furnishings and beautiful accessories by talented designers. Let's take a look at just a few of these smart and sophisticated structures overlooking the Pacific.
The Blair Home (above), designed by Architect Bruce Bolander, sits on top of the Malibu hills with breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean. Concrete and steel are the ideal building materials for this contemporary structure, while minimal furnishings keeps the space cool and open.
Some of these swanky coastal homes don't sit on the edge of a cliff, yet still offer a bit of paradise. Malibu West tract homes provide the ideal mid-century modern dwelling for a more understated way of life in this luxurious neighborhood. According to the L.A. Times article, the 200 structures were designed in both traditional and contemporary styles to give the buyer an option, but architects Nisan Matlin and Eugene Dvoretzky favored their contemporary designs. They referred to the open space plans as Post and Beam construction.
The exterior architecture is not the only eye-catching element of these beautiful PCH homes. This modern living room overlooking the Pacific provides a chic yet comfortable retreat for its celebrity owner. The modern floor lamp will clearly only need to be used during the evening hours because there is no shortage of natural light here.
It's hard not to get distracted while driving along the PCH with amazing sites on both sides of the highway. So, next time you are in the area, park your car and take a nice bike ride around this amazing neighborhood that stretches for several miles. There will be no shortage of striking architecture and you will undoubtedly set your dreams in motion.
Images: Homedit, L.A. Times, Jabuhu, Cardilas
Designer Steve Lazar entered the world of residential design as he believes anyone should - as a ditch digger - learning and perfecting the many facets of home building, including the marriage between designing and building. He now runs the successful Lazar design/build firm which focuses on innovation and artful living in Southern California.
Growing up near the ocean, and as an avid surfer and craftsman, Steve Lazar has always been inspired by coastal architecture. His latest home, The Lifeguard Tower, captures the nostalgia of the iconic lifeguard stands with a whimsical nod to contemporary California beach living. The home relies on an influx of natural light during the day and strategically placed track and spotlighting at night to highlight the impressive architectural detailing. Three trapezoidal structures, one atop the other, picturesque "look-out" points with panoramic ocean views, and clever subterranean parking make this inspiring residence an instant icon among the many incredible Pacific Coast homes.
Euro Style Home: Tell us about your inspiration for The Lifeguard Tower residence and how you were able to bring your ideas to life.
Steve Lazar: I was raised on the East Coast and always had an image in my mind of that East Coast style lifeguard tower. After I stumbled onto my career choice, I sketched many renditions of the image and the design constantly changed. Once this plot of dirt became available in Hermosa Beach, it was an easy choice because of the corner lot and grade change.
Euro Style Home: Which element of this eclectic design is your favorite?
Steve Lazar: My favorite element of the house among many has to be the vertical glass transition that connects the weathered barnwood building to the contemporary front of the house. That particlular element was also the most difficult to not only conceptualize, but also to fabricate. Constant hands on engagement, from framing to finish, was necessary to fulfill that feature.
Euro Style Home: When designing a themed house, often times the finished product can become tacky and overstated. What advice do you have for other designers to keep these homes fresh and inspiring like the Lifeguard Tower?
Steve Lazar: I am a firm believer in "less is more," clean lines, and repetition, all coupled with function. Again, constant hands-on engagement was vital to strike a balance for this and all of my creations.
Euro Style Home: What do you love most about designing in a contemporary style?
Steve Lazar: What I find most fulfilling, and at the same time challenging, with contemporary design is balancing how much to do and still manage to maintain something that will be a timeless classic.
Euro Style Home: Of all the homes you have designed, which is your absolute favorite?
Steve Lazar: Each and every project that I do, no matter how big or how small, always is my favorite project.
Images: Lazar design/build
When building a modern home in Manhattan Beach, Michael Lee Architects are the ones to make your vision a reality. They did just that for the Kim Family as they maximized the square footage on this small corner lot and captured views from every angle imaginable! This 4-story home opens up on every level to let the fresh air and the light penetrate through creating a treehouse-like effect. The windows on the top level pocket into the walls on all sides which allows the home to be completely open to the ocean air while the glass railing makes you to feel like you're floating out into the ocean.
See Materials, a West Hollywood showrom and interior design firm, designed the interior and provided all the finish materials for this amazing residence. The fireplace wall is a main feature on the upper level and See Materials was sure to address the feature wall like it was a work of art. The floating Caesarstone base suspends across the room and acts as a platform for the remaining elements on this wall. The walnut components storage from Pianca hides all of the entertainment components in a clean and elegant manner. The tall white laquer units frame the television while keeping the lines sleek and clean without compromising on storage. I'd love to relax in this simple and elegant space where the fireplace and the stars sparkle together!
This gorgeous "Mood" Kitchen, from Scavolini, in a gunmetal gray matte laquer combined with the white glossy laquer flows into this open plan with ease. Furniture-like in its aesthetic and chef-like in it's function, the kitchen becomes a primary feature of the house. Sharing an upper level with the living room, this is by far the most used room of the house. The porcelain tiles look and feel like concrete, but the radiant heating provides the warmth, coziness, and practicality this home needs. The Kim's love Mid-Century furniture so this Saarinen table, chairs and the bubble lamp are the perfect pieces to soften up these clean modern lines. The Kim's debated on whether or not to add bold color in this room through the use of chairs. If they had gone this route these S Chairs in red could've been a great addition!
When these beautiful sliding walnut doors open, the ocean view awaits. You can sit and soak in this undermount tub and look at the stars reflecting off the water! Porcelain tiles resembling a vein-cut marble, a solid color Italian porcelain floor, and the natural walnut combine perfectly to create a spa-like feel in this open master bathroom. You can't go wrong with the clean lines and soft edges of these modern Italian bathroom vanities.
Float down these stairs...
...and let this natural stone lead you from the indoors, out. Layers of natural walnut, concrete, stone, and laquer combine throughout this interior to make this modern coastal living masterpiece feel warm and organic.
Hope you've had a great tour of the Kim's Modern Manhattan Beach Residence. A vacation awaits as you step outside this door. This is coastal living at its best!
If you have ever longed for the coastal aesthetic in your home because of its casual sensibility and natural energy, but you were afraid that your modern heart may get hurt, you should know that you can have both and create a modern beach home. No matter what decor style you may want or even a combination of more than one, there are certain steps you need to follow and guidelines to work with. Once you have a simple understanding of these, you can achieve any look you want for you home, even coastal-chic.
Notice in the "mood" board above, not only are the furniture and accessory items important, but there is also a color theme. The color palette is pastel: blue, pink, mint, yellow and gray. Whether you are redesigning your home or creating your look from scratch, your first step should be colors. From your color concept you can begin to select furniture and accessories.
Start with the larger pieces of the room and work around them, so try to select the sofa and main seating area first. Coastal furniture is typically fresh, oversized and comfortable. The fabrics are usually simple, seen mostly in pale colors, all-white or stripes. Slip covers are also a big trend in coastal design. Typically, modern furniture is not oversized and is usually not comfy. When combining styles like modern and coastal, all you need to do is strike a balance between the two. Make sure the structure of the furniture is modern so try to shop for a comfortable sofa, but one that has straighter lines in the arms, back and feet.
Now, onto windows and accessories. When selecting your window treatment, make sure to keep it light and easy. The last thing you want is heavy drapery covering up a spectacular seaside view. Also notice the wall accessory in the image above. This beautiful mirror is fresh, modern and even resembles the sun. It's perfect for maintaining a style goal without making this home too thematic. Selecting both colors and natural materials that mimic the environment will help you create your beach home.
This buffet is whitewashed and antiqued, but notice the lines of the furniture are what keep it modern. The soft gray tone works perfectly with the wood paneling throughout this house. Keep you accessories fresh, like the white vase and delicate light fixture. Similar to most modern homes, minimal and open will help you achieve the coastal look you want.
This bedroom is simple and comfortable with modern furniture selections as well as typical beachy accessories. Stripe is a popular beach home pattern so try to incorporate it either in the furniture or area rugs. The window covering is just enough to block out some of the light so you can sleep, but not too much so you forget where you are. Lastly, the pale blue walls and fluffy white bedding resemble the ocean.
This room does a great job of tying it all together. Modern, yet comfortable furniture featured in pastel colors set against natural wood tones. The accessories and window treatments are light and simple. This space is perfect for lounging and taking in the seaside views.
Don't be afraid to try a combination of styles in your home, there are never any set rules keeping you from enjoying more than one at a time. So follow your modern heart to the beach and create your own personal oasis.
Images: House Beautiful
This gorgeous work of art stiuated in Echo Park is a modern model house built by Sunia Homes, a new company focused on building sustainable and affordable residencies in California. The architectural design, building materials and the furnishings create a sophisticated yet relaxed environment. What makes Sunia homes even more special is that they allow their clients to live a more sustainable lifestyle without needing a large budget to do so. Besides their good looks, each Sunia home includes solar panels, grey and rainwater harvesting systems, a wood pellet stove, a garden to grow your own fruit, vegetables and herbs, and bamboo flooring.
The simple materials like concrete flooring, natural woods and stainless steel keep the costs and the modern decor to a minimum, allowing for more open and useful space. In this kitchen/living room area, the contemporary light fixtures and ceiling fan accent the space beautifully without dominating. The fan also helps maintain that simpler lifestyle by cooling the home with natural air.
Simple furnishings, open shelving and natural wood finishes allow the food to take center stage in this kitchen. As mentioned above, a garden to grow your own fruit, vegetables and herbs is provided with each home promoting an organic lifestyle.
Some of the decor, whether designed with the enviroment in mind or not, has a very cool and simple aesthetic. This piping used for hanging clothes is a hot trend right now and can be seen a lot and used with shelving units. There's even DIY's out there using this style of piping as inspiration.
The dark framing around the windows is of course functional in this sustainable home, but also the contrast looks great. This contrast paired with minimal yet colorful accents help this modern style decor come together perfectly.
Smart architecture not only frames the landscape perfectly, but will benefit the homeowners as well as everyone living around them. Hopefully more home builders will begin moving in this direction. Sunia Homes is proving that sustainable living doesn't have to break the bank and it can look really hot!
Images: Apartment Therapy
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