California beach house

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.

Contemporary beach house

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.

Ocean view from the deck

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.

contemporary bathroom design

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.

contemporary coastal interior design

contemporary dining room

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