Spanish Bungalow

Project :Crestmore, Venice

Situated in Venice, this bungalow is part of the original row houses built in the 40’s when people from Hollywood came to the beach in search of sun. It was full of nooks and crannies which we immediately opened up.

I first saw the front door at a Vintage shop in Los Angeles and instantly fell in love. It was perfect. The door handle came from hours of scouring through hardware bins all the way out in Arcadia. Collectors would come from all over to find treasures.

We used an awning to create a European balcony feel. Coral colours spoke to the natural flowers and the terracotta tiles on the floor while down-up blinds allowed the feeling of outdoor greenery yet the right amount of privacy.
We brought in the owner’s personal story tracing her pregnant belly to mimic the corbel design. In this way we created an indelible relationship between the architecture and the owner. True design is about telling the story of someone’s life. In this moment the house becomes truly theirs, not mine…

Art is always a big deal when creating the perfect ambience – it’s a game changer and adds untold currency and sophistication. Brokering deals with local artists is part of the journey, its often intuitive, sometimes synchronistic, and always deeply personal.

Venice has the ideal climate for outdoor living and the exterior spaces became very important. More decking allowed a feeling of bringing the indoors outdoors.

A guest studio was perfect for music jamming and to make art

We opened up the guest bedroom into the living room, which seemed like a radical idea at the time. And the owner needed some convincing. But once it was done, she loved it. It mimics a true European lifestyle when all the rooms merge together – the romance of seeing a bed from the living room. What’s more, when there’s a party, people can spill over into the bedroom. Heavy drapery in the master bedroom creates beautiful diffused light, the room becomes dreamy and ethereal. Soft and organic pillows bring in a farmhouse feel.

Little elaborate gates at the entrance to the yard came from an architectural salvage. Part of the joy of creating is sourcing from myriad different places. Over the years, you get to know where the real gems are to be found.

The front walls had a code restriction of 3 feet. As a designer it’s sometimes necessary to push the limits and we got a concession to make them taller, which made all the difference.

The house represents the CALIFORNIA IDEAL of a NON-COMFORMIST lifestyle that is at once easy-going but also polished.