This Beverly Ridge residence was built in 1959 and was inspired by the International Style of Architecture which had taken off in Europe during the 1920s and 30s. Minimalist and functional with an emphasis on clean lines, open spaces and indoor-outdoor living, The International Style worked well in California’s moderate climate among the beautiful hillsides of Southern California. This led to homes being built with flat roofs and large floor to ceiling windows that brought the outdoors in and encouraged natural light to penetrate throughout the interiors.
When approached by the owners of Beverly Ridge, this residence had undergone several renovations which had strayed from its original Architectural intent. Shaker built-ins, craftsman kitchen cabinetry, granite countertops, glaring pendants and clunky surface mount lighting, dark diagonal wood flooring, heavy drapery, rustic stone veneer, protruding mantle and bulky hearth all broke up the interior spaces rather than unite them. These cluttered materials and busy design choices drew our attention from the floor to ceiling windows and beautiful hillside views one could experience from this home’s beautifully perched setting.
A major focal point of the home, we redesigned the fireplace with clean lines that emphasized the view and contemporary materials that paid homage to The International Style of Architecture. We used large Spanish porcelain slabs and extended them from window to window. The subtle linear lines of these travertine inspired slabs lead our eye across the room allowing us to take in the hillside views beyond. Leaving the existing wood burning firebox intact, we created the illusion of a large linear firebox with basalt inspired porcelain slabs recessed below and sleek hearth that continues the architectural lines of the home.
In the kitchen, we used simple lines and smooth planes while creating balance with color and structure. We closed off an unnecessary second entry which allowed us to properly reposition the wall ovens opposite the island for better functionality. We added a bar cabinet to the front facing side of the island for convenient access from the living room. Our induction cooktop and inset hood centered along the rear wall create a clean look and uncluttered workspace.
Industrial materials such as steel, concrete, and glass were characteristic building materials of the International Style. Interiors complemented these materials with high-grade stone materials such as travertine, marble, or basalt, along with wood veneers in walnut, ash, or maple. Paying homage to The International Style but with an added durability, we used Italian walnut laminate for the base cabinets and misty grey back painted glass for the uppers of our custom designed kitchen. A quartz countertop and back splash with a subtle marble pattern provide texture and movement. To combat the homes’ low ceilings, we used flangeless recessed lights and a thin linear pendant above the island to provide both architectural lighting and ambiance. Roller shades in Lieu of curtains allow unobstructed views of the ridge. Together, these materials create a sophisticated sense of calm and order that is elegant, serene, and timeless.
© 2024 Eric Lehwald - DTLA Design
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