Living and eating outdoors is a big part of the Southern California coast way of life, so the design and construction of this Malibu home made it the central theme.
Built in 2014 in the Spanish Colonial Revival style in keeping with many notable properties in the area, this family home sits on a lush site in the gently sloping landscape overlooking Santa Monica Bay.
At the heart of the house is a loggia, an elegant outdoor room with a fireplace and underfloor heating for those very occasional cooler days and evenings, and shelter from the sun and ocean breeze. This superb property is one of the best houses in the world and if there were prizes for the key elements, then the magnificent vaulted ceiling of the loggia would surely win them all.
The beautiful construction, design and finish are the result of close collaboration between Evens Architects (opens in a new tab), Alana Homesley Interior Design (opens in a new tab), and of course the owners of the house. We sat down with architect Erik Evens and interior designer Alana Homesley and asked them about the challenges and triumphs of creating a home for indoor and outdoor living.
The entrance hall sets the tone of style
Key to any house hallway ideas is the idea that this important space should create a great first impression upon entering the home and set the tone for the main living areas beyond. This beautiful entrance does both of these things and more, transporting you to another place and another time.
Alana Homesley explains her thinking: “My goal with the foyer was to present the house as a home of relaxed sophistication with an old world vibe. Glazed Moroccan zellige tile risers pay homage to the tiled staircases found in historic Spanish Colonial Revival homes in Southern California. Integral colored plaster walls give the house an organic, earthy feel.
Hand-carved frame, aged mirror and Spanish console in patinated walnut, both by Formations. Sconces, Revival Antiques. Old Khotan rug, Mansour.
Transitional space – the gallery
This hallway is part of the entry hall, its calm and beautiful architecture encapsulating the interior-exterior theme of the house. Since it leads to the all-important loggia, architect Erik Evens chose wide steel French doors to make a strong statement for the transitional space.
“The light color of the stone floors and walls helps balance the heaviness of the wooden beams and ceiling,” adds Alana Homesley.
The walls are full colored plaster in a warm cream hue. Floors, French limestone from Exquisite Surfaces.
Kitchen – European farmhouse with a casual aesthetic
Decide exactly the right kitchen ideas because this house was a challenge admits Alana Homesley, but she is satisfied with the result. “My client was drawn to old-world European farmhouses that had an earthy, more laid-back aesthetic. I also cater to any style of design that has an organic sensibility,” she says. “As an interior designer, my job is to both complement and enrich the architecture.”
It was important to ensure that the kitchen would stand up to busy family life, so the finishes are very rustic to hide wear and imperfections are embraced.
“I was also keen to balance the heaviness of the hand-carved beams by painting the upper cabinets in a creamy color to match the integral colored plaster walls. Glass fronts and limestone countertops also help visually brighten the space.
Other design highlights include the placement of the small window under the range hood to allow for full tile on the backsplash; vintage kilim blankets on bar stools; farmhouse style table top island; lower island topped with soapstone; and walnut lower cabinets.
Even this indoor kitchen plays a big role in the family’s outdoor life. “The room opens directly onto the loggia, allowing the indoor/outdoor space to become a practical and active living space on a daily basis”, explains Erik Evens.
Loggia – for outdoor living and dining
Anyone looking for outdoor kitchen ideas will surely find items to draw inspiration from in this beautiful space. It is used year-round, from summer pool parties to winter gatherings around a fire pit. Furniture is laid back to make the space as inviting as possible, and the dining table features a solid wood planked top in a distressed finish to conceal wear.
“This warm outdoor room is graciously sized, spacious enough for a comfortable seating area and large dining table, and features a limestone fireplace and vaulted terracotta ceiling, with terracotta ribbing and accents. sculpted”, explains Erik Evens. “Our customers are true Californians, athletic and outdoor lifestyle oriented. They wanted to live in a way that connected them intimately to the landscape. We imagined the large loggia space as the center of their home life.
Reproduction of an antique style fireplace mantle and limestone floor, exquisite surfaces; iron and glass pendants, Lantern Masters; dining table, Bungalow Classic; chairs, Munder-Skiles; vintage, Harbinger and Hollywood pillows at home.
Master bedroom style
Even the bedroom ideas for the master suite are facing outwards. A chaise and chaise are grouped together to face the window and its view of the Pacific Ocean, and the bed (not seen) also benefits from the ocean view. The comfy window seat was a special request from owners who wanted a place to read.
“The second focal point is the beautiful rounded corner fireplace with an intricately carved stone surround that accommodates the seating arrangement,” says Alana Homesley. An early 19th century French cherry wood armoire picks up the rich wood tones of the ceiling beams and oak flooring, while upholstery and pale plaster walls brighten the space.
bathroom ideas for the bathroom were inspired by the imagery of riads in Morocco, explains designer Alana Homesley. “I chose a warmer, more monotonous palette to give this room a garden feel,” she says.
The freestanding copper tub is the highlight of the space and is framed by the chamfered niche with French doors opening to a view of the Pacific Ocean. Limestone floors and plaster walls continue elsewhere in the house, while the doorway alcove is tiled with Moroccan zellige field tiles with mitered tile edging.
“I designed the vanities as a casual work table with open shelving to make them visually lighter,” adds Alana. “Softly rounded mirrors complement the carved plaster niches. A vintage rug brings a soft color.’
It’s not hard to see why this pleasingly symmetrical approach to the property is one of the architect’s favorite aspects. Anyone looking for front yard landscaping ideas will definitely find inspiration here.
‘A visitor enters the property through a hand-hewn wooden gate and approaches the house through an avenue of olive trees. These decorative bronze doors lead into the lush front courtyard leading to the carved limestone front door and entrance gate. The walls of the courtyard are made of sandstone rubble from Santa Barbara,” explains Erik Evens.
At one with the landscape
The beauty of this site continues to its limits and into the landscape, as architect Erik Evens explains. “Beyond the loggia, terraces cascade down the gently sloping site, providing pleasant and comfortable places to dine, relax and swim in a relaxed, seaside Mediterranean landscape. The project includes a large pool designed for lap swimming, perched on the edge of the slope, drawing the eye to the view of the bay.
And what did the architect and owners think of the finished project as a whole? ‘Our customers love it. In many ways, this home represents our perspective on how to live comfortably and graciously under the Southern California sun and ocean breezes,” says Erik Evens.
It’s an indoor-outdoor model of living that we would all like to adopt.
Architect: Evens Architects
Interior Design: Alana Homesley Interior Design
Photography: Karyn Millet Photography (opens in a new tab)