California Coastal Villa
written by Janet Eastman architecture by Landry Design Group design by Joan Behnke
A successful Los Angeles entrepreneur sought a second home that could transport him from the demands of work to the rewards of relaxing with family and friends. Landry Design Group was inspired by Spain’s private courtyards and created this California coastal villa for him with its sweeping views of the Pacific Ocean, timeless Spanish architecture and private, peaceful retreats beneath tiled roofs and under the stars. The spatial design, with inviting transitional environments, allows the owner to leave behind his hectic business world and enter this enticing sanctuary. Time-honored architectural elements that offer a progression from public to private spaces were the cornerstones in creating this haven on beachfront property. Richard Landry proposed an L-shaped house that overlooks an enclosed central courtyard and opens to the ocean in the back. A detached garage, with guest suites on the second level, shelters this residence from the street. The initial transition occurs steps from the stone driveway. Visitors on foot pass through a reclaimed wood gate flanked by two-storey walls. The next
progression happens on the other side of the gate. Here, a stone path leads to the central courtyard, which is shielded against occasional strong ocean winds and street noise. It also provides a sense of seclusion and a colourful landscaped view. Bright geraniums and bougainvilleas bloom in terra-cotta containers. Nearby, a linear soaking pool and spa provides a modern accent in this seemingly time-aged courtyard. Proceeding along the pathway, the glass entry to the main residence reveals the romantic living room. On the other side of the room, a wide wall of doors opens fully to a stone patio, and beyond that a grassy lawn, sandy beach and a wide panorama of blue ocean and infinite horizon. From the courtyard, limestone steps ascend to the second-floor bedrooms, where windows and decks are positioned to frame garden or ocean views. The intimate spaces in this home cater to the ease and simple pleasures of daily life. They also coexist with the large, open areas, creating a conversion in which family and guests can congregate for weekend gatherings. Although the residence is new, Landry used reclaimed materials to evoke a sense of history. Aged, patina-rich, clay roof tiles were installed to enhance this look and salvaged barn wood was used to make the front gate and carriage doors for the garage. The interior design firm of Joan Behnke & Associates selected a sun-drenched colour palette to contrast with the earthy, reclaimed architectural
materials inside the house. The muted grey cabinets in the kitchen, painted woodwork in the family room and bronze-coloured doors in the dining room echo the worn hues of the barnwood plank ceilings. In the living room, hand-hewn beams define the barrel ceiling. Old wood beams adorn plaster ceilings in the bedrooms. The joining of old and new is yet another graceful passage achieved in this private getaway. Before designing a home’s spatial organization, Richard Landry and his team consider environmental factors and make complementary choices for scale, material and light. They know, however, that thoughtful contrasts can help to harmonize a home. Throughout, this beachfront home has a captivating feeling of relaxation, sophistication and romance.
Landry Design Group
Joan Behnke & Associates