Anyone who has spent time living with family knows that at the heart of it all is the desire to be both in the company of others while still having personal space and privacy. For most of us, especially as teenagers, that meant locking our bedroom doors and engrossing ourselves in our own activities, trying to shut out any noise from the outside. But when you have architects for parents, the whole game changes – design takes center stage and changes how we live.

For Nick and Anna Mckimm, the possibilities were endless. As directors of the residential design practice mckimm, they decided how to design their home for their family. “Connectivity” and “separateness” were the two central concepts: shaped in an “L” the house is divided into separate spaces that all face the interior patio and pool. This means that from all areas of the home they can easily access the dining room and kitchen, while also being able to enclose themselves in their own spaces. For a family of five, this layout was key to have both a home office and the bustle of early mornings and school activities operate in tandem.

The other key goal of the home was to blur the lines of the outdoor/indoor separation. Concrete was chosen as the prime building material so as to not detract from the structure itself. However, as the home of a family that loves to entertain, some of the more communal living areas needed some warming up. For the living area, the McKimm team brought in American oak to cover the ceilings and walls to pair with a fully operating wood burning fireplace. The decor can be characterized as mostly Scandinavian modern, to keep in line with the clean lines of the home. But the star pieces are the paintings and artwork: Nick and Anna commissioned artist Lucas Grogan to paint the graphic blue mural that wraps around the house and is considered a cherished feature within the neighborhood.

It’s fascinating to see how a family’s imagination, practicality, and skill came into play. Design has so much influence on our daily lives – perhaps not at the same scale – but it’s something to take in and see how the two affect each other.