We’ve seen countless homes designed by professionals for regular homeowners, we’ve seen designers’ own homes, but rarely do we see a project that is designed from the ground up from a clean slate. That’s exactly what happened with this Santa Monica home created by the Venice Beach-based design company Electric Bowery. As a firm that takes on their own real estate projects, they looked to investors to create a completely new home for a future family.

“The existing home was in terrible disrepair, so we tore it down and built it completely new. It’s a lot of fun for us to do these projects as we get to act as our own client and make all of the decisions ourselves,” said Lucia Bartholemew of Electric Bowery. In spite of the creative freedom, it was important for them to maintain a balanced budget, figuring out where to splurge and where to save. With mid-century and Scandinavian design as their jumping off point they made a few crucial decisions that were a bit of a splurge. “We went back and forth on the kitchen design and whether to include wood ceilings” Lucia explained, “we ended up bringing the natural cedar from the exterior into a wall that defines the entry space and kitchen, which turned out beautifully and is a real feature that defines the ground floor.” The stone wall in the master bathroom was another splurge feature – it took a lot of time to install and lay out but ended up bringing in the warmth that they were looking for. 

The lot was very square so they decided to continue that shape for the floor plan, allowing them to create a second-floor living room that acted as a hub for all other bedrooms. The staircase leading up to it ended up being a more budget option – “We saved on the staircase by doing a wood framed construction instead of a floating open stair, but in the end that worked out well as we were able to hide some equipment beneath the stairs,” Lucia noted. 

The material choices of concrete and custom oak millwork and floors were a nod to the mid-century bones of the home. The clean color palette of beiges and grays was inspired by the calming Scandinavian style they were also mirroring. “We loved this home and had great reception from everyone who saw it. It was only on the market for one day before a wonderful family placed an offer that we couldn’t refuse. The layout and warm, natural materials make it the perfect home for them, and we were thrilled to see them move in!” Lucia said.