Who says bigger is better? In this exquisite home by Laney LA, the clients wanted to craft an intimate experience that would meet their modest needs, expand to fit their growing family, and leave an impression much larger than the actual square footage may imply. So, the team opted for a smaller footprint, allowing for a deeply rooted connection to the property itself and honoring the natural wildness of the existing vegetation. And for high style, there’s a clear integration of nostalgic elements from their travels such as the Portuguese cobblestone mosaic. The Laney LA team tells us more.

Tell us about this home. Where is it located? 
Located in Manhattan Beach, California, this residence began with the simple conviction to live with a smaller footprint and to preserve the lot’s deeply rooted connection to nature. With minimal indoor lighting, the sun becomes a primary design element, imbuing the home with the living quality of light. In place of air conditioning, the home leverages the invisible lungs of an “energy recovery ventilator”, which both cools and dehumidifies the air, keeping the interior temperate every day of the year. And the backyard features a full-length lap pool and an abundance of preserved vegetation. Even the side yard fences have been delicately carved to accommodate the roots of trees and bushes that stopped respecting property lines years ago.  From the soaring, gabled ceiling to two sun courtyards, the home is constantly revealing new facets of its character in every nook and niche. Whether it is the artistic, hand-painted wallpaper from France, the playful, shingled loft, the old-world cobblestones from Portugal, or the tactile texture of steel windows and doors, the home is an experience that encapsulates the unexpected and the timeless. 

We’d love to talk more about the choice to work with a smaller footprint. What first initiated this decision?
The conviction began with our clients, who believed in creating an intimate and modest lifestyle for their growing family. Our team viewed the project as an intriguing opportunity to craft a space where every square foot leaves an impression much larger than its size. As a result, every concentrated design decision created exciting opportunities for a cascade of positive ripple effects.

Though you share more design details in the slideshow, we can’t help but notice there are a few playful details. Do you have any favorites?
One of the surprising items that we all fell in love with was the custom three-legged table. Designed to enable access to storage beneath the breakfast nook bench, it combines good design with stunning craftsmanship (Board and Block) and is used by the clients on a daily basis.