In Santa Monica, CA, designer Lizzie Green of Popix Designs was tasked with honoring her clients’ past and present in the design of their new home. The organic modern space is a harmonizing hybrid of modern minimalism and nature’s beauty—and is dubbed the “Sunrise House,” meant to celebrate a calming start to every day. She also aimed to incorporate her clients’ Indian heritage, and the results are beautiful. She shares more:
First, we’re curious: How did this project get named the Sunrise House?
I named this project the Sunrise House because my client likes to start each morning by watching the sunrise. This influenced the design in many ways, as I tried to incorporate different curved shapes and arches throughout the custom home to resemble the shape you see as the sun rises. One example of this, is the custom media console we designed. It has a half moon shape of reeded walnut wood on each door that conceals the TV while it’s not in use. Additionally, I found inspiration from the organic tones and textures of the local coastline and brought these elements into the warm light filled home.
We’d love to know more about the clients. Who were you designing for?
A family of four lives in the home. The couple are both high level professionals, with a set of two-year-old twins. They hired me to design a custom home that was beautiful and unique, and functioned well for their young family. They didn’t want any room to feel like it was off limits. Nothing too precious. Every sofa or seat needed to not only look good, but feel comfortable enough to sit and read a book in.
What was your scope of work?
We were asked to design the entire home, from renovation to furniture and styling. The clients wanted the home to be light and bright, and filled with loads of natural light. So, we added various skylights, and loads of doors and windows. We then reconfigured the floorplan to accommodate a larger kitchen, and better flow throughout the home.
The kitchen seems to be the heart of the home. Tell us a bit about the design choices here.
The clients were drawn to the lightness of white oak, so we knew the kitchen cabinets were going to be made of rift cut white oak. However, I wanted to add some special interest to the kitchen, so we added this beautiful custom trim detail at the top of the cabinets to draw your eye upwards towards the 9-foot ceilings. We then accentuated the cabinets with custom rounded handles in the same material. We made them extra-long, so they were easy to grab, while feeling very grand.
My clients requested to use brass throughout the house, so we designed a custom brass hood, we used unlacquered brass plumbing fixtures throughout the home, and snuck brass details in wherever we could. However, we didn’t want the brass to be overpowering, so we were careful where we incorporated it. For example, the woven pendant lights in the kitchen, have a subtle brass cap at the end of them to complement the brass hood.
The clients love to cook, and wanted something durable for their countertops, so we choose to use Caesarstone fresh concrete quartz countertop for the island, and cooking areas, and then incorporated a beautiful natural travertine breakfast table, and used that same material on the front of the island for added interest and beauty. I love how these two materials complement each other. The travertine has natural holes in the stone, and the fresh concrete material mimics a natural concrete which often has subtle imperfections as well.
Lastly, we incorporated panel ready appliances so that the kitchen cabinets, and appliances flow seamlessly throughout. The kitchen simply feels effortless. It is luxurious, yet inviting at the same time which was the goal for the entire home.
Honoring their heritage was a big element of the design choices. How did you infuse the client’s culture into the space?
In the powder room, we embarked on a special journey to honor our clients’ Indian culture as we carefully selected an exquisite folk wallpaper that showcased intricate patterns and vibrant colors, reminiscent of traditional Indian culture. The wallpaper became the backdrop for the entire room, enveloping it in a tapestry of richness. To further enhance the room’s character, we introduced a raw, organic concrete pendant, and a custom reeded walnut vanity to resemble the dark woods that are often seen in India. Not to mention the unlacquered brass plumbing fixtures that we used in the powder room and throughout the home.
Brass is a popular material used in India, so we wanted to use it in special ways throughout the home, like the custom brass hood we designed for the kitchen. Additionally, we wanted the home office to reflect the clients’ culture as well. So, we installed a vibrant green wallpaper on the ceiling in the home office, and hung a piece of artwork that paid homage to their heritage. We also used many Indian textiles throughout the home, including lots of beautiful pillows made by Xasmin Interiors. It was important for these references to be sprinkled throughout the home, while not feeling overpowering. The clients still wanted the overall feeling of the home to be light and bright, which I think we achieved nicely.
How long did the project take, and what did the family say when they saw the finished space?
From demolition to furniture install, the entire project took about 18 months to complete. The clients were in awe when they saw the finished space. They said they were so happy with every furniture selection, and every custom design detail. The home truly felt like a reflection of the clients, which is always my goal.
See more in the slideshow.