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California dreaming

Relaxed and airy, this interior design for an environmentally friendly Manhattan Beach home combines strong, clean masculine lines with softer feminine layers

Grand room appropriately named! Strong architectural lines are
Grand room appropriately named! Strong architectural lines are softened by flowing drapes and stylish yet relaxed furniture.

Interior design by Chris Barrett Design

From the designer:

The setting

Located on a street in Manhattan Beach, California, this modern beach home is inviting, chic and unpretentious. Here, multiple generations come together for intimate dinners and large family gatherings.

The main floor comprises a single expanse with a combined kitchen, dining and family room.

On the second level, the owners occupy a large master suite with a library and an office. The two areas are connected by a steel bridge, an element inspired by Japanese teahouse design.  This gives the experience of walking from a structured environment to a more relaxed one.

The house is also a paragon of green building with 72 photovoltaic solar panels and geothermal heating.


A steel bridge between upstairs spaces is pleasing
A steel bridge between upstairs spaces is pleasing to use and also activates and draws attention to the grand room's double height volume. A mirrored chandelier also accentuates the room's scale.

The design intent

For this design, strong and clean masculine lines are balanced with feminine layers.

An indoor-outdoor experience was paramount, and throughout every space, natural light was maximised wherever possible with clerestory windows and sliding glass doors.

Windows are covered with scrims that filter light and reduce the need for air conditioning.

A palette of neutral colours interrupted by pops of raspberry evokes sandy shores, while rooms painted in dreamy hues of blue and green recall the ocean at different times of day.

The outside areas of the L-shaped house, hover around a courtyard with a pool and an outdoor fireplace. 

Warm or cool, whichever way the weather turns
Warm or cool, whichever way the weather turns this outdoor patio will accommodate with a pool in one direction and a roaring outdoor fire in another.

There are plenty of flashes of green in this design including containers of fishhook plants and yucca, introduced for their look and to provide privacy.

Designer Chris Barrett scoured both coasts for a mixture of retro, vintage and new furnishings and antiques.

“Our biggest challenge was integrating a patinated feeling that would give the rooms warmth, yet still keep everything fresh and chic,” says the designer.

Designed by: Chris Barrett Design

Story by: Trendsideas

04 Apr, 2021

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