A California Beach House With Mountain Style
This home's textured, organically inspired design pays homage to its landscape
Photos by Mary E. Nichols
Luxury mountain homes and beach houses both serve as refuges from the everyday nitty-gritty, and in this dramatic, sculptural, organically inspired retreat in La Jolla, California, mountain modern style seamlessly translates to an oceanfront site.
Carefully chosen textures, nature-inspired materials, and custom-made furnishings marry the rustic-chic mountain elements of rock, wood, and fur with its sandy beachside backdrop. Take any room from this home and drop it into a mountainside setting, and nothing would be amiss.
More than that, both environments inspire architecture that’s all about stunning, sweeping views. Take a tour below.
The original architecture was round and dated before being remodeled to appear more organic and aligned with its environment. Large timber columns, rough-edge stone, and a natural color palette allow the home to speak to, as opposed to stand out from, its surroundings. The angles mimic the natural architecture found in minerals and rocks, shaped and sculpted by the elements.
The home’s exotic entry announces the house and welcomes guests into an outdoor living space. Against the Venetian plaster façade sits an Indian gate from Charles Jacobsen, welcoming guests while also creating a sense of mystery.
A vast, organically sculpted window wall spans the living room, creating the feeling of being submerged in the environment—a theme familiar to both beach and mountain living.
Neutral colors allow the homeowners and their guests to enjoy the constantly evolving palette of the landscape, whether it’s a beach sunset or leaves changing in the fall.
Meanwhile, organic textures and rough surfaces add visual interest to the interiors and echo the natural elements of the scene beyond the glass. The tables are crafted from reclaimed walnut, and the sofas and chaise are made of reclaimed spruce and sheepskin, a soft and inviting surface that is surprisingly cool in the summer and warm in the winter. John Himmel chairs showcase natural woven sea grass, and Alison Berger lamps boast hand-blown glass.
Not only is this the perfect lounging spot to watch the dolphins and surfers in the afternoon, but it’s also a dynamite theater space. Luxury meets entertainment when the sunshades descend and double as a movie screen.
The wall along the fireplace is adorned with reclaimed spruce in a traditional running-bond pattern, which not only softens the space but also brings a sense of historical precedence to the home. It curves around the wall like a giant basket weave—warm, natural, and yet architectural.
The stairway railing is crafted of bronze stanchions with stainless cables, topped with a reclaimed walnut handrail faceted like an ocean mineral, an unexpected yet cohesive reference to the home’s organic architecture and furnishings.
Designed with the homeowners’ lifestyle in mind, the home’s modern kitchen was built for laid-back entertaining. The cook can be part of the action—chatting at the island or with friends and family at the live-edge dining table nearby. Sandblasted coffee-colored cabinets, sea glass backsplash, and sea grass granite reflect the ocean view.
This extraordinary dining table isn’t about formal service; it’s about intimate connection and watching the sunsets over the ocean. The base of the table is the solid root system of a reclaimed walnut trunk, and the tabletop was crafted from pieces of the same tree.
Comfort is taken to the next level with a built-in banquette and pillows, as well as Thomas Lavin chairs with Donghia fabric. Above the banquette hangs an antique Indian window repurposed into a mirror, as well as sconces crafted from real water buffalo horns cast in bronze. The light fixture is a beautiful, translucent onyx chandelier from Fuse Lighting by Kevin Kolanowski.
Inspired by the inside of an oyster shell, the powder room is otherworldly in texture and brilliance. Reclaimed spruce timbers, an antique Chinese mirror, bronze fixtures, and Alison Berger hand-blown glass sconces are surrounded by pearly handmade wallpaper by Maya Romanoff.
In the master bedroom, a Venetian-style bed custom-made with matching pieces of reclaimed walnut boasts a hair-on-hide headboard, silk bedding, and a suede surround. The rug is hand-hooked wool, and the side tables are bronze. A walkout terrace offers private views of the ocean.
Columns crafted out of backlit pieces of shaped onyx add a sexy glow to the luxurious, limestone-clad master bath.
Blurring the lines between the interiors and the outside world is a mainstay of both beach and mountain home design. This family room creates a sense of indoor/outdoor connectivity with continuous flooring and pocketed doors that open to the beach. A texture-heavy African goat hair rug is stylish and chic—and also provides a soft (and carefree) surface for sandy feet.
Continuing the theme of repurposed, worldly influences, the cocktail table was crafted from an industrial steel factory cart and the lamps and stool are based on African motifs.
A punch of red, as well as night tables repurposed from antique Chinese leather trunks, add interest to the soothing guest suite.
The guest bathroom is a mountain-inspired sight to be seen. The tub was crafted from a solid piece of Stone Forest granite. The organic sculpture above was custom-made for the space by artist Paul Schick, and a Chinese stool sits on a Samarkand rug—the epitome of rustic-contemporary style.
ARCHITECTURE Tim Martin CONSTRUCTION McGuiness Construction, Inc. INTERIOR DESIGN Mark Boone, Inc. Interiors CUSTOM FURNITURE DESIGN Mark Boone for Mimi London, Inc.
Mark Boone is the President and CEO of Mark Boone, Inc. Interiors, where he creates luxurious, organically influenced design, as well as Mimi London, Inc., a furniture design showroom and workshop based in Los Angeles. Contact Mark at 310.855.2567.
Content for this article provided by Mimi London, Inc.