Malibu, California


Nestled amongst mature oak and maple trees deep in Bonsall Canyon, this Malibu home’s transformation was designed for a family of five who sought to pay homage to the original structure while optimizing its redesign for a modern, indoor/outdoor lifestyle. Taking cues from old Belgian stone farmhouses, the architecture aimed to distill the home’s existing agrarian form even further, emphasizing its classic single-gable pitch and adding wide, sliding glass doors throughout that pocket to dissolve the line between home and garden. The exterior was clad in understated wood emblematic of the design’s rustic inspiration, while eaves were cut back throughout to modernize its midcentury roots. An awkward layout and previous addition were streamlined into one now ideal for entertaining, including an entirely updated kitchen that features a window above the sink so one can look out to the herb garden, another nod to the design’s rural inspiration. Various points throughout the home, including the living room’s original fireplace, were adjusted to create total alignment which resulted in more thoughtfully framed views of the lush surrounding landscape.

Inside the home, brick walls were updated to hand-applied plaster where appropriate, lending a sense of craftsmanship, sumptuous texture, and warmth. In the dining room, beams were added as another reference to the farmhouses that served as the project’s inspiration, balanced by modern amenities such as radiant wood flooring that allows the family to still enjoy the home’s openness to the outdoors on a chilly day. Skylights were added in strategic moments such as the closet, letting in the sublime light of Bonsall Canyon.

This home is a balance of old and new, relaxed country and modern, restrained and luxurious – it is a home meant to be lived in for years to come.

Interior Design: Vanessa Alexander of Alexander Design
Photo Credit: Douglas Friedman and Adrian Gaut