A Serene Garden Was Tucked Between This California Home's Two A-Frames—and It Set the Tone for the Entire Interior Project
The space is infused with a West-Coast-meets-European design sensibility, courtesy of interiors expert Rob Diaz.
For interior designer Rob Diaz, his newly-built Sherman Oaks, California, was a creation from the ground up—and for the creative, its exterior was just as important as the interior. "Before beginning this project, I had a vision for what geometry of the home should look like. However, the materials took some time to figure out," he admits, ultimately choosing a natural stone to cover the entire outside surface. And the curb appeal didn't stop there. "My overall goal was to integrate a serene garden area between the two A-frames and make the home open to the outside. It really made it appear larger," he shares.
Each element of this timeless dwelling was selected to suit Diaz's warm and contemporary aesthetic, featuring textured materials and fixtures for depth, visual interest, and long-lasting appeal. "The living room features Clayworks plaster, a large custom marble fireplace, and a large sconce from Apparatus, which to me, is art on its own," he says, giving us a snapshot of the space.
It was equally important to Diaz to introduce elements of luxury, which led to warm rift and plain sawn white oak finishes. The old-school toggles and rotary dimmers throughout the home offer a nod to nostalgia. "There's a delicate balance between old and new that I love, while still remaining high-end and refined in design," Diaz explains. Here, the designer takes us on a tour of the finished house, from the transportive outdoor spaces to a cozy nook underneath the staircase, which Diaz divulges is one of his favorite hidden corners of the home.
Though it became one of the house's most striking elements, selecting and applying the Eco Outdoor natural limestone on the exterior was the greatest challenge of the project, Diaz says: "The exterior stone cladding was a very costly choice and while I tried to utilize other materials, it did not work well. The stone was the clear winner and I wanted it to be all over the exterior."
Form Meets Function
The home's expansive foyer features the same stone cladding, which continues through the steel glass door. Of course, practical and everyday use was also considered. "We wanted to make sure the home did not compromise on functionality, so we added a built-in for coats, shoes, and keys," Diaz explains. The front-facing wall features two lucite chain sconces from Trueing, infusing a touch of whimsy.
A Refined Living Space
Mixing European and Californian design sensibilities, the living room features neutral colorways, Scandinavian minimalism, and statement lighting—along with the cozy and unexpected reading nook tucked under the stairs. "The long linen drapes in the living room softens the space while also maintaining the home's contemporary look," notes Diaz.
An Entertainer's Paradise
Together, "the kitchen and living room is the ultimate entertainer's paradise, and the backyard is ideal for COVID-19-friendly outdoor gatherings," says Diaz, noting that he looks forward to grilling and lounging by the pool.
Depth and Texture
When it came down to the details, Diaz left no stone unturned. "We applied fluted, rustic clay on the dining room wall and inside the main bedroom, adding depth and texture to the adjoining smooth walls and ceilings throughout the home," he points out.
A Refined Retreat
Diaz's favorite room in the home, the primary suite defines luxury with fluted walls, floating oak wardrobes, and its own private landscaped terrace.
The real star of the main bedroom, however, is the decadent bathroom, featuring a 17-foot-long arabascato marble floating counter (bolted into the wall with steel brackets), motorized woven shades, and an Apparatus arrow lamp anchored over a 70-inch soaker tub.
Window Pane Shower
An epic shower, paneled with window pane-inspired doors, is another design standout.
Office with a View
The office overlooks the restrained nature scene below. The environment, notes Diaz, was a driving force behind the project: One of his key goals was to use healthy, non-toxic finishes throughout the space. "All of the materials used in this home are LEED certified products with zero toxins. We used non-toxic and refined plaster throughout, all done by Clayworks," he explains.
While Diaz notes that his style is contemporary, he doesn't identify with one singular design trend, choosing to incorporate classic choices throughout his interiors. "From the rock exterior to the smooth and fluted clay walls, old sinks, new concrete colored sinks, classic lighting, and luxurious materials, the design evokes an understated elegance that will last for generations to come," he shares.
The Transportive Outdoors
The exterior landscape is made up of 100 percent natural materials, sourced from Eco Outdoor in Beverly Hills. Like the rest of the home, the landscape offers a European-meets-California vibe. "The outdoor fountains are natural marble and jade. I also love gravel driveways and wanted to incorporate this into the project. I feel like they take you somewhere outside the city," Diaz says.
Nature All Around
A grass border outlines the pool, adding yet another touch of nature to the man-made space.