Even the ADU at This Spanish-Inspired Cali Home Puts a Fresh Spin on the Ubiquitous Style
See also: The bathroom’s groovy terracotta floors.
Published Sep 22, 2023 1:45 AM
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If you’ve ever been to Barcelona or seen photos of Antoni Gaudí’s famous Sagrada Família, then you’re already familiar with Catalan Modernism (also known as Modernisme). The architectural style has strong ties to the Industrial Revolution and Art Nouveau…and now this 3,000-square-foot home in Los Angeles, designed by Shanty Wijaya and James Mulyadi from local design-build firm Allprace. However, you won’t find otherworldly stained-glass windows and mosaic tiled exteriors, but rather a soft interpretation of Modernisme, as Wijaya puts it. “We wanted to honor the home’s original Spanish-style design because this house is located in an older, mature neighborhood that consists of mostly Spanish-style homes,” she shares.
While this three-bedroom, three-bathroom home (and its 400-square-foot ADU) shares many qualities with typical California-Spanish homes, like an earthy color palette and smooth archways, you’ll find that the floors and ceilings tell another story. Wijaya intentionally kept the eye-level details muted and created tension by incorporating the busier geometric patterns and silhouettes up above—and down below. For example, she did a barrel-vaulted white oak ceiling in the family room, put groovy Bibiena Variegato terracotta floor tile in one of the bathrooms, and framed the entry steps with a round Lucite baluster. Ahead, Wijaya shares a few key insights she gleaned from this latest renovation.
Instant character addition:
The majority of the ceilings and walls are covered in European plaster, and some are painted. The dining room is located in the middle section of the house, so we wanted it to serve as a focal point. This wallpaper has a busier nature-landscape pattern with a neutral hue consistent with Catalan Modernism character.
Impactful color moment:
We wanted to keep most of the design elements on the eye level muted. Therefore, we selected this gorgeous midnight port zellige tile. The color and texture added an interesting element to the rather moody space. The shade also complements the wood ceiling and wall beautifully.
Coolest use of natural light:
In the guest bathroom, the showerhead and pendant-planter are hanging from up inside those wood beams. While there is a window located on the wall above the toilet, we added skylights, too. The light casts a beautiful shadow showcasing the terracotta floor while also creating drama on the simple plaster wall.
How we added value:
The ADU added tremendous value and functionality to the home and gives flexibility to the homeowner to use it as a detached guesthouse, office space, or income-generating Airbnb.
Not your average bathroom vanity countertop:
We use lots of curves, arches, and geometrical design throughout the house, so we decided to do the round, curvy marble bullnose on the vanity to make it cohesive with the rest of the home’s theme.
The indoor-outdoor connection
This ceiling served as an art form and focal point while also beautifully presenting the pool from inside the house. The curvy ceiling also cohesively complements the pool cabana ceiling.
The biggest splurge in the home was all the finishes, from the lights and plumbing fixtures to the appliances and flooring.
The biggest save was the bio-ethanol fireplace in the living room.
Detail I’ll definitely use again on a future project:
I love the Lucite stair baluster and the curved barrel-vaulted white oak ceiling because they are unique and also double as art.