After traveling the world and visiting a host of five-star resorts, a Los Altos Hills couple chose "simple elegance" as the design concept for their new custom home construction.
Exposure to the beauty and tranquil settings of various resorts enhanced the couple’s appreciation for superior-quality craftsmanship, attention to detail and luxurious amenities. The influence inspired them to incorporate a variety of comforts and technological advances in their dream retirement home.
After living in their family home for years before embarking on the project, the couple waited until their two children had grown and moved away before developing the necessary floor-plan adjustments. The floor plan of their new home accommodates the couple’s lifestyle as empty nesters who travel and entertain.
Their primary objectives were to simplify living with a single story while reorienting their most frequently used rooms to best capture the sunlight and the property’s stunning valley views.
Dramatic 15-foot ceilings and wall-to-wall windows with considerable window-treatment forethought in the conceptual phase led to their desired result of the coveted valley views remaining the focal point. The dual-layered sheer and light-blocking window shades are retractable and concealed by low-profile soffits to prevent viewing obstruction. The shades integrate with the home automation system to raise and lower to set the mood, just as the couple had experienced at the various resorts.
The homeowners were intrigued by the contemporary interpretation of the traditional fireplace, with the linear-flame firebox allowing heat while creating a sculpture through fire. They incorporated an impressive 6-foot-long firebox into their generously scaled great room to creatively offer the opportunity for evening ambience while maximizing the view with a window above.
Adding to the resortlike appeal, a central core outdoor atrium with a full-height tile and stone water feature serves as a focal point from the foyer. To the left of the atrium, in the primary hall, are three recessed wall niches with sidelit floating glass panels custom etched with silver-leaf detailing.
Carefully considering the couple’s lifestyle of preparing, cooking and presenting elaborate cuisine, strategic thought was put into the layout and planning of the great room with integrated kitchen and adjacent informal dining room.
The kitchen includes two oversized semicircular islands, each with designated functions. The first island houses a primary sink with a dishwasher for ease of cleaning while interacting with guests in the great room. The second island sits spaciously parallel to the first and includes a raised bar with seating for guests to congregate. A dropped counter design provides a useful 12-foot span for casual buffet serving with an additional side preparation sink. The second island contains an under-counter beverage center and snack drawers for both formal and casual service, designed to clear circulation from the primary workflow of the perimeter and first island. The perimeter cooking station boasts state-of-the-art Gaggenau triple 15-inch electric, gas and induction burners with adjacent steam convection oven and dual warming ovens.
In addition to high function and performance, the materials make the kitchen one of a kind. The islands are fabricated of both semiprecious Labradorite stone and contrasting granite with waterfall edge detailing and glass mosaic transitions. The same silver metallic glass mosaic is repeated on the perimeter kitchen wall to reflect natural light during the day. In the evening, downlights and under-cabinet lighting illuminate the kitchen.
The master suite embraces ultimate luxury with an exquisitely designed custom wall unit that incorporates inspirations from exotic resorts. The walnut bed frame integrates recessed silk-lined accent panels with oversized sconces in lieu of bedside lamps and glows with a decorative damask sheer drape backlit from all four sides.
The master bath includes floating vanities and a freestanding vessel tub, partially integrated into a tile wall surround with decorative stone countertop.
The wraparound rear exterior stone viewing deck replaced a once narrow wood deck and connects the spaces for circulation. The semicircular cantilevering deck, clear of viewing obstruction, features a linear outdoor fire pit with integrated custom Hibachi grill. The low-profile infinity-edge water feature brings sound and serenity, pleasing both the homeowners and guests.
Amy Fischer is principal designer at Spectrum Interior Design Inc. For additional photos of the home and more information on Spectrum, visit SpectrumInteriorDesign.com. ◆