Architectural Digest

A Modern Glass-and-Concrete Home Is Warmed up with Soft Textures

Los Angeles-based designer Leanne Ford breathes comfort and calm into an architectural beauty in Santa Monica, California

When photographer Tatiana Botton was looking for a home to hang up her camera, she wanted a space that could do it all: a refuge that let the outdoors in and vice versa, a place that was ideal for entertaining, yet offered her some much-needed workspace. Pairing up with Los Angeles-based architectural designer Charles Ward, the duo worked to build a residence from the ground up in Santa Monica, California, a process that “broke the mold for the homes in the area when it was completed in 2004, more than four years after the original design was done,” says Botton. Showcasing Ward’s skill for melding simple lines, industrial materials, and fortress-like walls, Botton’s contemporary house is a “feat of engineering with so much poured-in-place concrete, reminiscent of Frank Lloyd Wright and Tadao Ando,” notes Botton. Its wow-factor has even made fans of Hollywood stars: “The garage was designed as a photography studio,” she says. “I shot many celebrities in the house and patio, and everyone loved hanging out here.”\n\nWhen it came to outfitting the interiors, Botton “really gave me carte blanche with the space,” explains Leanne Ford. The Los Angeles-based designer let the architecture do the talking, playing off its earthy tones and employing the abundance of natural light. “These were all very important features of the space that I wanted to respect,” she says. Ford developed an easy flow from room to room, ultimately turning a home that could quite easily feel cold into a respite of warmth and comfort. Considering the house was devised by an artist, it’s no surprise that all of its interior walls were created solely to showcase art. “Every room has a gallery-style setup to hang pieces, as well as lighting created to highlight it,” Ford says of the home’s sleek and simple shell. “We used Botton’s incredible, serene still life photography throughout the home, as well as the works of some other notable artists. 

For the furnishings, “I did not want the pieces I chose to compete with the walls and floors, because Ward’s design is so special and gorgeous,” recalls the designer. Taking great care to keep things neutral, Ford introduced soft, textured fabrics and materials—layered Moroccan rugs, plush sofas, sheepskin throws—and worked to make the minimalist interiors feel lived in. “When there’s so much concrete and harder lines, we tend to continue with that vibe, but by doing the complete opposite, I was able to make the space feel welcoming and easy,” she says. While that was quite the design challenge, there was one moment that most certainly wasn’t: moving in.

 

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