After searching for a home in San Diego to call their own, a couple soon realized that no other house compared to the one they had rented 19 years ago on Mission Bay. Because the concrete structure was very closed off, the couple compiled a team to begin the renovation. “I wanted to humanize it,” says architect Mark Silva. Everyone agreed that the umbrella columns had to stay, but, as Silva explains, “We took advantage of every opportunity to open the house up.”
Sandblasting the concrete walls revealed their mottled character and texture, making them feel more organic. The architect also deployed other woods (mahogany on a spectacularly sculptural stairway and walnut on a wall housing an aquarium in the entry hall), creating a softer play of man-made and natural materials.
Designer Lynn VanDerWerf selected different stones to sheath four fireplaces and injected some glam elements like a silver cast-resin root base for the living coffee table, reflective metal lighting and wall art in the living room, and a generous spa that glistens with iridescent glass mosaic tile outside. Finally, to fulfill her clients’ wish for a retreat-like space, she opted for a combination of blues, whites and shell colors.