House of Generations
A seamless blend of Mid-Century Modern furniture, Native American Indian artifacts and new architecture in Hermosa Beach
Written bySuzanna Cullen
After five years of living in their home in Hermosa Beach, Jennifer and Brent Buchsbaum decided that they loved the location but needed a floor plan that better suited the needs of their growing family. Instead of moving, they seized the opportunity to build the house they wanted.
Brent grew up in Laguna Beach, and Jennifer grew up in Redondo Beach. They both knew what they wanted in a beach home architecturally.
Additionally, they both inherited pieces from their families that they wanted to incorporate into their new home. When they called architect Pat Killen of Studio 9one2 and his designer, Donna Grossman, they created a successful intersection of contemporary beach design with family treasures.
The top floor has an open concept living plan with expansive views toward the ocean—providing a sense of light and space. The light grey, stained-wood ceiling gives the house a rustic beach feeling.
With a collection of Mid-Century modern furniture mixed with Native American Indian arts, the house exudes a relaxed but sophisticated feeling. “I was aware of their collections and wanted to give them a home that reflected both their love of the beach and their families,” says Pat.
“We are a house of generations,” says Jennifer as she points out the Art Deco chest in the living room. Classic 20th-century furnishings give the living area a relaxed but carefully curated feeling.
“My family liked Mid-Century modern pieces, so they gave us the Eames pieces, the Noguchi table and the Finn Juhl chair,” says Brent. Their collection represents some of the most internationally renowned 20th-century furniture designers. With a kilim rug and contemporary sofa, the living room is as inviting as it is comfortable.
Both families were interested in Native American Indian arts ranging from the Plains to the Canadian tribes. In the dining room, early paintings by acclaimed Canadian Native American Indian artist Norval Morrisseau are framed in simple wood frames that are appropriate with the other Mid-Century modern furnishings.
Acoma pottery and kachina dolls fill the bookshelves. “My family gives us a kachina doll every year, so our collection keeps growing,” says Brent.
The house is longer than it is wide, and that provides for much needed work and play space. “I needed a light-filled space in which to work, and this back room has great natural light,” explains Jennifer, a jewelry designer whose pieces can be found at The Gum Tree in Hermosa Beach, as she shows her office on the back of the main floor.
The room is large enough to accommodate Jennifer’s work area and function as a playroom. Relaxed furnishings make it comfortable for both adults and children.
The bedrooms provide terrific views and great space. The master bedroom has a great view of the ocean and feels as rustic as the upstairs living room due to the furnishings as well as the decorating.
Athabascan snowshoes fill a corner, while a huge dreamcatcher twirls in the window. Jennifer installed the wood paneling on the wall behind the master bedroom headboard—proving that she is as enterprising in construction as she is in jewelry making.
Daughter Caitlyn’s bedroom is a dream for any young girl. Filled with books and toys, it is a haven for an active imagination. “We took a lot of design clues from owner Lori Ford at The Gum Tree, so open shelves where Caitlyn can see the front covers of the books make it more interesting to pull one down and read,” says Jennifer. Bright colors balanced by crisp white make for a fun room for her to grow into.
Huge doors to the patio allow great views to the garden where Jennifer and Caitlyn grow vegetables and flowers in raised beds. “We added apple trees this year, so we hope they’ll take root and grow,” says Brent.
Additionally, they were able to preserve a large tree that provides shade for the entire backyard and gives privacy from neighbors. A gas grill and built-in bench for seating provide plenty of space for cooking and relaxing outside.
Blending Mid-Century modern furniture with Native American Indian decorative arts provides a calm but substantive environment for this young family. Subtle references to the arts and academia are seamlessly integrated into a beach-style family home.
In a geographical area where too many new homes only offer spanking new furnishings, the Buchsbaum home is a gentle reminder that great style and perfect function do not preclude interesting historical references and documented arts.
Patrick Killen, AIA, Studio 9one2
Bruce Schartner, Schartner Construction
Donna Grossman, Interior Designer, Studio 9one2
Mariam Rainville, Rainville Design Studio
Fujimoto Landscaping Inc.
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