MOVING ON UP
A small space with amazing views packs a powerful punch in Manhattan Beach.
- Written bySuzanna Cullen
Having grown up in the South Bay, Janette and Peter Ocampo understand the value of land—particularly land with ocean views. When a teardown with an ocean view became available in Manhattan Beach, they snapped up the opportunity to build their dream home.
They contacted Kim Komick of KKC Fine Homes to build the house, and Kim helped determine the best use of the land. By selling the lower portion of the lot and keeping the rear portion, they maintained the ocean views from the top floor of their new house.
KKC brought in Hermosa Beach designer Jon Starr to create a beautiful, compact home that has all of the necessary rooms for a busy family. In a very creative use of space, the house has multiple levels connected by one narrow staircase, thereby permitting as much living space as possible—including a top-floor patio.
When African wenge wood was recommended for the floors throughout the house, Janette says. “I wasn’t confident about them at first, because the striation and variation in the sample was very busy. However, they turned out beautifully, and we love them.”
Other confident design considerations include the limestone fireplace surround. Each piece of limestone was cut slightly differently and arranged so the pattern does not repeat.
Nestled into the below-ground floor are the teenage daughters’ bedrooms and sitting room area. “We gave them the entire floor to live, study and entertain, and they love having their own space,” says Janette. With creative touches such as an entire wall of chalkboard, bohemian-influenced textiles and mirrored vanities, the rooms emanate the colorful exuberance of youth.
The master bedroom is a reprieve on the middle floor—complete with a grand master bathroom and a small outdoor side terrace. Encased in cool grey and white, the entire space is a restful cocoon.
The third floor is an open concept floor plan, including floor-to-ceiling glass doors that open to an expansive ocean view. Though none of the spaces are large, the house is complete and flows beautifully from a casual family room nook to a living area to the dining area.
“The pair of chairs in the family room were rescued from the attic,” continues Janet. Closely resembling Paul McCobb chairs of the 1950s, the light maple armchairs add a refreshing dose of originality and a bit of history to the interior.
The kitchen features dark wood cabinets with crisp white Caesarstone quartz countertops. “One of my very favorite features is that the countertops are seamless, and there’s no grout,” says Janet.
“The kitchen barstools were a splurge,” she smiles. They are by Cherner and constructed from red gum tree wood from Australia. They represent another nod to mid-century design when Cherner chairs debuted in 1958.
Elizabeth Colt, an interior designer from San Diego, worked on the design of the house. “She’s a longtime friend from when we both worked for Delta, and she came up from San Diego to help me,” said Janette.
The most decoratively creative areas of the house are in the bathrooms, where Elizabeth helped Janet select fabulously colored glass tiles. The master bathroom tiles are called “water cube,” and they seem to blow up from the wall. The girls’ bathrooms have beautifully colored glass tiles resembling sea glass, while the powder room has gentle white tiles resembling abalone shells.
After living inland for so long, the Ocampos are thrilled with their new Manhattan Beach home. A creative floor plan, beautiful finishes and top-floor ocean views make their new home a beach dream come true. •