Cape Cod casual meets modern milieu in Hermosa Beach.
- Written bySuzanna Cullen
In Nantucket, a basket is not just a basket. Nantucket lightship baskets are each worth thousands of dollars and are passed down from generation to generation as family mementos to be cherished and protected.
In New England, quality and historical reference far outweigh any current novelty, and no amount of money can purchase the most valuable asset of all: families spending summers together at the beach in century-old homes where cherished memories are created. Beckie and Drew Stoddard are Boston natives who are more familiar with the cobblestoned streets and wide expanses of undeveloped beaches of Nantucket than they are the crowded and compact neighborhoods of the South Bay.
Relocation to Los Angeles and the determined quest to find the perfect house finally drove them to Hermosa Beach. Unlike most Los Angeles residents who determine the desired area first, the Stoddards decided to let the perfect home determine their neighborhood.
“We weren’t wed to the South Bay, and my office is in Santa Monica—so we looked from Malibu to Redondo for the right house,” says Drew. After renting in Santa Monica for a year, they took a chance on driving to the South Bay.
As it usually happens in life, they found what they were looking for in a place they hadn’t originally considered. While the house was in the very early stages of framing, they could tell that it embodied the floor plan, views and light they were seeking.
Builder Kim Komick says, “With the help of Pat Killen on the plans, it was a great corner lot to work with.” Even though the house was at the beginning stages, all involved felt it was the right house for the family.
“After purchasing the house, we made changes to the original plans, and I made all of the finish selections. I literally spent weeks traveling to the Westside to look at possible finishes, but we’re thrilled with the final selections,” says Beckie.
Although she does not have an interior design degree, Beckie has a finely trained eye from years of living amidst the influences of classical architecture and quality construction. The house is encapsulated in many textures—all in warm, neutral tones that create the perfect canvas for the Stoddards’ growing collection of contemporary furniture and fine art photography.
“We’re not going to hang photographs of ourselves surfing,” laughs Drew. Instead the Stoddards are taking their time creating a collection of historical and internationally renowned fine art photographers.
Slim Aarons was one of the great photographers of the 20th century and widely acclaimed for his ability to intimately capture celebrities and socialites in international settings. A huge photograph of a pool at Cap d’Antibes taken by Aarons in the ‘50s hangs above the dining room table.
Their next purchase is a pair of photographs of a Portuguese beach by photographer Christian Chaize.
With ample wall space, the Stoddards’ collection will continue to expand for years to come.
The furnishings are equally sophisticated yet understated. Prominent, internationally acclaimed 20th-century furniture designs—from Togo by Ligne Roset to Eames—are found in every room. “We know the pieces and designers we want, so we’ll take our time to get the right ones,” says Beckie.
Each of the several outdoor living spaces has a different focus and function. With so many choices, the Stoddards can enjoy views in every direction and capture the light at any time of day.
“It’s a trek to my office in Santa Monica,” says Drew, “but the trade-off for us is that we found a house we love in a great neighborhood.” The family, who have a young daughter, enjoy having a park, the beach and a school nearby that create a real sense of community.
However, there is a great sense of creativity and community within the house. Currently a huge teepee occupies the family room while toys dot the floor. For this young South Bay family, while design is important, it’s evident that a family home is the first priority.
With that thought in mind, there are only two objects that dot the otherwise clean kitchen countertops. One is a lightship basket that is signed by the maker and was inscribed to the couple to mark their wedding day in Nantucket. The other is a ceramic white piggy bank with a blue bow on it that reads “Nantucket House.”
“As much as we still have to do to decorate this house, we’re going to be saving for our next major purchase: our summer house in Nantucket,” says Beckie. Clearly, the Stoddard family will embrace a contemporary house and life in the South Bay, but it will be framed by summers spent in Nantucket with baskets, wide beaches and generations of family.
LIKE THE LOOK? WE RECOMMEND…
Slim AaronS printprices vary gettyimagesgallery.com
Bertoia Diamond Lounge $1,132dwr.com
GRAY MINIDOT teEPEE $249
Kim Komick, KKC Fine Homes
Michael Gaines, Eco Concepts Landscaping