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A Serene, “Well-Balanced” House for a Violinist and a Physician, Inspired by Vivaldi

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A Serene, “Well-Balanced” House for a Violinist and a Physician, Inspired by Vivaldi

January 29, 2021

In the first days of January, photographer (and longtime Remodelista friend) Laure Joliet emailed us a project she’d captured on a hilltop in the town of Palos Verdes Estates, California. The images showed interiors that felt balanced, elegant, and somehow melodic, if a space could be described that way—a sense that became clear when I emailed with the designer behind it, Beatriz Rose of LA-based Byrdesign.

The project is “a well-balanced home for a dynamic couple,” Beatriz writes. “Much of the inspiration came from their very being, as from the onset I sensed a strong creative force behind their subtle demeanor.” The clients are a California-based pair: “Kevin Kumar, the cofounder and artistic director of Salastina music society (a wonderful organization dedicated to making classical music approachable and relevant), is an extremely talented and passionate violinist who has appeared as a soloist with the Los Angeles Philharmonic and other renowned orchestras around the world,” Beatriz says. “Kevin’s other half is one of our brave doctors on the frontline helping COVID patients battle this health crisis.”

So it was fitting that, when embarking on the project, Beatriz looked to music for its creativity, beauty, and ability to steady, inspire, and soothe. In particular, a “stellar performance of Vivaldi’s ‘La Follia’ helped me articulate the emotion for the house,” Beatriz says. “It was an old soul and a hidden classical beast with a bold and modern mind.” And, she points out, “The design process was like conducting a sequence of spaces with thoughtful neatness, continuity, purpose, and elements of surprise.”

In counterpoint to—or, rather, in harmony with—these musical underpinnings, Beatriz also took inspiration from the physician of the couple: “She was the voice of modernity and practicality in the project,” she says. “Her refined, rustic sensibility is reflected in the natural and organic materials chosen, where subtle textures add a tactile warmth and bucolic charm to otherwise a modern and minimalist space.”

Join us for a look at the living spaces, kitchen, and—of course—music room.

Photography by Laure Joliet.

the living area. the house as it was had a &#8\2\20;split personality,& 9
Above: The living area. The house as it was had a “split personality,” the designer writes on her site: “Spanish, 1970s Brady Bunch, and 1990s Colonial.” It needed “some elegant, classical architectural language but nothing too ornate,” so Beatriz—who earned a B.A. in Film and Media Studies from U.C. Irvine before pursuing a degree in interior architecture—sought out “Italian neoclassical and surrealist art for inspiration in bridging the modern and classical.”

“Giorgio de Chirico’s works resonated, and I began to toy with the idea of incorporating Roman arches, arcades, and barrel ceilings to shape and frame the interior views—creating moments of surprise and awe as you turn a corner or frame the views of the pastoral landscape of Palos Verdes Estate,” she says.

&#8\2\20;higher ceilings were created with new shapes, and five new skyligh 10
Above: “Higher ceilings were created with new shapes, and five new skylights strategically placed in the foyer and central corridors of the house, providing an even and repetitive light beam across the dark, long corridors and staircase,” says Beatriz. “The diffused light creates a very tranquil atmosphere.” The artwork beside the window is by Mineral Workshop, part of the topography series.
through a wide archway, into the kitchen. the black pendant is the astro dome l 11
Above: Through a wide archway, into the kitchen. The black pendant is the Astro Dome Light by Andrew Neyer, and the living room furnishings are from Lawson-Fenning. The rug is from Stark Carpet.
&#8\2\20;in the kitchen, dark cabinetry (painted in benjamin moore&#8\2 12
Above: “In the kitchen, dark cabinetry (painted in Benjamin Moore’s Midnight) pairs with “a sturdy and prominent chef’s work table for a more casual and rustic appeal,” Beatriz says. At left, “the grouping of the dining table and chairs is a nod to Japanese-inspired woodworking and joinery and sets the stage for the owner’s various handmade Japanese teaware and Chinese ceramics.”
cabinets are fitted with clean lined, unobtrusive hardware from top knobs. 13
Above: Cabinets are fitted with clean-lined, unobtrusive hardware from Top Knobs.
a generous backsplash continues above the counter. (for a similar look, see \16 14
Above: A generous backsplash continues above the counter. (For a similar look, see 16 Favorite Marble Kitchen Backsplashes, for Maximum Drama.)
another archway frames a view of the kitchen/dining area. the oversized white p 15
Above: Another archway frames a view of the kitchen/dining area. The oversized white pendant is from Dainolite, the counter stools from Menu.
the bright but quiet foyer. &#8\2\20;we left many walls as a blank canvas f 16
Above: The bright but quiet foyer. “We left many walls as a blank canvas for the eyes to rest,” says Beatriz. “The arches create interest, and the simple geometric shapes of light fixtures suspend in the air like musical notes on a sheet of white parchment.”

The pendant is the Trapeze by Apparatus Studio; beneath it is a vintage Chinese stool, found at the Long Beach flea market.

Above L: The powder room, with floor and backsplash wall done in three varieties of Tabarka Studio’s Basel tile, the other walls in a custom limewash by Portola Paints. The sink is by Kast Concrete Basins, and the pendant is by Foscarini. Above R: A moment of visual quiet.
&#8\2\20;the music den would house a concert hall size mahogany grand piano 19
Above: “The music den would house a concert hall-size mahogany grand piano,” says Beatriz of the design plan. “This room would need to be versatile: a tranquil creative space to experiment with musical ideas, rehearse, record, and host virtual events. We reconfigured the wall to create a uniform wrap-around bookcase to serve as the background for the piano and left the rest of the room open for a myriad arrangement for the musical practice chairs and stools.”

Salastina has offered free, virtual “happy hour” classical music concerts every Tuesday since the early days of pandemic lockdowns (and offer “private, virtual bedside concerts for patients, their families, and medical staff in UCLA’s ICU,” too). See the Salastina events page for details on their upcoming performances.

a clever pull out writing desk in the music room, paired with an old wooden cha 20
Above: A clever pull-out writing desk in the music room, paired with an old wooden chair, a flea-market find. The built-in cabinetry is painted in Mizzle by Farrow & Ball.

For more spaces inspired by music—or for/by musicians—see:

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