All About the View
It’s cozy to read when sitting on the Herman Miller Eames chair in the living room’s corner and easy to watch television from the comfy couch. What’s difficult is tearing yourself away from the spectacular ocean view that’s now a highlight thanks to a redo of this La Jolla home by architect Christian Rice.
Incredible. One of the best view lots in San Diego County.” That’s architect Christian Rice raving about a La Jolla property with a hilltop panorama featuring a lengthy stretch of curving coastline along the Pacific Ocean. Unfortunately, the 1963 residence standing on this lookout lot didn’t give its scenic advantage much consideration. “The entry from the front door was dark, not very welcoming and didn’t have much to offer,” says Sarah Sacido of the home she and her husband, Antonio, purchased. “It had a peek to the ocean, but not a clear shot.” Now, behind the opaque glass of an unassuming entrance door a dramatic surprise awaits: the sea’s vastness directly before you, beckoning you in to take a closer look. “We loved that you had this moment of transparency when you walked in,” Christian says. “The entry was made all the more interesting with a unique, stone-clad wall that contains niches. We mimicked the same slate element at the side of the dining room.”
The short hallway by the front door leads to the open space where living, dining and cooking take place. In the living area, a 30-foot, sliding glass pocket door touches elbows with the dining room’s floor-to-almost-ceiling, fixed window. This is the dual set of windows through which the ocean and the home’s infinity edge pool are so clearly seen at the entrance. “By knocking out the wall between the living room and kitchen, we further expanded the view to the ocean from the entry,” Sarah says. “Then, in the living area, my husband and I popped the ceilings up even more than what Christian originally designed. We had 7-foot, flat ceilings and now they are more like 10 feet and are vaulted. It was a good move to go as high as we could to get that extra height and make the space feel more open and larger.”
The west windowed wall, which travels from the great room through to the master bedroom, was pushed out 8 feet toward the ocean, which afforded a more expansive space for the great room and allowed for a walk-in closet and new master bathroom. The interiors lean toward contemporary and what Sarah calls “earthy,” with handcrafted white oak floors throughout, vein-cut stone on the great room’s focal-point fireplace and a looks-and-feels-like-wood-grain melamine on an entertainment-center/bookcase wall that matches cabinetry elsewhere. Christian reworked the kitchen layout into a bright space, perfect for entertaining. Now open to the dining/living areas — and the ocean panorama — it also accommodates a double island and, by stealing space from the garage, a walk-in pantry. Behind the island, a sliding pocket door leads to an outdoor dining area on a deck that wraps its way around the house to mosey on back to the infinity-edge pool and the seascape beyond. After all, looking out to the ocean was a main goal in the makeover. Or, as Christian puts it, “Capturing the view was what it was all about.”