Back to the Beach
Longing for a “walkable” lifestyle, an Encinitas couple builds a Craftsman-style home near town and the shoreline
Seventeen years ago, Sherin and Demian Kloer lived in a tiny place three blocks from Moonlight State Beach in Encinitas. They subsequently moved inland to Encinitas Ranch. “We always wanted to get back to the beach,” Sherin says. “We wanted the walking lifestyle; we wanted to be close to town.” Perched on a hill just blocks from Swami’s Beach in Encinitas, the lot with a 1950s bungalow offered the ocean view that Sherin and Demian desired. They had heard rumors that the owner, who lived across the street from the property, was ready to sell it. So they knocked on his door and asked. The couple used a similarly direct tactic to find Ronda Glaser, their builder, interior designer and landscape architect. They knocked on the door of a nearby house they admired and asked who built it. Then, with Ronda on board and Brian Church as their architect, Sherin and Demian set about creating what they envisioned for their family of four: a two-story, Craftsman-style home. “I always loved this style,” Sherin says. “I knew I wanted it to feel beachy but to have modern elements as well.” The exterior features standard Craftsman architectural touches: exposed rafters, decorative brackets, and cedar shingle and vertical siding.
The 4,800-square-foot interior layout, however, reveals a more contemporary approach. A CrossFit gym, for example, takes up almost the entire basement, while the first floor comprises bedrooms for sisters Ruby, 12, and Summer, 15; a media/family room; a guest room; and a laundry room. The main living space — a great room, the master suite (which includes a washer and dryer closet) and Demian’s office — commands the second floor. T ucked into a space no wider than a coat closet, a custom-made, black powder-coated steel staircase leads from the second story to an unfurnished roof deck used by the girls and their friends.
The great room provides a lovely view of the Pacific. But Sherin had an additional goal in mind for this space. “We didn’t want rooms that we couldn’t use,” she explains. “We didn’t need formal living and dining rooms.” Beams of kiln-dried Douglas fir span the vaulted ceiling of the great room, with Douglas fir planks placed on the diagonal. Below, wide-plank, white oak flooring gives off a beach-house vibe. Light pours in from all angles — thanks to panoramic doors leading to a covered deck, windows surrounding the dining area and skylights. To avoid the darkness of her previous home in a planned community, Sherin required a design in which the lights never have to be turned on in the middle of the day.
“I wanted this home to feel really calm and relaxed, because that’s who we are,” she says. “We’re very calm, comfortable people.” The home exudes tranquility with a soothing driftwood color palette, accented by soft grays, navy and white. The shades are everywhere: in a taupe sectional sofa, a navy and beige rug, rattan chairs, a gray-upholstered banquette around a white oak dining table, outdoor fireplace stonework, gunmetal gray patio furniture and a fawn-colored rug in the master bedroom. “I have a theory that you should look great in your own house,” Ronda says. Often, when she’s searching for color palette ideas, she’ll take stock of the clothing in her clients’ closets. Amid the subdued palette, handmade tiles offer plenty of eye-catching details. Patterned/glazed terra cotta tiles flank the fireplace. Triangular, basalt tiles in the kitchen’s backsplash complement the gray-and-black quartz kitchen countertops. Japanese motifs swirl in the porcelain tiles of the upstairs guest bathroom. In the downstairs guest bathroom, Carrara tiles with fleurs-de-lis in muted aqua, white and gray have such a smooth finish that they look like wallpaper.
The front yard reflects the same tonality as the interior. Pewter and white pebbles and sand-colored pea gravel wind through drought-tolerant plants such as succulents, kangaroo paws, agaves and Spanish lavender.
In the back yard, limestone stepping-stones lead to a gray concrete spa. Around the corner, lettuces and vegetables grow in elongated, metal horse troughs. The low-maintenance aspect of the yard allows Sherin and Demian to handle gardening chores themselves. The family has lived in the house for almost a year and in that short time has received multiple offers from interested buyers. But they are staying put. “I think the nicest thing about this house is that when their children are both gone or in college, Sherin and Demian won’t feel separated with one person rattling around upstairs and one person downstairs,” Ronda says. “All their living can take place on the second floor.”