International Flavor

International Flavor

Putting a global eye on design

COLORS THROUGHOUT THIS LA JOLLA HOME conjure the spicy Silk Road shades of saffron, cumin and smoked paprika. A desire to touch is encouraged by the range of textures, including Kravet Threads on dining room chairs, cut velvet in the bedroom and basalt for the fireplace surround. 

Homeowners Barry and Jan Zane asked interior designer Helene Ziman to give the home they were going to build a contemporary Asian feel. From the custom furniture Ziman designed to the integration of their contemporary art and Asian collections, the Zanes got what they wanted. 

Barry, an engineer/entrepreneur who collects motorcycles, jokingly suggested he might have preferred a garage with a house attached instead of the other way around. 

Jan was totally involved with the choices that would express the Asian aesthetic. “Everything had to be run by me,” she says. After interviewing several designers, Jan selected Ziman because, she says, “She understood what I wanted. We just hit it off from the beginning.”

The Zanes bought Alex Faulkner’s spec-design architectural plans when they bought the property. From the beginning of building, Ziman worked closely with contractor Jeff Elden. Just a few modifications were made in customizing the 4,200-square-foot home. The Asian aesthetic was carried through in
the landscaping by Alan Conin of GFG Landscape.

Ziman says the home was designed for its La Jolla Village and near-the-water location. The Zanes, who moved to La Jolla seven  years ago from Boston, love the inside/outside aspects of their year-old house and its proximity to coastal walks, stores and restaurants. There are two courtyards for entertaining and a roof deck. 

“One courtyard outside the living area as you enter the house is perfect for winter days with a fireplace,” Ziman says. “The interior courtyard for summer months gives the owners an expanded living area and has a small Zen garden with a water feature that can be used year-round.”

There’s a peek of ocean on the main level, a better view from the master bedroom suite and the overall vista from the roof deck.

Inspired by her travels to Japan, Bali and other Asian outposts, Ziman loves anything ethnic. “I like giving an international flavor to design, mixing American, European and Japanese,” she says. “And I love beautiful, rich woods.”

The walnut floor that Ziman found for the house reminded her of Japan. “I took the concept to the wall forms, too. I liked the dark lines in the wood, the tones of amber and walnut.” 

Her admiration for fine detailing in a Japanese style is evident in the furniture pieces she designed, like the tansu-inspired cabinet of walnut with mahogany details in the family room. The massive but elegant pivoting front door is another example. 

Ziman also custom designed most of the upholstered pieces and many tables in the living room, family room and master bedroom. The powder room shows her exotic flair with its black granite counter, dark porcelain tile and lantern-like sconces with seeded glass.

When asked which room is her favorite, Jan answers, “I don’t have one. I love them all. When I walk downstairs every morning, I think, ‘This is the most calm, the most relaxing atmosphere I’ve ever lived in.’” 

Homes: By Phyllis Van Doren Photography by Larny Mack

Categories: Home Design