Interior Design's Best in Design 2021

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Brininstool + Lynch MARIPOSA HOUSE, MALIBU, CALIFORNIA

Named the Mariposa House because of the abundant butterfly activity in the area, this renovated 1955 residence is an exemplar of the California modernist style. Brininstool + Lynch’s clients initially purchased the property because of the lush canyon site in the Santa Monica Mountains, which was also uncommonly private and expansive for Malibu. They knew such parcels were rare, but they were also enticed by the home’s excellent bones, originally the work of local architect Alfred T. “Hap” Gilman, who admired the work of Frank Lloyd Wright. Led by founding principal Brad Lynch, the design team began a thoughtful reimagining of the house by stripping it back to its barest elements—specifically a few stone walls and many of the original roof beams. The renovation brings back much of the authentic midcentury spirit while updating nearly every system to the highest present-day standards, including an important earthquake-resistant structural retrofit. Douglas fir beams and tongue-and-groove ceilings as well as a new terrazzo floor span the entire house and continue outside, blurring the line between the interior and exterior, a key hallmark of California modernism. Clean lines and a carefully considered materials palette provide calming spaces with various functions, sensitively defined by custom walnut millwork (see the kitchen cabinetry, for instance) and the careful arrangement of vintage and contemporary furniture.

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