In this episode of our "Design Rewind" video series, I revisit the "Mimosa Residence" in Rancho Santa Fe, one of the early milestones in my career. I reflect on the challenges I grappled with, especially with the demanding Homeowners Association (HOA), and the unique architectural decisions required for this traditionally styled home.
From reimagining the kitchen to introducing a functional trellis for sun-shading, I walk you through my design journey, emphasizing the balance of form and function. The project also shines a spotlight on my collaboration with interior designer Denae Netto, blending modern and traditional designs.
Despite the inherent challenges, the result was a satisfied client and a design seamlessly approved by the stringent HOA.
Hi, I'm Sean Canning, principal architect at 1070 Architecture, and today we're going to feature our third design rewind project. This is a video series where I turn back the clock on my career and talk about my earliest projects. As usual, I'm going to go through three parts. Initially, the client brief, and then a design breakdown, which is going to be some old project images, and I'm going to try to explain why the design ended up looking the way it did.
And finally, I'm going to give you a conclusion about what happened with the projects and. What happened with the clients? Let's get started. So this is the mimosa residence. This was my first project in Rancho Santa Fe. I've. Probably worked on about five or six projects in Rancho Santa Fe at this point in my career.
And about ten years ago, I swore off on all Rancho Santa Fe projects. I did not enjoy working with their HOA. Most of the homes are way too big. And they're very rigid in the styles that they accept. So, therefore, in the last decade, I have not taken a single project in Rancho Santa Fe. But let's take a look at my first project in Rancho Santa Fe.
So, this was the existing home. It's kind of right by the golf course. And you can see how large this home is. It has almost like a cross shaped layout with a little bit of an odd angle at the area of the home where I was working. The scope of work included a kitchen remodel, some various interior ceiling details, and an exterior trellis.
The project was single family. Most of Rancho Santa Fe is single family zoning. And the project challenges was a traditional design, which is certainly out of my wheelhouse, and also an HOA, which is extremely rigid. So this is the floor plan basically we had a kitchen over here, and then this was a little sitting room, and you have the pool right here, but this area here gets kind of killed with sun all day.
So the clients came to me and they wanted me to build a trellis of some sorts in this area to help shield that sun.
So what we did initially was I turned the island, so you can see now we have a rectilinear island. This will. Kind of take up the space a little bit more, but also give the opportunity for more seating.
Then I opened up the ceiling in this area. There is an existing Ridge beam right about here. So that kind of created a good central point on the cooktop, which was right here. So we kind of introduced some symmetry and then the ceiling would kind of go up in this direction and up in this direction. So we create an area where you could hang a chandelier above the island and kind of really create a central focal point.
It, it made sense to me because this was where that existing ridge in the house was running. And then there was another ridge which ended up tying in here. So from a modernist perspective, working on a traditional home, I was really looking for some reason that the form would influence the function.
And when I discovered that the existing ridge of the, of the house was right in the area where I need to create a focal point, that's what I used. So once we opened that area up here, We tied it together with a couple of tie beams. And my initial plan was to reuse the existing tie beams, but since they were up in the attic, they were not in good condition, the clients ended up pulling them out and putting in some finished tie beams, honestly, same difference.
But you know, I was working with this theory that we could reuse the existing. Not always the case in practice. After that we basically redesigned this area, the sitting area of the, of the room. And built in a little bit of an area for a desk and some bookshelves. And then here's, you can kind of see the trellis.
At least this was the initial idea. And then here's where the trellis ended up situated. Shading from sun on all three windows here. Here's some early SketchUp renderings of how this how this trellis would shade. And with SketchUp, you can actually use the Solo Orientation Tool and see where, realistically, you would have shadows.
And that's what we're looking for here. I'm looking for this color shadow on these windows here. You can see the sun only comes up to here. And it's only 50 percent now. There's a rendering with a little bit more color. And you can see my SketchUp skills were very rudimentary at this point. Some perspectives.
And here now I'm experimenting with some different angles. We have this detail at the end here, which kind of, probably works a little nicer with the traditional style of the home. And ultimately these were the drawings that I produced for construction on this project. So I really wanted to make sure that we kind of got the right.
The right notches at the top. We had this post base. So initially at this stage We had these big post bases, which the clients liked Not particularly my taste, but I had shown a couple different options and they reacted positively to this one And here you can see they're actually being built like that but what happens a lot of times in construction is midway through construction a client kind of changes their mind and Here you can see they ended up Installing much smaller ones by the, by the end of the project.
So those were later removed. Clients also installed this bamboo over the top, which you can kind of see here in this photo. Ultimately I wish they did not do that. And I believe a lot of the sap from that bamboo and they're coming down and staining the trellis. So that was something that wasn't on my drawings and they added afterwards.
So not my recommendation, but it's, it's their trellis, it's their house. They have, they can do that if they choose. Here's some other angles. And here's a nice angle of the pool and you can see how the shading is actually really working well because the shadows all the way on this side. And here we did get those nice cuts.
These were some really preliminary renderings of that kitchen. This is before we did the renderings for our projects in house. And I would actually outsource these renderings. And these are not the best renderings. I'm not even sure if I presented these to the client to be honest. This is an interior elevation that I drew.
So it's actually the same wall right here. But when I drew it, I kind of spaced out the proportions a little bit more. So we have a kind of a desk area over here on this side and a TV area over here. So the modernist in me really wants to micro program this room and kind of find what each use would be.
And then I have some finished photos here. So this is how it actually ended up being finished. So there's the little, little desk area here in the freestanding desk in front. There's that TV wall over here, little sitting area. And you can probably see the trellis out the window over here somewhere. This is the island.
This is the cooktop, which is on center, on center on that island. And here you can see that ceiling detail. So we really loved the ceiling there. And those are those finished high beams. So they're actually structurally supportive beams. But they're also aesthetic at the same time. So that's kind of what I was looking to do here on this small project.
And here you can see everything is kind of lining up. So we have this line across here. Down here, a couple of little details. I worked with a great interior designer on this project, Denae Netto of Netto Design, and she came up with all these cool little kitchen details.
There's looking out to that pool. And then in the other areas of the home, the clients wanted me to show them different examples of like a tray ceiling or a coffer ceiling. So here's a couple different options. And then here's the other room where I had kind of photoshopped some different options on top of existing photos of the existing condition.
And there's some more of those.
And ultimately these are the construction drawings which showed where to build those ceiling details.
And here's the roof plan. And this was a framing section so they can see how to detail that. And these are photos of how those tray ceilings ended up looking.
So this was a little bit out of my style as you can probably tell, but I think just applying basic principles to this design, a traditional design, I can start to, I can make it work. So we're, I'm looking at proportion. I'm still using a form follows function process here. And for the most part aside from some unnecessary ornament, I am pretty, pretty rigid in keeping the ornament down.
Now once an interior designer gets their hands on the project, you may lose, you may lose sight of that. But it, not too much on this project. This was actually an option where the client wanted like, they wanted to see what it would look like if the whole wall was one of those bifold doors. So that's what that would look like.
They ultimately, they did not go with that.
And just like some of the older projects, I would actually go and create. additional content for the project. So this was a rendering that I had probably done after the project was finished. And here's some diagrams of how that kitchen was supposed to open up into the, into the trellis area. And there's another SketchUp model of how that trellis was going to shade.
So, in conclusion, what happened here? Well, the project got built. It was one of the first projects that got built in the city of San Diego, or, sorry, I should say in the county of San Diego, because it was, was in Rancho Santa Fe. The HOA approved this on the first shot. It was kind of a miracle, because that's pretty rare in Rancho Santa Fe, but I guess it was such a small project on the backside of the home, they weren't super concerned about it.
And, ultimately, the clients were very happy with the project. So, I'd say this was a success. Well, anyway, if you like the projects feel free to comment. If you can see some of the modern concepts that I tried to put into this traditional home, drop me a comment below as always like, and subscribe.