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California Dreamin’

Santa Lucia Preserve residence offers a west-coast take on luxury

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Ask someone to define “California style” and they’re likely to offer a bunch of words: Laid back. Spacious. Bright and airy. The best California homes are intentional and stylized, yet distinctly informal. They’re homes designed to be lived in, rather than simply to be dressed up and admired from afar.

California style might also point you in the direction of the Santa Lucia Preserve. Located in the sagebrush-covered hills above the scenic California town of Carmel-by-the-Sea, about 20 minutes away from the world-renowned Pebble Beach golf course, the 7-bedroom ranch-style home is the epitome of California style—albeit with a distinctly luxurious twist.


Top: A neutral colour palette gives this Santa Lucia Preserve home a light, airy feel. Bottom: The dramatic art deco tile in the master bathroom was inspired by the clients’ favourite hotel.

“There’s a luxury in California that’s [about] much more than things,” says Michael Booth, principal of BAMO, the award-winning interior design studio tasked with decorating and furnishing the home. “It’s lifestyle. It’s climate. Your access to water and air [can be] a luxurious thing. Luxury isn’t an easy word to use.”

When Booth met with the home’s owners, he quickly determined that their concept of luxury meant a complete departure from the hustle and bustle of the big city. In contrast to the clients’ main home in London, England, their California home was intended to be a quiet, calming sanctuary encouraging both residents and guests to enjoy life at a slower pace, while also showcasing the couple’s tastes and personalities.

Simple, unfussy architecture with a minimum of molding and trim work is a signature of the California style.

The home’s design was an exercise in layering, with simple architecture and neutral tones providing a foundation for character-filled artwork and select design pieces. Built as a long, single-story ranch house with distinct wings for living and guest areas (a characteristic style of California estate homes), the home features a single off-white colour scheme that radiates a bright, airy feeling during the day and a warm, comfortable mood at night.

Order the Magnifissance print edition to read the full story.

This story is from Magnifissance Issue 121

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