Erik Peterson of PHX Architecture designed the ultimate beach chic vacation getaway home.
After 18 years in the desert, an Arizona couple needed some water therapy. After searching for their perfect beachside escape for over two years, they finally found it on the tiny Lido Isle hamlet in the harbor of Newport Beach, California. The homeowners immediately contacted Erik Peterson, owner of PHX Architecture, the architect who helped them design their Arizona home 18 years prior.
The initial idea was to simply refresh the waterfront home, but when the wife, a designer, and Peterson started brainstorming, the plan morphed from the design version of Botox to a full-on facelift.
“We pivoted from a small project to take it to the studs and start over renovation,” Peterson says. “Throughout, her husband kept looking at me saying this was a ‘small project, how did you let it get out of hand,’ but once it all came together, he admitted it was stunning.”
With an enviable location right on the water with an attached boat slip, the property met the number one real estate rule—location, location, location. However, the stuck in the 1980s Tuscan villa façade did not complement the stellar location. So, the first step of the transformation was to find a new look for the 3,600-square-foot home.
“The homeowners knew they wanted the feel of a Hamptons home, with a touch more modernity,” Peterson says. “We pulled imagery from Pinterest and other online sites to help us get our palette going and then we created our own look.”
That look focused on using white with black trim, pops of blue, beadboard and a liberal use of glass throughout the house.
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The renovation plans called for keeping the same footprint and maintaining the three bedroom, three-and-a-half bath configuration. But everything else was on the table.
The most dramatic change was taking the façade from Italian countryside to New York beach chic. The house morphed from tan stucco with a red tile roof to one with clean lines, white brick with black trim and a black roof.
The addition of more windows and more light was also another major change to the home.
“It’s always silly to me when you have great views not to open up the house as much as possible,” Peterson says. “The trick for this house was balancing privacy and light on the sides since the homes are so tightly packed. We used fluted glass to redirect light in, without the ability to see in.”
A signature for PHX Architecture is the use of natural light. To fully take advantage of the water views, Peterson added floor-to-ceiling windows on everything that backed to the water.
“On a long, thin lot, you have to figure out how to bring it in,” he says. “To give the clients the edge-to-edge glass at the back of the house and the more open floor plan they desired required lots of steel to reframe the space.”
To add light to the interior portions of the home, skylights were incorporated throughout the house.
Inside the home, one of the biggest projects was opening the floorplan from a 1980s home with delineated spaces, to a modern, open floor plan.
“The biggest structural change on the main level was removing a big wall between the kitchen and main living space,” Peterson explains. “It was a game changer for the house. Now when you walk in the front door everything is tied together in one big, open room with spaces defined by different ceiling treatments.”
The entrance was modified to create a stunning first impression of the house. It is now a two-story glass entrance with a black steel door that seamlessly blends with the exterior façade.
The focal point of the home is a sweeping staircase.
“We decided to make it a sculptural statement,” Peterson says. “It has a beautiful, gracious curve with a skylight at the top to let light in.”
The banister was crafted by an artist working from an inspirational image the client supplied. He also created a lens for the skylight with detailing that mimics the detailing on the railing.
As any homeowner knows, it’s the small details and personalization that make a house a home.
A lot of the interior design of the Lido House centered around the homeowner’s art and sculpture collection. To help highlight the pieces, lighting was a key element for the home.
“We worked with a great lighting designer to redo the lighting in the entire home,” Peterson added. “We used frameless LCD lights throughout.”
To let the art shine and to carry on the Hampton house vibe, the house is decorated with a neutral palette and clean lines. The interior furnishings were a collaboration between the homeowner and Peterson.
“Our motto of home building is creating living architecture. These aren’t museums,” Peterson says. “To hear the homeowners talk about all the memories they’ve already made in the home is what makes it special. When I hear that, I know we did something pretty special.”
This story is sponsored by our friends at PHX Architecture.