Project Overview & Objectives
San Juan Capistrano, a small beach community between Los Angeles and San Diego, California, is a lovely, quiet tourist destination. Rental properties are facing increasing competition with the rise of online marketplaces like Airbnb. To command top-dollar, homes need to be as remarkable as they are photogenic.
The plan for the Melrose Pad duplex was to add a pool, an outdoor projection system, and roll-up garage doors to allow an open flow between outdoor and indoor living spaces. Inside, the idea was to make the spaces flexible enough to host one, two or even three families vacationing together while still being able to section off the home if separate visitors were staying at the property simultaneously.
The Melrose Pad home was (and appeared) well-loved. To stand out online (and in person), it needed to have a more clean, contemporary look—and amenities to match. The challenge for this project was to integrate many desirable features into the home while creating the clean, bright, airy feel that the camera—and online shoppers—love. And it had to be done within the existing long and narrow building footprint.
This meant finding innovative ways of communicating between The ANT Group and client to help visualize and suggest several different design styles for the home that made sense. Our revisions also required a few floor plan ideas to ensure the space was well planned.
As design progressed, color overlays began to indicate materials, such as glass, concrete, wood, and stone. Color sketches helped the client understand how decisions about design elements would work together, which was very helpful in advancing the design’s evolution.
– Communication is Key
After gathering visual inspiration on a private Pinterest board shared with the client, The ANT Group started to set up initial concepts. The home would remain a duplex with a kitchen on each level, however an outdoor staircase would be added that could be locked or unlocked to either connect or separate the two floors. Bunkroom-style bedrooms would replace the smaller existing bedrooms to accommodate up to eight guests per unit, with master bedrooms available for adults. Durable materials, such as Trex simulated wood surfaces, would help create the modern clean look desired, while providing exceptional durability in the windy salt environment.
Elevations showed the client what the character of the building could look like. As design progressed, color overlays began to indicate materials, such as glass, concrete, wood, and stone. Color sketches helped the client understand how decisions about design elements would work together, which was very helpful in advancing the design’s evolution. The final presentation included the inspiration images alongside the colored sketches to better communicate design intent.
A total of ten concepts were considered, which is 6 or 7 more than usual. The design package was carefully presented, in person, to minimize the feeling of being overwhelmed. Design leadership is necessary when a lot of options are being considered. When a client can easily discern what should be integrated into a project, everyone wins.
Revit, BIM9, SketchBook Pro, Pinterest, GoToMeeting, Wacom Cintiq.
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