A Piece of the PieAuthor:Abigail Stone
Combining the best of old and new, Legaspi Courts Design serves up a home that integrates classic Spanish Colonial architecture with modern ideas for a luscious take on contemporary life.
With two young children and a third on the way, the clients knew it was only a matter of time before their home felt cramped. They considered renovating but quickly realized that neither the house nor the land it was on would accommodate their growing family. Fortunately, they discovered a larger lot in the same neighborhood. They called in Legaspi Courts Design to help them design their dream home.
“Our goal is a well-designed home that supports the chaos of life while also feeling like a sanctuary at the end of each day,” says Edel Legaspi who spearheads the interiors portion of the design process, “We see a home as an opportunity to reflect on who we are, where we have been, and where we want to go.” Adds her husband and business partner, architect Christopher Courts, “Clients truly appreciate knowing we’re going to be there from start to finish, ensuring everything, from exterior to interior, has been taken care, down to the smallest details.”
The shape of the lot proved to be the duo’s biggest challenge. Situated on a pie-shaped piece of land right on the portion of a cul-de-sac street where the road bowed out, a house built here would be visible on two sides. That meant paying attention not only to how the inside interacted with the exterior but to how it would look to people walking or driving by.
The team’s whole-cloth approach gave them an advantage in creating the house. “We design a home from the inside out,” Legaspi explains, “How many bedrooms? How do they entertain? And, while we’re considering that and laying out the inside and where all the kitchen cabinets should be, we’re also looking at the site and the design aesthetic and working on the outside so it’s really cohesive from the very beginning.” She adds, “And because we have the family experience and because Christopher and I have been doing this for a long time, we know how to get to the heart of understanding what the goals are and how they want this house to be. It’s an ongoing dialogue as we go through the process.”
The clients wanted the house to evoke the Mediterranean architecture that they’d fallen in love with on their many trips to Mexico and in the older Spanish Colonial Revival homes that dot Los Angeles. It was also important to them that the house retain a comfortable scale appropriate for a family and for the neighborhood. They wanted a mix of larger public areas for entertaining and smaller, more intimate spaces for hanging out as a family. Creating a connection between indoors and out was also a consideration.
Working within these parameters, Legaspi Courts Design created a home that feels expansive and generous without feeling overwhelming. “The overall plan creates “moments” so you don’t feel like you are walking into a big home,” says Courts.
A white stucco exterior with metal details and a red tile roof channels the clients beloved Spanish-style architecture. Inside, a double-height circular entryway with a dramatic curved staircase sets the stage for a home that mixes old-world elegance with modern warmth with its custom wrought iron railings and a wood tongue and groove-beamed ceiling highlighted by a custom chandelier designed by Legaspi Courts Design and fabricated by ADG lighting. An open floor plan, that elides the great room with an adjacent kitchen and breakfast nook, ensures unobstructed views of the exterior. The interior opens to a covered loggia, with a seating and dining area, ideal for outdoor entertaining, that overlooks a pool trimmed in Santa Barbara limestone.
“The best response, whenever we check in with our clients after they have settled in is, ‘We use every space in our house’,” says Legaspi. A home that answers a client’s needs? For Legaspi Courts Design, that’s a response that’s as sweet a pie.