Kim Gordon And Mauricio Suarez in VeniceAuthor:Philip Ferrato
“Mauricio and I thought it would be a quick flip. That was four years ago.” quipped Kim Gordon of Kim Gordon Designs, the artist and designer best known for her soulful BoHo chic interiors in Venice and Santa Monica.
Gordon lives here with her longtime love/partner/in-house general contractor Mauricio Suarez, two boys and two dogs, in a house they’ve reinvented from top to bottom. Gordon and Suarez make a great creative pair– she’s the idea person, he translates those ideas into reality, making sure their projects fall within budget– and Gordon freely attributes her success to their partnership.
When they purchased the house– in a quiet neighborhood near the beach and on a cul-de-sac where her sons could play– Gordon was concerned that the ceilings on the first floor were too low and spaces too confining. The solution? Excavate to lower the floor level, creating a sunken living room. Paving the floors in hand-split, radiant-heated black limestone and taking down most of the walls, the result is an airy, open plan centered around the kitchen.
To realize Gordon’s vision for the kitchen, Suarez sourced an engineered European oak veneer to clad the otherwise stock cabinets, topped with expanses of honed limestone, although as Gordon says “the jury’s still out on the honed limestone. It doesn’t get along very well with lemon juice.” The wrought iron and glass pendants are from Anthropologie.
The ceilings throughout are hand-troweled plaster, and everywhere there are the signs of handmade, like Gordon’s signature black wrought iron windows, fabricated locally. “I love that you can that see and feel they’re made by hand, rather than on an assembly line”. Extending the expanse of the sliding doors from floor to ceiling also helps to blur the line between indoors and out.
“There’s nothing more grounding than coming home, kicking off your shoes, and walking on heated stone floors.”
Upstairs, a riff on the Neo-classical in wrought iron and brass. All the bedrooms have Gordon’s interpretation of French style windows and Juliet balconies.
Embodying the old proverb “living well is the best revenge”, Gordon and Suarez have created a space for themselves that’s completely unpretentious and deeply personal, and for a family that spends a lot of time in the home’s outdoor spaces– swimming, lounging, cooking, and eating– in true California style.
Photo Credit: Brandon Arant