Not Your Typical Beach House


Hawk & Co works with Brandon Architects to defy traditional beach living when designing this modern marvel in Laguna Beach

The entry features large format stone walls, minimal black iron balustrade and artwork by Ben Hecht.
Photos by Manolo Langis.

“With a personal commitment to honor the natural environment, I am dedicated to incorporating biophilic and sustainable design in my projects. I strive for my work to transform the built environment into emotionally engaging spaces by reinterpreting interior massing and seamlessly incorporating experiential, interactive technology,” says Summer Jensen, CEO of Hawk & Co, a Laguna Beach-based interior design firm. “Hawk & Co reinterprets luxury into an experience, not a commodity. Sumptuous and provocative, the result of my creative process strikes a balance of minimalism and opulence.”

In the open great room, the sofa is custom, the side table is by Venicem and the rug if from Amara Rugs. Photos by Manolo Langis.
The kitchen features black cabinets from Poliform, Miele Appliances, Newport Brass fixtures and a sink from ROHL.
Photos by Manolo Langis.

Brandon Architects called the Hawk & Co team to help bring this minimal, 9,800-square-foot beach house to life for clients who wanted something far from the norm. “Their ultimate goal was a non-traditional beach house that was durable and easy to live in with kids,” Jensen recalls. “It was important to the client that the space feel like a modern sanctuary set at the beach rather than the beach houses that you see over and over again, along the coast of Southern California.”

A black stained oak table from Holly Hunt sits under a hanging sculpture by Bahk Seon Ghi and is surrounded by chairs from Poltrona Frau. Photos by Manolo Langis.

The teams worked together to devise an expansive and very open home that allows the surrounding landscape to flow into every space. “As you enter the upper level, the home’s the strong slatted ceiling cants upward in opposition to the hillside’s slope provides a dynamic expression of grandness,” Jensen notes. “The form was dictated greatly by the shape of the lot and the four stepped terraces that created the massing and a central bifurcating hallway, with the bedrooms to one side and the utility rooms to the opposite side. The layout considered the views heavily from every part of the home—even to the extent that we compacted our ceiling heights to add a roof top deck, the best view in the house.”

The upper level powder room features Vola fixtures, Artistic Tile stone and a large photograph by Jean Philippe Piter.
Photos by Manolo Langis.

Material selection played a key role in enhancing the structure’s modernity and embracing the clients’ love of minimalism. “The clients contemplated no wood, then different sizes of wood tongue and groove before deciding to add a little depth (and a lot of complexity) by using a batten instead of a flat plank,” she says. “That touch of warm modernism helped to balance the monochromatic palette. Our builder, Chris Gallo of Gallo Builders is such a perfectionist.  The ceilings were a masterpiece with precise locations of every slat, custom milled light and speaker rings were located and located until they were absolutely perfect. I really appreciate when a builder cares about precision in the same way I do.”

In the primary bedroom, a custom bed covered in Holly Hunt textiles is flanked by two custom nightstands clad in stone and a pair of shades from Poliform. Photos by Manolo Langis.

“I am always inspired by the architecture of the home first,” says Jensen. “With full height operable, automated glass doors, the architectural language will always be seen from inside so it ultimately becomes the backdrop to the interiors. The home became a study of different ways to use a line.” Jensen’s dedication to the architectural intention is evident in each space. Each furniture, fixture and material selection has a direct connection to the home, the views and environment. When asked how the clients responded to the final reveal she proclaimed, “They were really excited! It had been a long build with struggles along the way but it represented their desire, their love for California.”