Synergy of StyleAuthor:Lindsey Shook
Nakhshab Development and Design realizes a remarkable LEED certified home with mid-century bones for a like-minded client, passionate about design.
“Mid-century modern architects were the last generation of master builders, I felt compelled to bring that philosophy back into play in today’s world,” says Soheil Nakhshab, founder of Nakhshab Development and Design. Based in San Diego, the firm approaches their work with the master builder philosophy, serving as the central figure in the entire design and build process. “I am an architect, but I’m also a structural engineer, builder and landscape architect,” notes Nakhshab. “Good design is about understanding all aspects of the process and being able to create a beautiful, timeless design that takes into consideration the client’s needs, the site, light, construction materials, products and so much more.”
When it came to the design of this 5,400 square foot Post and Beam home, the client wanted to honor the original structure’s mid-century bones but build something “that the world would appreciate in an environment that lacks the sophisticated palette and value for real architecture,” Nakhshab notes. The matriarch of the family of four, Julie Crosby, left her career in tech to raise her daughters full-time as well as pursue her passion for design. Having worked on several residential remodel and renovation projects, Crosby has a fervent understanding of the process which made Nakhshab’s job much more gratifying.
A chef at heart, Crosby’s culinary passion was a key factor when curating the hub of the home. “I had to incorporate a dedicated space for a butler’s pantry that the client detailed out with specifics for her functional needs,” says Nakhshab. The next imperative priority was to permeate each space with the predominant Southern California light. “The use of atriums, open design concepts, extensive use of glass and skylights flooded the home with light and created the connection between the interior and exterior.”
Massive floor-to-ceiling windows and doors by Fleetwood were installed throughout to further deepen the home’s connection with the surrounding sandstone-filled, drought-tolerant landscape, also designed by Nakhshab. Crosby worked closely with the development team on the day-to-day efforts including the selection of all finishes and fixtures. She enlisted San Francisco designer Michael Hilal to curate the furnishings, lighting and accessories, whose self described style is “California modern with some New York influence.”
The moody dark exterior is balanced by a sophisticated, subtle palette inside. Crosby and Hilal maintained the home’s eloquent flow by selecting pieces that correlated but were not redundant. “We wanted something that celebrated the style of the home and that period without being too kitsch,” says Hilal. “I’ve seen a lot of mid-century projects that end up looking like a Mad Men set (which I can appreciate), but we really wanted to fast forward the design.”
The final result is a magnificently modern marvel that design enthusiasts and students will study for generations to come. Born out of the effortless spirit of collaboration, the ‘tree house’ located just a few blocks from the Pacific Ocean was a launchpad for the client, developer and designer to continue their working relationship. Nakhshab notes, “Our collaboration and our aligned, inimitable attention to detail, netted something unique, lasting and elegant.”