A Tale of Two Styles


When designing a ground-up build in the exclusive Orange County neighborhood of Crystal Cove, Carlos Elenes principal of EBTA Architects was given both freedom and limitations. “We were working in a neighborhood that demands classical archicture,” says Elenes. “All homes have to have clay tile roofs and porprtioning systems on windows.” One of the first developers in Orange County had a vision for this community of an old-world hill town, therefore only five residential architectural styles are allowed. 

 In keeping with that vision, Elenes and his team struck a perfect balance of styles. The exterior reflects a traditional Mediterannean design while the interiors are ultra modern. “We have acheived great success in the region by figuring out a way to work within these guidelines, while still giving clients the contemporary elements they desire,” says Elenes. The team thought of clever details to flow with the mandate starting at the entrance where they installed a traditional wooden door that opens to a courtyard that then leads to the home’s main door that is much more contemporary. 

The 11,500 square foot home takes advantage of both the weather and the views, providing the quintessential indoor-outdoor living in California. “There is an abundance of light which is rare in more traditional-style homes,” says Elenes. “It is always challenging to let light in when designing traditional architecture. We made it an H-shape which allowed for more light to flood in naturally.” 

Once on the backlawn, you feel as if you have been transported to heaven. An expansive pool with an sunken fire-pit lounge allows for maximum relaxation and endless views. “The client didn’t want a landscape design until after the house was built, says Elenes. We ended up raising the back lawn and pool to block roof tops from below.” 

Construction: RDM General Contractors

Interior Designer: C.C. & Company