Trip Haenisch Conjures Up a Spec House for the Dream Client


A spec home would seem to be a designer’s dream. There’s no client to please and the only limits are budget and imagination. But, as interior designer Trip Haenisch explains, referring to the home he created in conjunction with developer John Saca and architect C. J. Bonura, design doesn’t exist in a vacuum. “With no client living there, you have to make assumptions,” Haenisch explains. “You have to figure out how people will use it, where they will go. You have to figure out the form and the function.”

That becomes particularly critical when the house will ultimately go on the market. In that case, the designer must be a wizard, conjuring up a vision for buyers of what their life could be like if they lived here. Haenisch, it seems, is well-versed in this art. Certainly this house, perched in the hills above Beverly Hills, immediately conjures up the good life. Beyond the merely beautiful, it is also inviting.

Although the home is technically one building, upon closer inspection, it reveals itself to actually be a collage of flexible spaces that vibrate along the indoor/outdoor axis that marks a home as being in Southern California. Fully retractable, ceiling-to-floor Fleetwood doors installed along one side of the home that offer a view of Los Angeles spanning from downtown to the Pacific Ocean underline this ethos.

 “On a clear day you can see the ocean, you can see the mountains, you can see the skyscrapers,” enthuses Haenisch. The main house hosts an entryway, a study, a kitchen, a screening room and a collection of living, dining and lounging spaces. The upper floor ushers in two distinct areas, each accessed by a different stairwell. One stair leads to the master wing and a second leads to a collection of private guest rooms.

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