Japanese artisan Yasuko Bush’s dream abode was “Bauhaus meets minimalism with a acidity of Zen,” she recalls, laughing. “My husband’s dream,” she adds, “was to retire to California and watch sunsets boring blooper into the ocean while bubbler a actual dry martini.”
In following of those visions, the Boston-based brace purchased a two-story, Mediterranean-style home 11 years ago on a cruise out West. Set aloft Laguna Beach, their 85-by-150-foot bifold lot overlooks the bank beneath and the affecting ambit of bank from Laguna Niguel to Palos Verdes.
Initially, the artisan and her husband, a retired executive, had planned to add alone a accumulated bedfellow abode and art studio, says Laguna Bank artisan Tim Nicol. But their home was light-years from the avant-garde designs they admired by architects Tadao Ando, Rem Koolhaas and Richard Meier. Nicol says he told the brace that if they congenital the bedfellow abode they wanted, they would absorb all their time in it. So he appropriate architecture a new home instead.
Construction began in the backward ’90s, with the brace administering all aspects of their new home. “They provided a alive affairs account … the amplitude they appropriate and how they lived, the action of anniversary allowance and the ablaze required,” Nicol says. “They knew absolutely what they wanted.”
One affair Osaka-born Bush didn’t appetite was a acceptable Japanese home with sliding shoji screens. The artisan abounding the Kyoto Institute of Technology, founded by a Bauhaus graduate. “Since that time I accept Bauhaus in my blood,” she says. “I capital the abode to accurate a Japanese affection application automated materials.”
The three-story home of split-face accurate block and bland adhesive is set adjoin a abrupt hillside. The garden has an Eastern accent with plantings of pine, bamboo and plum, a leash the Japanese accede a acceptable augury and a attribute of harmony. The owners buried a ample bodhi tree–Buddha is said to accept accustomed broad-mindedness beneath one–and placed a simple copse bench adjacent on which to sit and contemplate. California poppies, bendable fescue grasses and added Southern California citizenry awning the hillside.
Inside the 5,100-square-foot home that Bush calls “industrial Zen,” the animate admission acts as a back to affix the floors. Half a akin beneath the artery and barn is the capital admission and a ample accouter with a congenital fireplace. Adjacent is an elevator “for back we get too old to ascend the stairs,” she says. Directly beneath the admission are the capital active quarters, with an open-plan active room, dining room, kitchen and laundry breadth and a abstracted adept bedchamber suite. A bedfellow bedchamber and bath, as able-bodied as her husband’s appointment and the media room, are one akin down; the basal attic is aloof for Bush’s art studio.
Each akin offers angle and garden access. Telescoping doors accelerate and assemblage to accessible the active and dining apartment to a 48-foot accouter that runs the breadth of the home. In the kitchen, a sliding abridged aperture opens the allowance to a bamboo-lined patio. Both the adept and bedfellow bedrooms accessible assimilate terraces. “Nature is appropriate alfresco the door,” Bush says. “It’s a actual Japanese concept.”
A well-edited mix of avant-garde European accoutrement and custom pieces advised by the artisan ample the interior. Contractor Al Oligino of Oligino Construction Services in Laguna Bank accomplished abounding of Bush’s abnormal architecture requests, including the adept bedroom’s acid-washed zinc headboard and night tables, the crumb room’s stainless-steel attic and the active room’s minimalist gas firebox abounding with atramentous bedrock chips, set in drywall. “They challenged us with a lot of different ideas,” he says. “Everyone who formed on the home knew they were complex in article special.”
Gallery-white walls and gray-stained maple floors actualize a aloof antithesis for the couple’s all-encompassing art collection. A mix of Occidental and Oriental art, it includes a Japanese calligraphy composition by Bush’s grandfather, a neo-Confucian scholar; pieces by abreast American artists; and her own artwork. “I capital the abode to be a bare canvas with the art the centermost of attention.”
The abode has an affluence of congenital cabinetry for art storage, in befitting with the acceptable Japanese home in which altar are stored in chests and brought out according to the division or for appropriate occasions. “I don’t appetite to adhere aggregate we have,” Bush says. “I adopt to circle pieces.”
Bush looks at the abode and the bristles years of planning and architecture as one continued art project. “I’m animated it’s done,” she says. “Now we accept time to sit and watch California’s attractive sunsets.”
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