|Velvet Hammerschmidt Design always delivers style and class to their many projects that range from high-end residences to boutique hotels and office spaces. This contemporary loft in Santa Monica is a prime example of what Velvet Hammerschmidt does best — design a high-style living space that improves the client’s lifestyle and embraces their personality — all with a modern California flair. In this case, the client was Velvet herself, and she wanted a place that simplified her and her husband’s busy lives and allowed them to embrace the beautiful scenery and terrain surrounding their SoCal home.
Velvet accomplished this by designing every last inch of this “smart home” from the ground up. The home was made “smart” by creating lighting, fans, window treatments, HVAC, digital music and AV that are all controlled entirely via remote and integrated keypads. Both the design and technology in this loft are streamlined. Bottom up shades and custom floor valances were designed to control urban views, provide privacy, and yet still allow for access to spectacular vistas and plenty of California sun. And then there is the rooftop deck, complete with outdoor kitchen, fire pit and water feature. Read on to learn more about how Velvet created a dream space that embraces technology, art and nature with a tour that starts on the roof
Velvet says: I’ve worked on designs in California for more than 20 years and am still awed by the natural beauty that surrounds each and every one of my client’s homes. It’s so important for me to capitalize on the lush hills, seascapes and deserts — that’s why people move to California!
For my own home, I brought some of Cali’s natural ambiance to the rooftop of our loft by converting a typical tar roof deck into the perfect space for entertaining. As in the inside of the house, we wanted our home to be tech-savvy without being full of exposed tech equipment. Here on the roof deck, we achieved this by adding a removable iron wood grid that floats above the existing sloped drainage system. This allows for speaker wires, irrigation and gas lines to be hidden yet accessible.
A metal trough water feature runs along the roof, flowing behind the entertaining area and providing a tranquil focal point. Lush plants fill the space, providing texture and color and furthering the rustic Zen-like ambiance. All of the plants chosen for the rooftop garden are drought-tolerant.
When we aren’t enjoying the gorgeous, sunny days on our deck, we can still bask in the beauty surrounding our home. Double height common areas are illuminated by various dramatic light sources including pendants, wall sconces, recessed lighting, step lights and, of course, an abundance of windows. White walls work so well with tons of natural light, but I didn’t want my home to be a stark, dead space. I warmed everything up by adding dark floors and bright, sunny accessories and furnishings. Imagine this sitting room without the butter yellow chair, orange vases, multi-colored painting and warm, chocolate floors. It’d be unbalanced and really quite depressing.
I’ve already stressed how much we wanted technology to be unobtrusive and to complement our lifestyle, not dictate it. In most rooms, the television is the focal point. Not in our master bedroom. By using a warm, neutral color palette and keeping furniture to a minimum, we created an inviting contemporary hotel feel that lets the bed take center stage. You barely notice the TV because the bed is the shining star.
My husband and I are huge art collectors — particularly modern art. Pieces from LA’s art scene are incorporated throughout the house, but I like to think of the dining area as one big work of art. The custom dining table that incorporates a wine riddler’s rack creates a visually striking, one-of-a-kind conversation piece with plenty of seating. A Louis Poulsen Artichoke Pendant provides texture and light.
This Bulthaup kitchen, in a rich espresso finish, is highly functional with an eleven-foot Cararra marble-top island, ideal for a cooking work space, a casual dining area and a serving station for parties. Again, you’ll notice that the necessary technologies of the modern kitchen do not compete with the aesthetics of the room. This is due to full-height appliance garages. They provide easy access to blenders, toasters, etc. while ensuring a clean and cohesive space.
The espresso millwork is seen again in the master bathroom. The two while vessel sinks are an elegant take on a utilitarian fixture. Plenty of storage space ensures that the gorgeous green onyx countertop can have a starring role in the design.
A tech-smart, streamlined home that embraces nature is the perfect fit for my family. Our Santa Monica loft is the perfect showcase for demonstrating what I do best — providing clients with spaces that simplify and enhance their lifestyles.