The first thing that ought to strike you about his contemporary home design is that it’s full of curious textures. Located in Menlo Park, California, the home was completed in 2011 by Dumican Mosey Architects.
The theme hits you as soon as you enter the house. On the wall beside the front door there hangs a piece of artwork that looks almost like it’s been extracted from the side of a lush, mossy hillside. Then, right beside the artwork, there’s what looks at first sight like a white fluffy pouf. But unlike a comfy pouf, you surely wouldn’t want to sit down on this design feature.
As you proceed to the heart of the contemporary house, you continue to be treated to a steady stream of interested surfaces. A concrete wall with vertical strip relief by the fireplace is repeated from the exterior. Likewise, a set of differently-textured wooden spheres sits on top of the dining table, and is again repeated outdoors with a set of spheres made of thick rope.
According to the architect who worked on the build, Matthew Mosey, there was a concerted effort to use these textures to have the outdoor and indoor spaces interact with each other.
Mosey captures the studio’s general vibe as fuzzy modern, speaking of it thusly: “By no means is ‘fuzzy modern’ an official architecture term, it’s an attitude toward materiality and liveability that embraces texture, warmth, lightness and a connection to the outdoors.”
This attitude is clear to see in this build. There is a real balance to the house. This is seen in the aforementioned repetition of design features outdoors and indoors, but you can also see it in the way different shapes interact.
For instance, the rectangular decking beside the pool directly repeats the shape of the pool itself. Meanwhile, the wood features in the garden are really well distributed. The decking, the steps and wall facing each other from each side of the garden, and the section of roof bisecting the indoor and outdoor spaces allow this lovely reddish-brown wood make for a lovely spread.
The theme of “lightness” is also clear to see in the conspicuous absence of a wall, or any windows between the main living area and the garden. This is a classic feature of a mid-century modern house, done really well in this contemporary style home.
To round up, it’s worth giving a shout out to the photographs themselves, which are quite delightful, and really capture this balance and lightness. Captured by architectural photographer Mariko Reed, they also really emphasise the lived-in quality that makes this such a nice place to behold.