After moving around for work, living in eight houses over the past ten years, a family with two small children finally decided to settle down. Choosing Mandeville Canyon, a small community in Los Angeles’ Brentwood neighborhood, the family found a 3.14-acre lot sheltering over 200 mature trees and everything was set in motion. They decided to work with Rockefeller Partners Architects in building a home that would not only be cozy and bright, but also open to the expansive views of the city and ocean beyond.

The architects remember how their work spoke for itself: “When they learned that three of their favorite houses in west Los Angeles had all been designed by the same architect, and further discovered that this architect had designed (but never had a chance to build) a house for their Mandeville property’s previous owners, they knew they had found their firm.”

Searching through the owning family’s lifestyle, architects eventually gave them what they have been dreaming of: a home that is “useful, beautiful and timeless”. Integrated within a modern, simple shell extending outward, in a natural succession of family life, the floor plan was designed for motion.  The high level of craftsmanship and attention to detail helped shape a stunning family home design where interior designer Alana Homesley could finish off with a joy-filled elegance. Photographed by Eric Staudenmaier, the property is exactly what the family expected of it: a property where they could work, play and grow as a family.

A fabulous use of materials and design lines led to the creation of a “heart of the home”: on the first floor, “the stone fireplace wall is multi-functional: it extends vertically through the second floor and roof, and horizontally, penetrating the exterior wall to become a landscape feature along the pool. Within it, this stone wall houses the double-sided fireplace serving the formal living room and the more relaxed family room, as well as the more intimate fireplace for the upstairs master bedroom. As it moves from inside to outside and forms the hearths and fireplaces, the stone shifts in texture, while remaining consistent in form – it is the focal point and axis of the home.”

Constantly interacting with the environment via windows, owners can cruise the two wings while catching glimpses of the natural surroundings. Public living spaces and master suite are located in one wing, while the children’s quarters, guest rooms with separate entrances, and auxiliary spaces shape the other. This family home design also includes a detached four-car garage, a 1950’s-era post and beam pool house (now a writer’s studio), an oversized pool and spa, a basketball court, and a tennis court with a small pavilion. The vast experience owning and renting houses brought the family the understanding that quality, comfort, privacy and panoramas are the main sources of health and happiness.