A Sustainable Santa Monica Home Recreates Glaciers and Lava

What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you think of building a sustainable home? From this point forward maybe it’ll be a spacious modern house featuring sophisticated minimal interiors.

This is exactly what the owners had in mind for their Santa Monica home. Both established lawyers in their field, the couple wanted an eco-friendly home that struck the perfect balance between indoor and outdoor spaces. They immediately sought the expertise of award-winning design studio Minarc to help make their dream home come to life.

With a penchant for modern architecture, the couple enjoyed collaborating with the designers to come up with creative solutions for design challenges early in the building process. Their close friendship with the team led them to creating unexpected design elements that made their home truly unique. Let’s take a closer look at their home.

From the outside, the home instantly catches your eye with its sleek architecture and beautifully paneled facade. At first sight, there seems to be no difference between the main door and the garage, until you notice the clean concrete steps that lead to the front door.


Inside, the entryway mirrors the wooden paneled exterior creating a harmonious flow of energy as you step in the home. It’s worth noting that the house is built with a modest footprint in mind, with the use of environmentally friendly materials as a major priority. The designers also used mnmMOD panels to build the home, making sure the panels are recyclable and fireproof.

Here, the living room features a rectangular gray sofa with a low back, reflecting the owners’ inclination towards minimalist design. Concealed storage compartments also surround the television area, allowing the family to keep clutter hidden from plain sight.


Notice the way the green living room backdrop offers a stunning contrast to the orange kitchen island, creating a dramatic flow of energy around the room. The living room opens to an outdoor kitchen on the right, perfect for the couple who enjoy cooking and drinking fine wine. There’s also plenty of room to entertain guests as they can go in and out of the living area with ease.

The kitchen is definitely a showstopper with its blue backsplash reminding you of icy glaciers. As the rich wooden shades transition to the volcanic orange countertop of the kitchen island, you get a sense of movement in the space making it a dynamic place for the couple to prepare their meals throughout the day.

Another intriguing feature of the kitchen is the set of wooden chairs that disappear right under the countertop. We love the way functionality is combined with minimalist elements around the home. Even the stunning pendant lamp complements the cool glacier backsplash of the kitchen.

The owners are wine enthusiasts so it’s only fitting they have a dedicated wine cellar to store their growing wine collection. The basement was transformed into a concrete-clad room with plenty of metal racks to hold wine bottles.


The staircase also evokes natural elements, with the translucent sculpture-like wall decor creating a frosted effect.

A clear example of environmentally friendly materials used in the home is the bathroom sink made out of recycled rubber material. The designers made the conscious effort to ensure that recycled and reclaimed material was used as much as possible to design the house.

Built in storage compartments are a key feature of the home, cleverly hiding shoes from plain view.

We also like the custom headboard in the bedroom which houses a pull-out shelving system to store prized paraphernalia.

To further connect the interior spaces to the outdoors, vertical gardens were incorporated in the bathroom as well as the courtyard.

With an open air courtyard, the home receives plenty of light, minimizing the need for artificial light during the day. Plants and pebbles add a natural ambiance to the home.


Finally, the courtyard veranda features a striking orange hammock that echoes the lava-themed vibrancy of the kitchen. The home’s open design allows the couple and their toddler to keep their constant connection with the outdoors with enough room for rest and play.

What do you think of this sustainable home? Let us know in the comments below.

Interested in reading about more eco-friendly homes? Check out this Solar Dome in Norway that runs on solar power or see this Colorado home that follows requirements set out by the Passive House Institute to minimize its environmental impact. Make sure to follow us on Pinterest and Facebook, as well.

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Project: Dawnsknoll

Design: Minarc

Photography: Art Gray