The Bellino Residence Answers the Question: When is a Basement Not a Basement? |
The Bellino Residence Answers the Question: When is a Basement Not a Basement?

The Bellino Residence Answers the Question: When is a Basement Not a Basement?

When it's supported with a gorgeous cantilevered top floor!

Isobel McKenzie
Written by –
Isobel McKenzie
on January 30th 2018
Originally from London, Isobel is enthralled by the curves and lines that make up a city. It's fascinating to see how modern skyscrapers and historic landmarks muddle together. Her Instagram feed @Isobel_McKenzie is usually full of spiral staircases and tall buildings. Can also be found on Twitter.. sometimes.

Bellino Residence


It’s all about the vistas in the Bellino Residence. This 5,200 square foot home is in prime location for Santa Monica’s mountain views, and blends in majestically with its surroundings. The building’s aesthetics speak of natural materials and a harmonious balance between wood, steel, concrete and stone and make a welcome addition to the Pacific Palisades neighborhood. Mayes Office, who were the architecture and design firm behind this project, worked to create a house with a basement. A basement that doesn’t feel like a basement.

Cantilevered home manages to make a basement feel like not a basement |

Housing development in this part of town only permits a certain height for buildings. So it was a dynamic idea to build down instead of up. The existing house was demolished, and the ground was cut into a sloping shape to create a new space for this house.


The Bellino Residence house now offers a full two-story home, complete with a fantastic roof deck to take in the surrounding beauty.

Exterior view of Bellino Residence. Mayes Office project blends the beauty of concrete, steel, wood and stone |

The sloping driveway leads to the garage, but a convenient staircase leads you to the top floor. It’s upstairs where the public areas are, leaving the private areas to enjoy quiet space and greater privacy. At street level is where you’ll find the kitchen and dining room, as well as a formal living room. But let’s move to the basement level to see more of what’s on offer.

House built on slope with cantilevered second level |
Patio and outdoor seating area in a cantilevered house, Los Angeles |

Protected from wind and rain, this little suntrap patio is reached from the home office and den room.

Outdoor seating area in a cantilevered house, Los Angeles |
Industrial style living room with concrete walls, features soft touches like wooden flooring, and pops of red |

The cozy living room in the basement features warm wood flooring, throughout the whole floorplan. Matched in this den is an unfinished concrete wall, and metal frames, all softened by the textiles and warm wood elements.

Cozy media room area makes a feature of concrete walls |
Home office also doubles as motorbike storage |

Being raised above the ground, even though it may be the ‘basement’, it’s flooded with light. The home office backs onto a central atrium where light is encouraged to spill through.

Relaxation and atrium room in Bellino Residence by Mayes Office |

The architects describe the home’s balance with “the overall effect achieved is a harmonious integration between architecture and nature.” The peephole to the open skylight allows for a private calm that mixes between outdoor and indoor space.

Central staircase in Bellino Residence home |

Stairs feel light, thanks to polished wood and seemingly floating framing. Windows from all sides of the home flood the space with light, and a skylight at the core keeps things from getting dark.

Bedroom is part of the basement but it manages to not feel like a baesment, with wide open windows |
Skylight above in central stairwell in Bellino Residence, architecture from Mayes Office |
Kitchen countertops and colorful views |
Solid wood dining table is a beautiful feature in Santa Monic home |

The chunky dining table matched with relaxed seating creates instant mid-century modern vibes.

Living room area has pocket walls and sliding windows to reveal mountain vistas |
A family room in contemporary home |

The winning formula for this home is the possibilities. By creating an open floorplan, the rooms can shift around and are zoned entirely by preference. Certain for each view, however, is the amazing vistas. Windows slide all the way open for an almost 360 view. And if you do want 360, all you have to do is head to the roof…

Rooftop deck viewing area provides a good platform to see the surrounding countryside |
Rooftop viewing platform is a perfect deck for vistas |
Bedroom is has lots of windows in Bellino Residence, architecture by Mayes Office |
Bathroom marble features acute pattern |
Central stairwell in Santa Monica home with skylights and window views |

Unencumbered, the open plan format of the home is really possible thanks to the light from all sides and supported from above. The central stairwell links the entire core of the home.

Home redevelopment adds an extra story to the house - one underneath! |

What did you think of this home? Let us know in the comments below!


No products in the bag.

Stay Updated
Sign up for our newsletter and get the latest home tours and giveaways.
Sign up for our newsletter to get the latest home tours and giveaways.