A Luxurious Home Embraces the Landscape

Lauri and Mike Hamer originally hired Lori Smyth to get a pool installation, but what began as a little project soon evolved into a complete house remodel. “This massive fireplace obstructed a lot of the view — it needed to go,” Smyth says. “If they had kept it, they would have had this stunning pool that nobody could appreciate from inside, not to mention that there wouldn’t have been a fantastic way to get to the pool in the house. A lightbulb had gone off in them as well; they understood that the outside needed to be pulled into the house and that the problem was bigger than the pool installation.”

Despite a wildfire that threatened an entire derailment of this redesign, the Hamers, Smyth and her team forged on. “What is fantastic is that we did not have to modify the footprint of the house,” says Smyth.

at a Glance
Who lives here: Mike and Lauri Hamer and their kids, Zach and Chloe
Location: Santa Barbara foothills, California
Size: 3,500 square feet
That’s intriguing: Lauri’s dad, Fred Glenwinkel, constructed this home; it has been in her family for 3 years.

Lori Smyth Design

The landscape layout leads the eye out of the pool to the house, with stairs resulting in the house. Chloe, Zach and friends spend a lot of time in the garden and in the pool, which makes this place an entertainment hub.

Smyth and her team replaced the fireplace wall using floor-to-ceiling sliding glass walls, opening up the interiors to the outdoor living spaces and panoramic views.

Landscape Design: Lane Goodkind; Landscape Contruction: Stonetree Landscape

Lori Smyth Design

A wraparound deck and one of 2 outdoor living rooms give views of the foothills and the Pacific.

“The original house had this little deck, with just a little door, that was hanging off the mountain,” says Smyth. “The soil around it was a big weed area on a mountain. This remodel makes the property’s design more present and reflective of their family living in the house now.”

Lori Smyth Design

Split-level steps lead to a formal dining room, in which glass windows and nonobscuring balcony railing materials let in plenty of light.

Sectionals: Ferla

Lori Smyth Design

The glossy contemporary kitchen works hard to get a family who entertains frequently. A walnut island foundation and hardwood flooring warm up the area, which also has a sleek white lacquer bartop and a stainless island countertop.

“Mike and Lauri adore contemporary design, but they did not need a house that felt cold and aloof,” Smyth says. “We worked hard to evoke the family’s warmth and openness in the property’s design.”

Island and bar high layout: Lori Smyth Design and Bomo Design; bar stools: Soluzioni; backsplash: Walker Zanger (discontinued)

Lori Smyth Design

Smyth and her team ripped out the stairs from a enclosed wall and also redid it entirely with glass panels that expose the structure. A picture of Chloe in three parts fills part of a wall.

Lori Smyth Design

“Being in the house is almost like a hot tub experience,” Smyth says. You feel relaxed, and you only wish to be there since it’s so cozy and there’s not a lot of knickknacks lying about. Rooms just flow into one another and although you’re indoors, you always feel attached to the perspectives along with the living spaces outside.”

Bookcase: Lori Smyth Design (concept) and Bomo Design (drawings and implementation); sofa: B&B Italia; chair: Vioski

Lori Smyth Design

Zach’s room communicates his imagination and musical inclinations without feeling overly kitschy: An electrical keyboard leans from a Bob Marley poster, along with an electrical guitar and a yellowish lounger are within arm’s distance of one another.

Lori Smyth Design

The customers realized the kids got older, they were spending less time in the home, so they turned what was a two-car garage into a game room.

Before the redesign, Smyth says that Lauri lamented over how the kids spent an increasing number of time away in the house. “She wanted a house that the kids needed to bring their friends to. And the kids love staying home and having their friends over.”

Lori Smyth Design

Lori Smyth Design

The outdoor cement and kitchen fire pit region extend the living spaces to the surrounding topography — fitting for a family with origins in the region. You feel like you’re on vacation the moment you arrive.

“So some of the houses in Santa Barbara have been upgraded,” Smyth says. “It is referred to as the mecca for Spanish colonial architecture and homes, so there aren’t many houses that look and feel this open and present”

Architect: John Beauchamp; Contractor: Bomo Design; Landscape Design: Lane Goodkind; Landscape Contruction: Stonetree Landscape

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