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Southbay HOME Magazine features Joseph Spierer Architects | Spring 2022

Describe the featured project.

This modern Spanish home in Manhattan Beach is a one-of-a-kind design. Classic white stucco and iron details adorn the outside, while the arched glass front door invites visitors to step inside. A winding steel-railed staircase with accents of traditional Spanish tile ascends to the upper floor. Soft light reveals every fine detail in the custom cabinetry, illuminating the way along the naturally colored hardwood floors. Modern wood beams guide guests through this serene home. Charming craftsmanship and modern detailing are brought together in every element of this two-story house, creating a sense of warmth and timelessness.

How do you help express client's individuality in their homes?

Getting to know clients is the first step toward understanding their distinct vision, so we begin our design process by conducting an extensive client interview. Asking in-depth questions and creating a visual story of their desires and needs allow us to draw out each client’s individual style. Only after a thorough analysis do we collect the information necessary to put pencil to paper. Through our client-centric approach, we create not only a beautiful, tailored design but also one that is both practical and personal.

How is the design industry different today than it was two years ago?

Before the pandemic, our clients wanted large, versatile spaces. Whether it was great rooms that flowed from the kitchen to living to dining rooms or communal gathering spaces, the ideal home would have an open floor plan to encourage closeness and connection. Homes reduced in size as spaces blended and opened into one another. After the pandemic, everything changed. As our clients were required to remain home, their desire to escape to distinct spaces in their homes increased. We began designing larger homes because there was a higher demand for separate spaces such as offices, gyms, bedrooms and private outdoor areas. Openness and community remained important, but our clients found they required more living space.

How do you assist your clients in strengthening their connection to nature?

Designing in conjunction with nature is at the core of our philosophy. We celebrate every aspect of a site to create a truly meaningful design. In the past, homes in the South Bay were developed in a way that disassociated the home from its location. Fireplaces were placed in front of magnificent ocean views, and obtrusive walls divided the spaces instead of forming connections between them. We design in collaboration with nature, so we include elements like multi-slide doors with minimal frames, materials in locations that blend the interior and exterior, skylights melding the interior with the sky, and openings that enable cross-breezes and fresh air flowing through the space.

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