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KAA Design and Pamela Smith Interiors Interweave Indoors and Out for a Southern California Abode

The main bedroom, with custom walnut bed and Jiun Ho upholstered bench, has a private courtyard featuring a reflecting pool and a Japanese ofuro soaking tub. Photography by Roger Davies.

Most empty nesters downsize. Not this couple: Rebuilding on the same Southern California property where they’d raised their three children, the duo upsized from around 6,000 square feet to 10,500—and did a complete about-face design-wise. Leading the clients on their journey from traditional to contemporary were L.A.–based architecture firm KAA Design and San Diego’s Pamela Smith Interiors. A full-fledged collaboration gave rise to what’s been dubbed the Tree House. 

A cedar garage door contrasts with the motor court’s wall of board-formed concrete. Photography by Roger Davies.

The trapezoidal site was, in a word, spectacular. Set on a promontory overlooking the Pacific Ocean about a mile away, the two acres were filled with mature oaks, Torrey pines, and magnolia trees—ergo

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