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A Room with a View

By Sara Robertson

The contrast between cool minimalist architecture and warm interior elements, combined with endless city views, make this Hollywood Hills home both breathtaking and completely livable.

When creating a 5,000-square-foot home on a tight lot perched high in the Hollywood Hills, Steve Hermann automatically had one very effective element on his side: the view.

“The view is really the focus of the house,” says Hermann, of Los Angeles-based Steve Hermann Design. The home’s design reflects an updated version of a post-andbeam similar to famed American architect Pierre Koenig’s Stahl House, built in 1959 and known for its floor-to-ceiling plate-glass walls and steel columns. For this project, Hermann incorporated 13-foot-high ceilings with floor-to-ceiling glass walls to give a panoramic view of the city below. “[The architecture and Interior Design] create a sense, when you’re inside the house, of being free of everyday worries,” he says. “You’re kind of floating above the city, but not part of it.”

From the inside out, the house exudes openness. Upon entering the front door, visitors are welcomed into an eight-foot wide hallway that runs 125 feet into a sprawling common area, which includes the kitchen, living room and dining room. “It’s just one enormous space,” Hermann says. To create a continuous flow from the open interior to the exterior, he incorporated gleaming white terrazzo floors that run throughout the house, inside and out. “All my designs are about the continuity of space,” he says, adding that the openness and  indoor/outdoor continuity is ideal for entertaining — one of the client’s objectives.

But working with 13-foot high ceilings and vast walls of glass required creative planning. With such an open floor plan, delineating space was a challenge. To overcome that obstacle, Hermann combined low-slung furniture with large potted trees and plants, large floor-to-ceiling art pieces, and lamps that dropped down from the ceiling. He also created a long bench to serve as a border between the living and dining  areas.

Hermann was tasked with striking a balance between warm and welcoming, and sleek and contemporary. “The space itself is very cool and minimalist,” he says. “I believe in a sense of warm minimalism where the architecture is exceptionally minimalist, but the Interior Design compensates for that and warms up the space to where it becomes livable and enjoyable.”

Hermann used the home’s color palette to achieve that warm minimalism. He chose various hues of gray for the walls, contrasted by light, natural straight-grain oak for the doors, kitchen cabinets, closets and bathrooms. “Besides the neutral white terrazzo floors, you really have these two kinds of contrasting but complementary colors that were the overall theme, instead of having a multitude of colors competing with one another,” Hermann says.

The success of this project has opened several new doors for Hermann to provide similar services for other clients. “The house is something I am very proud of,” he says. “It was a no-holds-barred project. It was an opportunity to design something that was fun and exciting and moved people emotionally. The scale is so different from anything you typically walk into.”

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  1. I like that Hermann emphasized the view. I know that I have seen many homes with a great view. The one's that emphasize the view from the inside out always turn out to be better living spaces than the ones that don't. Posted by: sean on 03.05.15 at 09:46

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