sweet digs: modern zen - a manhattan beach home fuses technology and tranquility

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  • 7/31/2019 Sweet Digs: Modern Zen - A Manhattan Beach Home Fuses Technology and Tranquility


    54 SouthBaydigS.com | 7.27.2012


  • 7/31/2019 Sweet Digs: Modern Zen - A Manhattan Beach Home Fuses Technology and Tranquility











  • 7/31/2019 Sweet Digs: Modern Zen - A Manhattan Beach Home Fuses Technology and Tranquility


    56 SouthBaydigS.com | 7.27.2012

    Theres no better cure or a long commute than a meditation room, steamshowers, and a hammock on the veranda. IT proessional Kavian Maghzy doesnt need

    to book ahead to enjoy these spa resort amenities. They are just a ew o the stress-

    reducing elements in his Manhattan Beach home. Maghzy elevates tranquil living to an

    art orm in the 4,700-square-oot retreat he shares with his 16-year-old daughter.

    Maghzy, who works or a company in Irvine, had lived in Encino and was making

    the grueling drive almost daily. During this period, he would occasionally spend time in

    Manhattan Beach, growing to love the area and the calming eect o the ocean so muchthat he moved his amily there in 2002. At that t ime, the contemporary home he bought

    was airly new and suited his amilys needs.

    Several years later, his neighbor mentioned that he was considering a remodel, and

    Maghzy ound himsel eeling apprehensive about living adjacent to a major construction

    project. But things changed within a matter o weeks. The neighbor accepted a job in

    New York, and Maghzy decided to buy his house. Thus began the project o connecting

    two homes on back-to-back lots.

    When I bought my neighbors property, I still wasnt thinking about construction,

    Maghzy says. A native o Iran, he describes how his ather had built a sprawling dream

    home there, only to lose it during the revolution. It was such a huge project and it had

    such a negative ending that I thought Id never want to go through that again.

    Maghzy recalls eeling overwhelmed at the thought o launching a home construction

    project o his own, but, as he notes, Things happen, I ran into [architect] Louie Tomaro,

    and it clicked.

    Maghzy worked closely with Manhattan Beach interior designer Julie Gelsey o

    Interior Inspirations. The house became like a drug! Gelsey exclaims with a laugh as she

    describes how both she and Maghzy were absorbed by the remodel. We talked almost

    every day, but it never got crazy.

    From the spacious and open third-foor living room, one can see into a gleaming

    kitchen, which fows into a ormal dining room. Maghzys home oce is visible beyondthe dining room. The kitchen is the bridge between the two houses, explains Gelsey.

    Rooms fow seamlessly into one another, making it dicult to imagine that, in essence,

    new living space was built to connect the two back-to-back homes. Pocket doors

    disappear into walls and can be pulled out to create separate spaces, or let open when

    Maghzy entertains.

    Given Maghzys proessional background, the home is equipped with high-tech

    eatures that provide comort, convenience and visual appeal, but take nothing away rom

    the homes calm, serene aesthetic. Window treatments can be controlled by remote, and

    the house is wired extensively with a home automation package that enables Maghzy to

    control a sophisticated sound system through his smart phone, adjusting the volume in

    any room and selecting tracks. In addition, he can turn on the swimming pool, security

    system and lights with his smart phone.

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    7.27.2012 | SouthBaydigS.com 57

    I added more stu to the system, Maghzy remarks. It does have its own headaches, but my background

    is in technology, so its easier or me to get it going. Theres even music in the steam shower, and it can be


    Throughout the house, a harmonious usion o technology and natural elements contributes to the peaceul

    vibe. Fire ribbons, sleek replaces built into the wall, can be turned on with a smart phone, creating warmth and

    visual interest in the master bedroom. A two-way re ribbon between Maghzys oce and the dining room ismounted into the wall at about the same level one would hang a painting, creating a striking balance between

    art and the practical.

    Kavian leads a more spiritual lie, Gelsey explains. He does yoga, he mediates, so we incorporated a lot o

    re, rock and water reerences to keep it calm and very Zen.

    These three elements give the home a grounded eeling and juxtapose the modernity o the design with the

    natural world o the beach, just steps away. Brazilian cherry wood foors, travertine tile and stone countertops

    serve as the basic color palette o the residencewarm earth tones and light sand. Smooth, natural stones are

    arranged in a ring around the base o the master spa tub, evoking a high-end spa or a pebbly shoreline.

    Gelsey and Maghzy used textiles and natural bers to add sotness. Hammocks on the wraparound third-

    foor porch and a patchwork animal skin rug in the living room soten the angularity o the modern design.

    To draw in light and create a sense o airiness, the inner wall o the stairwell is made o glass. As one climbs

    the stairs rom the entry to the top level, a colorul, blown-glass chandelier hung rom the third-foor ceiling

    provides a lively contrast to the muted color scheme.

    Texture is another design element that adds character throughout the home. The kitchen eatures a stone

    countertop with a leathered surace, giving it a subtle rippled eeling. This rustic earthiness adds a counterbalance

    to the sleek wooden cabinets and a decidedly modern, stainless steel tile backsplash that changes appearance

    with the shiting light o the day.

    While the upper foor is perect or entertaining, the two lower levels are designed as a rejuvenating haven rom

    the ast pace o modern living. The homes construction is such that the second-foor bedrooms are protected

    rom the buzz o beach trac and the sound o children playing in the park directly acing the master bedroom.

    On the ground foor, a bedroom is used as a meditation room with shoji-like pocket doors that can be closedor let open. Maghzy uses the room to practice yoga or engage in quiet refection.

    A hallway runs past the meditation room and leads to the homes most unexpected amenityan indoor

    grotto with a pool. Technology makes a cameo appearance here in the orm o an automated, adjustable current

    pool that allows or an intense workout by swimming in place against the current. But the space looks less like

    an exercise room and more like a tranquil retreat. One wall is made entirely o stone with built-in niches that

    house lighting xtures resembling white wax candles.

    Rectangular, mosaic glass tiles in varying shades o blue line the inside o the pool, bringing the colors o

    the ocean indoors. The pool eatures a sel-cleaning ionization system, eliminating the need orand the odor

    oharsh chemicals. On the poolside deck, a cabinet decorated with crushed seashells looks like the kind o

    piece one would nd at an estate sale on the island o Capri. Carrying the theme is an exotic capiz shell lamp

    placed atop the cabinet. My mom got it in Egypt in 1967, and its been with the amily orever, Maghzy says o

    the lamp. It really works in here.

    Despite the technological comorts, Maghzy notes that one o his avorite things about the home is theocean view. I never get tired o it. He adds that the natural elements provide an essential touch to the houses

    contemporary design. We didnt want it to be so modern that it didnt eel human.

    We didnt want it to be so modern

    that it didnt feel human.