McClean’s Top 10 Tips For Creating The Perfect Contemporary Home
Renowned Architect Paul McClean gives us his top 10 tips to create the perfect contemporary home
Los Angeles Famed Architect Paul McClean knows contemporary Architecture like no other. Not only does everyone in L.A know his name, he is the go-to architect for prime real estate owners wanting to maximize their views, create warm light-filled contemporary spaces and engage his expert eye for the use of natural materials. To top it off, McClean holds a steadfast commitment to environmentally sustainable design practices, which is imperative in this day and age.
This Architectural Maven has given us his top 10 tips for creating the ultimate Contemporary home- we are taking note!
Tip One: Make the most of what you’ve got.
Look for the inherent advantages that your site offers you. Make the most of the natural setting around you. We always try to find what’s inspiring about a site, maybe it’s a view for example, or the potential to arrange the spaces around a garden.
Tip Two: Keep things simple and elegant.
I guess the first and most important thing would be to try and keep things simple and not over complicate the design. Originality just for its own sake can be very distracting. Good design is usually the simplest and most elegant solution to a problem. Don’t try too hard!
Tip Three: Your home is your sanctuary.
A great home enriches the lives of its inhabitants without getting in the way of day to day living. We strive to create a sense of calm and privacy, a respite from the noise and distractions of the world around. Edit out unwanted elements like neighboring houses, power lines for example through the careful use of landscaping and building placement.
Tip Four: Draw inspiration from nature.
The landscape and surroundings are always our greatest inspiration. For this home in west Hollywood the garden and view were the most interesting aspects of the site and the house became essentially a glass pavilion from where you could enjoy both.
Tip Five: Find an Interior Designer who is the right fit for the whole team.
Working with a great interior designer who understands both our vision for the house as well as the client’s requests has really helped us. There are many designers I enjoy working with and have collaborated with often.
Tip Six: Consider a water feature.
We always look for ways to add special and unique features that the homeowners can enjoy. We find that water features are especially good at creating a sense of calm and wonder as well as bringing passive cooling and the ability to reflect light. For example, in this home we have created an entry bridge over a water feature at the basement level. The water reflecting off the white marble combined with the lush green walls create a truly unique outdoor experience.
Tip Seven: Choose your materials wisely.
Materials have a huge influence on the feel of a home. We place an emphasis on texture and the use of natural materials such as the basalt and marble in this photo to create a unique look. We try to keep it simple though with a restricted palette, you can often have too much of a good thing. Again, keep it simple.
Tip Eight: Make a dramatic entrance.
A dramatic entry creates not just a wow moment but sets the tone for the house beyond. We often use bridges or steppingstones over water to create a sense of wonder and help leave the outside world behind.
Tip Nine: Bring the outdoors in.
The advantage of creating a contemporary home is the connection to the environment and nature that can be created by working with walls of glass that can bring the outdoors in or make the space an extension of the garden.
Tip Ten: Art and lighting are the finishing touches.
Contemporary works of art, light fixtures and great furniture are the jewellery that bring any space to life. Work with a designer to find the right pieces to enhance the space while not distracting from its positive qualities.
In his new book, McClean Design: Creating the Contemporary House, McClean takes us inside over twenty ultra-modern homes that he has worked on throughout his extensive career, not to mention the famous Bel Air home of Jay Z and Beyonce. He gives readers insight into his world from initial sketches to key design strategies.