A gently winding set of exposed aggregate concrete pads leads to the Wabi House’s front door. Mariscal sought to “hide the house behind a dense forest front yard.” As the crape myrtles grow in, they will further filter the home’s facade.
During construction, Mariscal’s team adjusted the design to accommodate the boughs of an old pine tree in the backyard. The unique detail imbues the home with a spirit of wabi-sabi—or beauty through imperfection.
At the client’s request the kitchen contains neither upper cabinets (Shino can’t reach them) nor an oven (they only used the old one once—to reheat a pizza). A modular Roche Bobois Mah Jong sofa adds a decorative flourish to the living area while maintaining as low a profile as the traditional Japanese furniture.
Protected by an overhang, and floating above ground level, this tertiary space is known in traditional homes as the "engawa." To sustain a unified look throughout, the floor and ceiling are clad in ipe wood.
While most of the ground level is given over to the large open living and dining area, it also includes a small pantry, office, and Japanese bathroom. An integrated Sub-Zero refrigerator is almost unnoticeable behind its charred cedar cladding.
The couple asked for a “no maintenance, not low maintenance” backyard. However, Shino tends to “Carlsbad's largest public bathroom for cats” (otherwise known as their Japanese-style rock garden) about once a month.