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An Atypical Modern Home in Southern California

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If good fences make good neighbors, then Shino and Ken Mori are the best neighbors ever. They invite us past the charred cedar facade of their Southern California home. 

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    Photo by Daniel Hennessy.
    Photo by Daniel Hennessy.
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  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.  Photo by Daniel Hennessy.
    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. Photo by Daniel Hennessy.
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  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.  Photo by Daniel Hennessy.
    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. Photo by Daniel Hennessy.
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  With doors open, Shino and Ken pull an Eames LCW chair for Herman Miller outside to enjoy the space.  Photo by Daniel Hennessy.
    With doors open, Shino and Ken pull an Eames LCW chair for Herman Miller outside to enjoy the space. Photo by Daniel Hennessy.
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  A perpendicular walkway leads right to the garage and laundry areas.  Photo by Daniel Hennessy.
    A perpendicular walkway leads right to the garage and laundry areas. Photo by Daniel Hennessy.
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  After entering through the front door, visitors pass over the large koi pond on a cast-concrete footbridge chiseled to look like stone.  Photo by Daniel Hennessy.
    After entering through the front door, visitors pass over the large koi pond on a cast-concrete footbridge chiseled to look like stone. Photo by Daniel Hennessy.
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  The entrance to the living room includes a seating area where guests can remove their shoes.  Photo by Daniel Hennessy.
    The entrance to the living room includes a seating area where guests can remove their shoes. Photo by Daniel Hennessy.
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  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.  Photo by Daniel Hennessy.
    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. Photo by Daniel Hennessy.
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  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.  Photo by Daniel Hennessy.
    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. Photo by Daniel Hennessy.
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  A custom-tailored mechanism allows six floor-to-ceiling sliding glass doors to open along the entire width of the living space, creating a seamless transition from indoors to out.  Photo by Daniel Hennessy.
    A custom-tailored mechanism allows six floor-to-ceiling sliding glass doors to open along the entire width of the living space, creating a seamless transition from indoors to out. Photo by Daniel Hennessy.
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  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.  Photo by Daniel Hennessy.
    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. Photo by Daniel Hennessy.
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  In the cheerily outfitted office, a Herman Miller Embody chair lets Shino stay comfortable on business calls that can last for hours.  Photo by Daniel Hennessy.
    In the cheerily outfitted office, a Herman Miller Embody chair lets Shino stay comfortable on business calls that can last for hours. Photo by Daniel Hennessy.
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  At the opposite end of the house, the soaking tub gets almost daily use. The bath and shower fixtures are by Dornbracht  Photo by Daniel Hennessy.
    At the opposite end of the house, the soaking tub gets almost daily use. The bath and shower fixtures are by Dornbracht Photo by Daniel Hennessy.
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  The limestone-clad volume at the east end of the house extends to the second story, housing Shino and Ken’s master suite, which opens onto the planted roof deck.  Photo by Daniel Hennessy.
    The limestone-clad volume at the east end of the house extends to the second story, housing Shino and Ken’s master suite, which opens onto the planted roof deck. Photo by Daniel Hennessy.
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  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.Don't miss a word of Dwell! Download our  FREE app from iTunes, friend us on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter!   Photo by Daniel Hennessy.
    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.

    Don't miss a word of Dwell! Download our FREE app from iTunes, friend us on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter!

    Photo by Daniel Hennessy.

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