Balancing Act

A husband-and-wife design team marries the best of both worlds...


A husband-and-wife design team marries the best of both worlds, creating a Los Angeles home that is effortlessly stylish inside and out.

Some homes give it all away at the door, but this commanding 7,750-square-foot contemporary in Los Angeles’s Pacific Palisades district unfolds through a careful choreography of shapes, textures, and light. So deliberate, in fact, is the aluminum-and-concrete structure’s design that signature features—the rooflines and clerestory windows of varying shapes—materialized as the well-thought-out solution to a design hurdle. 

“The neighborhood association bylaws required a pitched roof, but our clients wanted a modern home, which traditionally would have a flat roof,” explains architect William Hefner. His answer? A design with three roofs pitched in different directions. It not only solved the problem but also resulted in more opportunities for natural light and unpredictable interior spaces. “It really became a hallmark of the house,” he says. Hefner and his wife, interior designer Kazuko Hoshino (both are principals at Studio William Hefner in L.A.), cocreated the home and landscaping.

A Japanese-inspired rock garden leads to the house. To the side of the front door is a black, standing-seam-aluminum art studio, which affords views of the main house across an internal courtyard—one of many happy surprises in this nest for empty nesters.