The Ultimate Home Tour: Living Room

When working with a large home that has an open floor plan, a designer, if he is not careful, can create a living area that resembles a hotel lobby. “Spaces like this often start off very big and convention-center-like,” explains architect Guy Dreier, referring to this home, which is set on a 6.5-acre parcel on top of a mountain in Rancho Mirage, Calif. “However, with subtle divisions of space and the right kinds of furnishings, a 10,000-square-foot home can feel warm, like a cocoon.”

Dreier says the owner instructed him to create “something that was organic and contemporary. I knew he also wanted something special.” The architect, who designs the structures, interiors, and landscaping for each of his projects, had built four other houses over the years for this client. “Before he retired,” says Dreier, “my client owned a glass manufacturing plant that provided massive amounts of windows for large-scale developments. He has a good knowledge of construction and knew what was possible.”


The main level’s open floor plan includes a living room and a bar area. Dreier designed more than half of the furniture himself, specifically for the home, including the living room’s sofa and wenge wood coffee table, which has storage space for items such as the Crestron remote. The device controls the interior and exterior lighting, the home’s audiovisual system, draperies, and a number of other items. The curved lines of the cedar ceiling above the living room and the matching shape of the carpet on the floor subtly define the area. “The hardest part of this room was finding new construction methods to create the ceilings,” says Dreier, who had steel beams bent to form what he describes as flying roofs. “None of the curves here ever touch,” he says. “When you look at it from above, it’s like a kite floating over the mountain.”

The 1,125-square-foot living room provides ample space for entertaining, as does the area outside, which Dreier connected to the room by installing glass walls that open to the backyard. “Most of the projects we do are in country clubs or on the ocean where we are restricted on the architectural forms,” explains Dreier. “This unusual site allowed us to create a truly unique piece of architecture.”

Guy Dreier Designs



More Home Design