January 31, 2014

“You might think of your grandmother’s luxury as little glass pieces in a case you can’t touch,” explained designer Sandra Espinet. “Nowadays luxury is having a fabulous space that everyone can touch and enjoy.”

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In completing a young, single man’s vacation home in Los Cabos, Mexico, Espinet catered to his love of entertainment. This large space draws from the locality with a masculine slant and durable finishes. “This is a modern approach to luxury,” she added.

The property overlooks the Pacific Ocean and the Gulf of California on either side, while the back of the house faces the Sierra de la Laguna mountains.

“The inspiration was easy,” said Espinet. “As a designer, I can’t compete with nature.” Drawn from the mountains, brown, taupe and dark green accents create a natural palette.

 Unfinished terracotta makes up the gray backsplash, which is adorned by an intricate pattern of crème, blue and rustic red.

“While the terracotta feels rough, the crème design has a smooth glaze on it,” Espinet explained. “It’s masculine since it is not glossy throughout, plus it has a Mexican feel to it as well.”

The kitchen’s cupola ceiling, made of antique brick, corresponds to the hacienda style. “The brick gives it that cool, old look,” she commented. The reclaimed brick complements the reclaimed beams seen throughout the rest of the house.

Mexican walnut cabinetry strives to match the living room’s reclaimed beams. With an aged finish, the cabinets exude a slightly vintage appeal. Swirling designs embellish the lower cabinets, while iron accents on the upper cabinets add interest and tie into the vast iron chandelier above the island. Lit with eight Edison bulbs, the Gothic chandelier offers “a really cool bar light,” Espinet explained.

With 10 stools on hand, the split-level island provides a place for guests to sit at the bar while the host cooks on the lower end of the island.

“We wanted the island large and in charge,” said Espinet. Made of the same walnut as the cabinetry, the island’s light stain “breaks up the room and makes it stand out, like a piece of furniture,” she added. “It’s a little highlight.”

Furnished in leather, the stools are both durable and masculine in design. Topped with marble-like granite, the countertop’s black and brown spots fall over a crème golden background.

“He didn’t want any little flowery designs; he wanted it to be strong,” Espinet explained. “So we wanted it to be more architectural – with that Californian mentality of user friendly.”

Sliding doors access the open kitchen, complete with an outdoor dining space. A Miele coffee station, a walk-in pantry and a bar area contribute to the entertainment space.

“It looks like a guy would cook in this kitchen,” said Espinet. “We achieved what we hoped to create, which was a young guy’s fabulous pad.”

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