An interview of Thomas with lots of photos!
When the owners of this Beverly Hills home came to Schoos, they had a complete set of plans for a large Mediterranean villa that was ready for building. The only problem was that they didn't like the design anymore. It was too similar to any number of Spanish or Mediterranean homes in the area and they wanted something different. However, they also did not want to waste all the effort spent creating the plans.
Our solution was to retain as much of the basic structure as possible while reinterpreting the design in a more contemporary way, creating a transitional style between Mediterranean and eclectic modern. Heavy, stereotypically Mediterranean elements such as arches and wrought iron grill work were removed and replaced by square doors and windows and custom designed railings. As seen in these drawings, the more squared-off design also allows more light and better sight lines by creating larger openings for doors and windows.
The photo on the left shows the bare bones of the structure in progress. In the photo on the right, one can see the benefit of clean, refined lines, added water features and landscaping in bringing the home to life.
Instead of an imposing, dark archway, the new door maximizes the open space while also adding a touch of elegance with the bronze and brass elements. One can also see the interior foyer courtyard which creates an inviting indoor/outdoor space.
These specifications and photos show the streamlined designs for balcony railings and stair bannisters which capture simiplicity and elegance. The design maintains the functional needs of the basic structure while providing an alternative to the ornate Spanish wrought-iron look.
The plans also called for this large, open interior foyer with a stairwell and skylight. The challenge of this space was to find a way of bringing an organic, personal touch to the cavernous area, fill acres of white wall space, and make the room feel more like a personal, unique home.
The innovative solution was to create original artwork that would draw the space together and turn a large white box into an elegant garden. The design would be rich and florid but with a white-on-white color scheme that would keep the effect subtle. Here we can see how the design began with a free-hand sketch drawn directly onto the walls using different colors to keep the design clear.
Next, the design was traced from the walls onto wax paper (the photo at left). This tracing was used as a pattern to carve a 3-D design into styrofoam off-site. The styrofoam carving was then carefully reapplied to the walls in sections (the photo at right) where more details were added and refined.
After this, plaster was applied over the whole artwork. It was allowed to dry, was meticulously sanded, and then even more detail and refinement were added. (The fireplace at right is in the same room, directly opposite the stairway.)
This close-up shows some of the detail being added.
The finished sculpture was then given a paint-grade finish for a seamless effect. When combined with the cascading chandelier, the room adds drama and individuality to this central room, taking the home from conventional to striking.