Fullen HouseAuthor:Abigail Stone
With Michael Fullen at the helm, a Laguna Beach cottage finds renewed vigor and beauty.
Despite the plethora of crazy additions and odd renovations, the home’s location, on an acre lot just shy of the beach, made the decision to purchase the 1920s-era property an easy one. So was the selection of Michael Fullen whom the family had worked with before. They knew they could trust him and his design group to create the modern beach cottage they envisioned.
The overall concept was to open up the interior and pull in the view. The client was also hoping to increase the size of the kitchen, add a guest quarters for friends and family, a playroom and bedroom for their three young children and a quiet master suite for themselves.
Incorporating the clients’ full wish list would add approximately 1500 square feet to the home’s modest footprint and require a gut renovation. Fullen played Jenga with the floor plan, putting the master suite upstairs alongside a home office and a deck large enough for entertaining.
It was the master bathroom, with its long list of features, that proved the most challenging element of the approval process. Fullen had to dance around dramatic sloping ceilings, limited square footage and historical restrictions on the house. But, as is often the case, limitations unleash a designer’s reserves of creativity. This is proven by the show stopping final result: dual sinks, a freestanding tub, a walk-in shower and a floor patterned in cut marble visually expand the small space; skylights ensuret that the space is bright and airy; and, sloping ceilings finish it with a touch of drama.
While the permitting process was not so easy but “the results were worth every step forward and every slide backwards,” says Fullen. Also worth it: the clients’ reaction when saw the completed space. “They proclaimed that it looked like a home in a magazine,” Fullen shares. Although they’d been there every step of the way, it was the final layers that brought their dream home to life. “Their reaction was priceless,” say Fullen.