Electric Bowery renovates Big Sur house overlooking California's coastline

Big Sur Home by Electric Bowery

The co-founder of California studio Electric Bowery has renovated a redwood-clad house in Big Sur for her family, preserving its iconic features and adding custom furniture.

The house, originally designed by well-known local architect Mickey Muennig, is perched high up on a bluff overlooking the dramatic coastline – famous for the scenic Route 1 that runs along it.

House by Mickey Muennig on top of craggy and grassy rockface
The house was built in 1993 by renowned local architect Mickey Muennig

Commissioned in 1993, the building features a curved copper roof and redwood exterior cladding that Electric Bowery co-founder Cayley Lambur and director of interiors Stephanie Luk used as the foundation for the remodel.

After speaking to her neighbour, the original owner, Lambur delved into Muennig’s legacy and the property’s history for clues to approach the project.

Compact kitchen with redwood panelling and raw steel breakfast bar
Electric Bowery co-founder Cayley Lambur’s updates to the property included reconfiguring the compact kitchen

“Inspired by this connection, Lambur began to breathe new life into the residence while honouring its organic architectural roots,” said the studio.

The house benefits from large windows and expanses of glazing that capitalise on the views across the landscape to the ocean.

Living room with redwood panelling, curved sofa and large walnut coffee table
Custom furniture in the living room includes a curved sofa designed to “hug views into the canyon”

Keeping these vistas top of mind, the renovation involved reconfiguring the internal spaces, and respectfully upgrading some of the outdated decor and fixtures.

An entirely new custom kitchen was added within the tight existing space, designed to maximise counter space and celebrate the views of the garden and ocean.

Vintage leather chairs surround an impressive stone hearth
Vintage leather chairs surround an impressive stone hearth

The redwood millwork was created in collaboration with American furniture company Henrybuilt to blend with the rest of the interiors, while raw steel, warm-stained concrete floors and leathered natural quartzite complete the contemporary look.

Where the roof slopes to its lowest point, the living room is furnished with custom pieces such as a curved channel-tufted sofa that “hugs views into the canyon” and an oversized claro walnut coffee table by Dusk.

Bedroom with redwood panelling, and a warm and earthy palette
Redwood panelling continues in the bedrooms, with are decorated with a warm and earthy palette

Behind, an impressive stone hearth is accompanied by vintage black-leather armchairs and a variety of textured rugs and pillows.

The redwood panelling continues in the bedrooms and bathrooms, where it’s complemented by custom beds dressed in deep red and green textiles.

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“The consistent use of redwood paneling throughout the home offers the experience of bringing the outside inwards, contrasted and complemented by the incorporation of colour through art, tile and textiles,” said Electric Bowery.

“A warm and earthy palette is carried through the home, layering textures and natural materials, old and new.”

Bathroom tiled entirely in thin, straight-stacked teal glazed tiles
One of the bathrooms is tiled entirely in thin, straight-stacked, teal-glazed tiles

One of the bathrooms is tiled entirely in thin, straight-stacked teal glazed tiles, while another features a shower lined with square tiles in tones of blue.

Also as part of the scope, a trailer on the property was restored and renovated for use as additional guest accommodation and an office for remote work.

House seen in context of the dramatic Northern California coastline
The house overlooks the dramatic Northern California coastline from its lofty perch

Lambur founded Electric Bowery with fellow architect Lucia Bartholomew in 2013, and the studio is based between Venice, Big Sur and Santa Barbara in California, and New York City.

Other projects by the studio include the Wildflower Farms resort in Upstate New York, where a series of wood or Corten steel-clad cabins are nestled among meadows and woodland, and a house in Venice Beach that features an askew pitched roof.

The photography is by Chris Mottalini.

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