That house, in a verdant canyon encircled by the Santa Monica Mountains, is about as opposite as it gets from any city. What’s more, it proved to be the perfect excuse to regularly escape Chicago for the next couple of years as Lynch and his team devised its complete reimagining. The architect, who began his career restoring Frank Lloyd Wright houses, reveled in the chance to remake something that truly reflected the aura of its locale. “The first time I walked into that house, looking outside to the larger landscape, I thought that was the big mission, really,” he says. “It was an opportunity to respect what was there, [and] enhance it.” —Kathryn Romeyn
The stars seem to have been aligned for Lala Reimagined—a West Coast studio founded four years ago by Lia McNairy and Azar Fattahi—right from the get-go. Their very first clients turned out to be dream clients, who hired them, in fairly rapid succession, to design three different properties in California, including this Spanish colonial ranch near the beaches of Malibu.
“Our first project was their house in Los Angeles; we were in the middle of renovating it when the pandemic began and they acquired this property,” Fattahi says. “They put so much trust in our hands, it’s been an unbelievable synergy of a relationship.” The clients, Anjannette Padilla-Ryan, a clinical psychologist, and her husband, Tom Ryan, president and CEO of Paramount Streaming, made the purchase with the goal of having a place to retreat to with their three school-aged children.
“It’s only a 45-minute drive in good traffic but it just feels like hundreds of miles away,” Ryan says. “The kids can run around and go to the beach.” Perched on a Malibu hilltop surrounded by five acres of greenery, with ocean views to the south and mountain views to the north, east, and west, the 6,000-square-foot home does indeed seem like a faraway retreat. Taking advantage of the idyllic setting, Lala Reimagined’s team set out to create a space that called to mind the Argentario coast of Tuscany, specifically the rustic yet glamorous Il Pelicano, an iconic resort awash in sunny yellow and fresh green hues. —Paola Singer