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Living room with floor-to-ceiling sliding patio doors open wide to the backyard.
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California home turns indoor-outdoor living upside down.

Sometimes, the best view is upside down. Nestled between bungalow-style homes overlooking the rolling surf of oceanside Encinitas, California, one two-story contemporary home takes indoor-outdoor living to a new level with an inverted floor plan and moving walls of glass.

Architect Lindsay Brown of The Brown Studio designed two living areas – one for each level – and put the kitchen upstairs to maximize views while preserving privacy. “Our approach was to privatize the house from its neighbors without sacrificing the sense of indoor-outdoor living, capturing the ocean views from every possible vantage point,” Brown says.

“Western Window Systems’ selection of doors and windows allowed us to open the space to epic ocean views.” Lindsay Brown, architect, The Brown Studio

The balcony deck boasts massive glass and an additional 2,219 square feet of space.
The balcony deck boasts massive glass and an additional 2,219 square feet of space.

From the outside, the home looks somewhat unassuming on its long and narrow one-acre lot. Charred cedar wood siding gives the home a quaint look. But step through the dramatic pivot door entrance, and everything is bright and open.

Every room in the house is outfitted with glass, including bedrooms with hinged windows that let in the natural morning light.
Every room in the house is outfitted with glass, including bedrooms with hinged windows that let in the natural morning light.

The 4,546 square-foot home has four bedrooms and three and a half bathrooms. Every area invites the outdoors inside, from the moment one steps through the front door and sees the backyard through a 30-foot glass wall of multi-slide doors that glide open to merge the backyard with the living space.

“Western Window Systems doors allow us to expand the sense of indoor living space onto the decks outside – elevating the sense of space in the home,” Brown says.

“Western Window Systems doors allow us to expand the sense of indoor living space onto the decks outside – elevating the sense of space in the home.” Lindsay Brown, architect, The Brown Studio

Sliding patio doors in the home office provide access to the outdoors.
Sliding patio doors in the home office provide access to the outdoors.

Every room is outfitted with big glass, including the bathrooms, which feature hinged windows that swing open to let in fresh air and natural light. Even the home office has sliding patio doors that provide access to the outside. The home's largest openings face south and west, with large louvered doors and cantilevers providing shaded areas.

Upstairs, a 90-degree configuration of multi-slide doors creates a flawless transition to the outdoor deck and provides unobscured ocean views.

“We love opening the pocket doors all the way and watching as our guests’ jaws drop to the floor!” Lindsay Brown, architect, The Brown Studio

The dining area was placed upstairs to maximize views through floor-to-ceiling windows while preserving privacy from neighbors.
The dining area was placed upstairs to maximize views through floor-to-ceiling windows while preserving privacy from neighbors.

The boxy balcony deck, perched on an overhang above the vanishing-edge pool downstairs, boasts an additional 2,219 square feet of space. When the 90-degree multi-slide doors are all the way open, it creates a stunning flow of space with seemingly infinite views, Brown says. “We love opening the pocket doors all the way and watching as our guests’ jaws drop to the floor!”

Dealer: Dixieline

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