You Had Me at Yellow
A Bright Surprise with LMD Architecture Studio
Hermosa Beach, California

Architect: LMD Architecture Studio
Project Manager: Maria Gabriel, Gabriel Projects
Interior Design: Olivia Erwin Designs and Jennifer Cole
Landscape: Rob Jones, Jones Landscape
“Come on in. That’s the feeling we wanted to create.”
You could call it color as a welcome sign – and a handshake.
A handshake not only with those coming in, but also with the home’s setting on a walk street in Hermosa Beach, where the clients created connection to the neighborhood through the landscape...
...and welcoming doses of indoor color visible from the exterior.
Color also provides a connection between the family’s beach life and the refined interiors.
“We were inspired by Palm Springs architecture,” said the client. “But we didn’t want the home to feel uncomfortably modern to us or others.” Their approach pairs modernist principals of form and flow with bright colors to create that 'just right' feeling.
In a sea of safe hues, a sunny yellow certainly takes a stand. Fashion icons and designers who have their hands in the art of color-blocking will talk of unwritten rules centered on the color theory - like not mixing too many colors together at once, and balancing an outfit with a neutral, like gray. Such is the case in how this home is dressed.
Cool grays, pinks, and muted oak...
... balance the sunny yellow Henrybuilt kitchen.
Yes, that’s right, a Henrybuilt kitchen. Henrybuilt – not often associated with primary colors - is not about a ‘style’ or a specific look, but about an underlying set of aesthetic and functional principles.

“We looked at European systems and millwork, but we couldn’t get what we wanted from either. Henrybuilt was the perfect solution – an intense focus on functionality, durability, while not feeling too slick,” says the client.

Underneath its bright façade, the kitchen provides sophistication in terms of how it works and feels. It exudes its own personality on the exterior, while providing system performance and specialized tools inside.
“The details - like how the glass door slides effortlessly - are extraordinary. It just feels good.”
It's a healthy habit you don't have to form because it's created for you. More importantly, it's intuitive. And beautiful. And effortless - for the cook, the guest, and everyone in between.
Pull-out pantries tucked to the side of the kitchen create a color volume on full view from the front of the house.
The family entry marks arrival with a dose of orange in Henrybuilt’s bench system that disguises a fleet of flip flops in large storage drawers (one for each family member).
Much has been written on the psychology of color. One thing’s for certain, it’s personal. For this client, and this setting, yellow brings joy and happiness. And, a lightness - not just in its emotional impact, but as a secondary light source thanks to its high light reflectance value.
“Color can shift a kitchen away from being overly serious, wood-y, or overwhelmingly dark,” said Julianna Morais, Henrybuilt’s VP of Design. “The idea of bringing the sunshine inside was a welcome one.”
It’s proof that sunny sophistication isn’t an oxymoron.