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Neumann Mendro Andrulaitis Architects Design Coastal Retreat

The primary residence was built in 1993 and the homeowner worked with NMA Architects on a interior remodel that was completed in 2011. Concurrent with the remodel, NMA developed plans for a new residence on the adjacent narrow lot, to be used as a guest house. Recently completed, this compound is now the ideal getaway for NMA’s client, a rancher who purchased this property as an oceanside retreat from the heat and dust of the San Joaquin Valley.




The bluff-top oceanfront property is located within a private gated community.  When purchased, there was an existing 7,000 sf residence with a pool, as well as the adjacent narrow lot which averages only about 35 feet in width. The lot had originally been part of a larger estate and featured only a swimming pool, and didn’t provide any beach access. The two properties were separated by a solid plaster wall, which limited use and flow.




Each home now has a separate vehicular access and behind the plaster wall and mahogany gates, there is a shared entry garden incorporating a new fountain and natural cut Sweetwater Cherokee stone steps and walking paths. The plaster property line wall was removed so that the shared access felt more generous and the boundary between the two properties was blurred, creating a narrow and charming “paseo” entry to the new residence.




“The challenge was to design the home to complement the style of the primary residence next door, so we opted for simple, modern, and comfortable spaces and minimizing the materials palette,” states NMA partner Mary Andrulaitis.

A lush and intimate tropical garden was designed by local Landscape Architect, Eric Nagelmann.





The living, dining, and kitchen spaces create a great room that is open to both the ocean/bluff as well as the pool and BBQ area at the primary residence next door, creating a wonderful connection and feeling of a “family compound,”  which is very conducive to entertaining.

“Keeping the interiors simple creates visual spaciousness and a zen-like calmness that ties it together with the outdoor spaces through large sliding doors,” explains Andrulaitis.





Design details…
• The floors are colored concrete with the exception of bathrooms where tile was utilized for slip resistance.
• Doors and windows are stained mahogany to match the adjacent primary residence, black metal guardrails and light fixtures also match.
• The interiors are kept white, including the kitchen cabinetry, to give the modest home a more spacious and airy feeling.

The new residence is approximately 2,700 sf of living space with a detached 2-car garage and seamlessly blends with the scale and aesthetics of the original residence. “It seems to suit guests, whether they’re visiting for just a weekend, or the owner’s daughter and grandchildren are staying for weeks,” Andrulaitis comments.

Photography/Ciro Coelho


Established in 2003, NMA Architects is located in the seaside community of Carpinteria, California. Each project, from small-scale renovations to custom homes, is approached with a passion for the art of design and a commitment to a quality built environment.

Andy Neumann, Dave Mendro, and Mary Andrulaitis have collaborated together for nearly 25 years, formalizing their partnership in 2003. The staff has a broad work experience, successfully completing a wide range of building types including residential, commercial and civic projects.


888 Linden Avenue. Carpinteria California 93013

805.684.8885 / email:

To view Neumann Mendro Andrulaitis Architects portfolio, visit the website:


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