home builder digest

The Best Residential Architects in Huntington Beach, California Geoff Sumich Design

Geoff Sumich Design was founded by its principal designer, Geoff Sumich. Before running the firm, Sumich spent the early years of his practice designing traditional homes. Eventually he started to blend that traditional style with modernist designs. In most of Sumich’s projects, materials like wood, stone, steel, and glass are incorporated to bring a timelessness to his designs. In a sense, his work exudes the nature of evolution. Geoff Sumich Design has been featured in several industry publications, including Architectural Digest, Prospertere, The Orange County Register, Ocean Home, Riviera, Chome, Los Angeles Times, and Bluedoor Magazine.

A firm that specializes in residential architecture, Geoff Sumich Design is known for a style that incorporates romantic elements from the past while celebrating the simple clean lines of modern design. A great example is the residence he designed in Huntington Beach. A two-story home, this beautiful residence exudes Japanese elements much apparent in its floor to ceiling windows, wooden finishes, and interior design.

31511 Camino Capistrano, Suite A, San Juan, Capistrano, CA 92675

architectural digest


Trust in Simplicity

With a gift for romantic modernism, a passion for the Adriatic seaside, and a client of kindred spirit, Geoff Sumich built his favorite house.

When Geoff Sumich met the clients for whom he would build his hill-side villa overlooking the coast of Orange County, it felt like kismet. “We had the same passion for the Mediterranean,” explains Sumich, princk pal of Geoff Sumich Design. The couple wanted a house that would remind them

of their travels to the region, and I have a powerful affinity for the hillside villages of Croatia, where I’ve been many times.” A sloped lot on the Pacific Ocean cre-ated an ideal starting point for the seaside villa. “Our concept was to play with texture rather than color,” Sumich explains. We used limestone, stucco, glass, and white canvas. The color palette was beachy with subtle tans and beiges. We wanted a house where you’d fit In perfectly whether dressed for a gala or wrapped in a beach towel.” To evoke a “village,” Sumich divided the house into a cluster of buildings with varying textures, connected by narrow “streets”—hallways paved In cobblestone and encased in glass. A grotto carved into the adjacent hillside created a quaint town courtyard with a sitting area and fire feature.

I think the key to this home’s beauty is its simplicity,” says Sumich. “Sometimes the best results come from restraint—resisting shiny things and trusting in simple, under-stated choices.” With so many stunning homes in his portfolio, one might wonder Why focus on this one, today? “Because this is the one I’d want to live in,” Sumich shares without hesitating. “This is the one that most epito-mizes my romantic modernism. This is my favorite house.”

Geoff Sumich Design, Inc. 31511 Camino Capistrano, Suite A San Juan Capistrano, CA 92675 949-496-8991 geoffsumichdesign.com

architectural digest – january 2020 – “home and design, orange county” – north laguna

los angeles times

artists scott and naomi schoenherr are always on a budget — never more so than when they purchased their rugged, hillside lot in laguna beach, where they planned to build their dream home and ceramics studio. a friend had lost his home in the 1993 fire there and had offered them a good price on the land. “we waited almost six years — saving our pennies,” says scott, “before we could build.”

when they were ready, they called in architect geoff sumich in san juan capistrano to design their 2,800-square-foot dwelling — an open-plan dining, kitchen and living area with an adjacent master suite that sits atop their ceramic studio nestled into the hillside below. “they wanted to capture the feeling of a japanese farm house,” says sumich, a nod to tokyo-born naomi’s roots.

creating the artful, two-story, post-and-beam home and studio wasn’t easy. throughout the building and permit process that drew out over 6 years, they made tough choices to stay on budget. original plans that included a second bedroom and bath were revised when caissons on the hillside threatened to blow their budget sky high.

although they had wanted custom doors, they settled for off-the-rack ones from ganahl lumber; straight glass over insulated panes for windows; plywood ceilings instead of tongue and groove douglas fir. selecting a limited palette of simple materials — concrete, plywood and western red cedar — allowed them to get a quantity discount, while also keeping costs low.

“in addition,” says naomi, “we did a lot of the work ourselves.”

to that end, they waterproofed their exterior retaining wall with a liquid rubber membrane, pre-sealed wood siding on the house, then installed and finished the outdoor deck. they also rented a ditch witch to install the water line to the house, dug trenches for irritation, then planted a drought-tolerant landscape that won roger’s gardens california friendly garden contest in 2007.

inside the house, they installed sinks and laid tiles. they also put down the black walnut flooring with the help of a floor installer friend. “he lent us his tools and got us started,” explains scott. “basically i would glue and lay the wood and he would hammer it into place and staple it down.” since they had purchased a no. 2 common grade wood, naomi selected and pre-arranged floor boards to minimalize any defects, then they sealed the floor with a clear satin polyurethane finish to make the floors look richer and more uniform. “our knees were pretty sore,” recalls scott.

naomi shopped around for good buys. it turned out to be less expensive to order the wood floor from a supplier in tennessee — even with shipping costs — than buying from a local showroom. ditto the western red cedar siding that came from washington state. although the artists make beautiful, multi-glaze tiles (their ceramic sculpture in laguna beach’s heisler park won them “artist of the year” in 2013), they opted to buy tiles wholesale from a friend’s shop. “we wanted to design our own,” says scott, “but it would have taken us away from making artwork that was paying for the house.”

the talented pair turned their creative energies to fashion an interior landscape of east-meets-west appointments as well. take the vintage mizuya tansu (japanese stacking cabinets) naomi’s mother had sent from tokyo. rearranged side by side and topped with granite, they form the kitchen’s unique center island.

in the master bedroom, frosted-glass windows produce the appearance of a transparent shoji screen. although the large fixed glass had to be custom made and frosted at the manufacturer, they reproduced the same look themselves on the side windows with a frosted privacy window film from home depot.

so, do you have to be an artist to help build your own home?

“it undoubtedly helps to have some real hands on experience,” says scott. “on the other hand, being artists made the project longer for sure… we’re both very particular.”

some d.i.y tips from the schoenherrs

artist naomi schoenherr advises when building your own home to be flexible and educate yourself. “talking to building trade professionals, reading books and taking on-line tutorials definitely helps the design process — there are always more than one way to do something.”

by barbara thornburg

orange county register

Orange county register

the priciest home on the market in newport beach is an architect’s vision.

the 13,000-square-foot, three-level residence, to be set on a coveted, oceanfront parcel in corona del mar’s shorecliffs, hit the multiple listing service this week at $36.5 million.

still in the conceptual stages, the blufftop house at 101 shorecliff road will have rooms that make the most of the sweeping views, walls of retractable glass and broad, seaside terraces. the home is expected to include a theater, gym and wine tasting room, as well as a 3,300-square-foot car collector’s garage.

a swimming pool and gardens will highlight a gently sloped backyard.

designer geoff sumich’s approach is inspired by “romantic modernism,” he says on his website, blending modern design with materials such as stone, wood and steel allowed to age maintenance-free in minimal spaces. the effect, he explains, adds warmth and character to a modern home.

the shorecliff house will be “exquisite” says rob giem of hom sotheby’s international realty, the agent representing the home.

“on the top floor, the master suite is seemingly aloft above the ocean,” he wrote in the listing.

while plans have yet to be fully approved, giem said the project meets the major requirements of the city, coastal commission and hoa. the parcel, about three-quarters of an acre perched above little corona beach, has been the site of a house built in 1956 for sale at about $18 million. that home was considered a teardown, with prospective buyers wondering what could be built there. now they know. an open house will be held on saturday, 1-4 p.m.

by marilyn kalfus – staff writer

listings magazine


In Front Of A Million-Dollar View?

To a lot of people living on the coast with beautiful—and expensive—ocean views, the thought of installing exterior louvers on their windows and doors seems outrageous. To Geoff Sumich, a native New Zealander who operates a highly-acclaimed and successful California house design practice, its par for the course. “I can’t tell you how sad it is to see a beautiful glass-framed house overlooking the ocean, and then see thick heavy curtains pulled across the glass to block out the sun and view,” he laments.

a piece in listings magazine about geoff sumich’s use of louvers in his home designs.    – listings magazine, fall 2016 –


geoff sumich design

Geoff Sumich has been designing his distinctive brand of homes for over 30 years. A vision uniquely formed from his New Zealand roots and his years in Southern California, he is a master of “Romantic Modernism.” This signature style is an excep-tional balance of simplicity and minimalism suffused with warmth and character that will express all the sides of who you are.

Sumich’s journey includes 12 years of experience designing tradi-tional homes, and another 19 years spent marrying that experi-ence to his innate love of minimal, modern design. His process includes allowing raw materials such as stone, wood and steel to age naturally, then placing them artfully in the context of simple and Its modern space. The result is an experience of spacious serenity that nevertheless draws one in with the warm feeling of home.

He is personally involved with every aspect of his projects; his feeling is that once he has finished the plans, his job has just begun. During the course of construction he stays involved with every facet of a home’s creation, allowing him to address the thousands of big and small questions that arise. It’s a hands-on philosophy that allows the accurate execution of the design and the precise realization of your dream home.

Experience Geoff’s seamless fusion of sleek simplicity and rustic charm for yourself at GEOFFSUMICHDESIGN.COM