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A smart family home on so many levels

Santa Monica architect Jesse Bornstein solved the dilemma of a sloping lot with a "split-plane" design that uses half-flights of stairs to keep the house free-flowing yet divided into distinct rooms. The result embodies what so many Southern Californians seek: more living space without the McMansion effect; light-filled rooms that feel connected to the outdoors yet still private; and a modern look that comes off as neither cold nor industrial. Here, a look down the open stairwell that serves as the spine of the house. More... • Inside the Bornstein home Also in Home & Garden • A friendlier footprint: Green on 19 • New looks in wicker, rattan and other woven furniture • Guerrilla gardeners take root in Southern California • How to make seed bombs • Eye Candy: Home & Garden Photo Galleries
Santa Monica architect Jesse Bornstein solved the dilemma of a sloping lot with a “split-plane” design that uses half-flights of stairs to keep the house free-flowing yet divided into distinct rooms. The result embodies what so many Southern Californians seek: more living space without the McMansion effect; light-filled rooms that feel connected to the outdoors yet still private; and a modern look that comes off as neither cold nor industrial. Here, a look down the open stairwell that serves as the spine of the house.

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Inside the Bornstein home

Also in Home & Garden

A friendlier footprint: Green on 19
New looks in wicker, rattan and other woven furniture
Guerrilla gardeners take root in Southern California
How to make seed bombs
Eye Candy: Home & Garden Photo Galleries
(Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times)

Please don’t call it split-level. It’s a split plane house. Architect Jesse Bornstein modifies a classic idea for a modern age, crafting a home that feels spacious and open yet intimate -- a private refuge graced with functional beauty.


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