Spending More Time At Home? We All Need Better-Designed Residential Spaces

Spending More Time At Home? We All Need Better-Designed Residential Spaces 1080 719 White Sands Design/Build

As we look towards the future, the homes in Venice Beach, Redondo Beach, and Manhattan Beach are evolving to meet their residents’ changing needs and preferences. By focusing on sustainability, technology, and seamless indoor-outdoor living, these homes are not just places to live but spaces that enhance our lifestyle and well-being.

We’re at home often these days and asking a lot of our spaces. We need our domestic environments to be safe, comforting, and functional—places we can live, work, and play. Now that you work from home, cook and eat all of your meals at home, watch all of your movies at home, exercise at home, and even homeschool your kids, you’ve probably realized what works in your space and what really, really doesn’t. You know with much more certainty what your next space needs.

As we continue to spend significant time at home in 2024, the design and functionality of our living spaces in Venice Beach, Redondo Beach, and Manhattan Beach have never been more crucial. Our homes are not just shelters but multifunctional spaces where we work, relax and create memories.

All of this clarity and togetherness, plus your wide-open weekend schedule, make this the perfect time to begin a family project, like a custom-build or renovation. We’ve got a lot of thoughts on how homes can be designed to be more versatile, and we’d love to hear your thoughts, as well. 

Less Space Requires More Storage

Now that your family is taking up more space in your home, there’s less room for stuff. Purging can feel satisfying, but there’s no need to toss items that you’re attached to or need. If you store your things better, your space feels less cluttered.

Innovative storage solutions are key in beachside communities, where space is premium. We’re seeing a trend towards minimalist designs that maximize space. Built-in storage in unexpected places, like under staircases or in window seats, is becoming increasingly popular. These solutions are practical and add a unique aesthetic to homes.

Before the design process begins, we chat with our clients about their lifestyles and specific storage needs. We’re huge fans of built-ins, and we use all available space—hollow window seats, crawl spaces under stairs, and floor-to-ceiling shelves. You may need to store a particular piece of sporting equipment in the garage. You may even need a car-lift so a seldom-used vehicle doesn’t devour critical space.

We all need more storage for essentials, such as food and paper products, to avoid frequent shopping trips. And when you cook most meals at home, you need more gadgets and gizmos, such as food processors and blenders. You may need extra sink and counter space, and you definitely need more pantry and cabinet space. You’ll probably want tougher appliances, as well. Spending so much time in your kitchen changes how you conceptualize and invest in that space.

Entertaining Yourself At Home

According to South Bay building codes, basements are “bonus” space, meaning you don’t have to count them in your home’s allotted square footage. So, make the most of this space! A stellar home theater with reclining seats and top-of-the-line audio means you’ll never miss going “out” to the movies. Maybe try a rec room if you’re into billiards rather than movies. There are so many possibilities for this space—an exercise room with a rock wall, an in-home putting green, a two-lane bowling alley, a home arcade, a wine cellar, and an at-home bar with a low-lit vibe…get creative! This is where you play!

With the latest advancements in technology, home entertainment has reached new heights. Customized home theaters with advanced sound systems are a must-have in 2024, especially in areas like Redondo Beach, where basements offer additional “bonus” space. These entertainment hubs are tailored to the interests of each family, whether it’s a state-of-the-art gaming room or a cozy home cinema.

No room for a full-size pool? A lap pool lets you get in your exercise and keeps the kids happy. 

Dinner with an ocean view from your deck makes that crowded, noisy restaurant seem much less atmospheric. Tell us what you and your family are into, and let’s brainstorm how to make your private space more appealing than any public space.

Better Outdoor Spaces

Getting outside is essential to our mental and physical health. Southern California has an amazing mix of seaside, canyons, and desert, but we believe that you shouldn’t have to leave your home to access natural beauty. 

We incorporate as much green space as possible into every project we build. Even a small patio can feel lush and invigorating with the right landscaping. 

In Venice Beach, Manhattan Beach, and Redondo Beach, outdoor spaces are essential for relaxation and socializing. We’re seeing a surge in demand for luxurious outdoor features like sophisticated decking, eco-friendly gardens, and compact lap pools that fit into smaller yards. These spaces are designed to offer a seamless transition from indoors to outdoors, enhancing the overall living experience.

Roof terraces aren’t allowed in Manhattan Beach or Palos Verdes, although they’re welcome in Hermosa and Redondo Beach. If you can’t have a roof deck, we add a large deck on the third-story, so you still get remarkable views. Cozy furniture, an outdoor fireplace, and a floor-to-ceiling glass door help integrate your indoor and outdoor living areas.

Bring The Outdoors In, With A Living Wall

House plants boost mood, focus and creativity. They also clean the air and increase oxygen, which is always welcome in smoggy, sometimes smoky So-Cal. You should consider incorporating a living wall in your new home. This wall art is made out of living plants, sometimes called a vertical garden. Living walls add a fantastic vitality and energy to an office, family room, or bedroom.

The concept of living walls has taken a sophisticated turn in 2024. These vertical gardens are not just about aesthetics; they improve air quality and create a serene environment, which is especially important in urban coastal areas. They’re becoming a focal point in modern home design, bringing a touch of nature into our everyday spaces.

Landscape With Edibles

Southern California’s growing season lasts year-round. Use your landscape wisely, and you can eat hyper-local—from your own garden! Herbs, greens, and fruiting plants are beautiful and can be grown in limited space. Well-designed raised beds on your decks and landscaped edibles on your patios can yield a steady supply of fresh produce.

Sustainability is more than a buzzword in 2024; it’s a lifestyle. Homes in Venice, Redondo, and Manhattan Beach incorporate sustainable practices like rainwater harvesting and solar energy. Edible landscaping is also rising, with homeowners growing their own herbs and vegetables, embracing the farm-to-table concept.

Build For Passive Survivability

Passive survivability describes your home’s ability to keep you safe when infrastructure fails. Tesla and other companies make battery packs that switch on automatically to keep your electric appliances running during an outage. These batteries recharge from solar panels or the grid.

In light of climate change and rising sea levels, homes in coastal areas are being designed with resilience in mind. Features like elevated structures and materials resistant to saltwater corrosion are becoming standard. Smart home technologies for energy efficiency and disaster preparedness are also integral to new designs.

Automatic-switch generators are also an option, provided they don’t violate your neighborhood noise ordinances. They can be disguised with landscaping and hooked to your natural gas line.

Water access is always a concern in southern California. Rain collection doesn’t have to involve unsightly plastic barrels. There are more subtle and luxurious ways to store rainwater, which can be used to offset irrigation needs and manually flush toilets. With the right filtration system, rainwater can also be potable.

Copper and its alloys, such as brass, are naturally antimicrobial. Consider using these metals for doorknobs and often-touched surfaces, such as bathroom fixtures.

Our Homes Are Important To Our Daily Well-being.

If you’re ready to custom-build, focusing on flexibility, sustainability, and mental and physical health, we’re ready to lend an ear and a hand—or, eventually, a lot of hands. You shouldn’t have to conform your lifestyle to your home; you should create a home that supports and enhances your lifestyle. 


Thanks for reading,

Hawlie Ohe

Hawlie headshot for home air purifiers

Hawlie Ohe heads White Sands Interiors, and she and her husband are raising two boys along the South Bay coast. Hawlie brings the curiosity that fueled her first career, as a journalist, to her interior design approach: Who are you, who do want to be, and how can this space get you there? Great design makes you feel present and engaged, and Hawlie is here for it. Because she wants you to help you be “here” (in this space, in this moment), too.