Malibu Hills Residence

Project Location

Malibu, CA


Nicole Sassaman



Case Study: Malibu Hills Residence

Nicole Sassaman is on the verge of becoming the next "IT designer". Residing in Los Angeles, Sassaman has appeared on HGTV and a few daytime television shows, espousing her design aesthetics. She’s renovated Greta Garbo’s Hollywood mansion and designed offices for Quentin Tarantino. A common theme throughout her design projects is a belief in combining the indoor and outdoor spheres.

Using Operable Glass Walls to Connect to Views

Not surprisingly, Sassaman followed this paradigm in designing her own house, which also has special features for her husband and daughter. The Malibu Hills Residence includes several operable glass walls to connect the dramatic vistas of Malibu with the interiors of the sprawling mansion.

Sassaman chose NanaWall SL45 panels — not a surprise, considering she has repeatedly used NanaWall in many of her projects. In particular, Sassaman created a pool that integrates the outdoors and indoors. “A pool should be more than a pool these days,” Sassaman believes. “If you’re going to build one, you should really try to set a mood and create some drama. It’s important that the pool is in a league of its own.”

A salient component of this philosophy is that the pool harmonizes with the existing house.

"I replaced some old, rotted wooden doors on hinges with these fabulous bi-folding ones. NanaWall makes these, and they are a wonderful way to make the inside one with the outside."

In a lot of ways, the entire estate is a pool house, a celebration of Southern California. The sections of the house zigzag at right angles, and the pool aligns with this geometry. Specifically, the major window openings on the first and second floor utilize a NanaWall opening glass wall that faces the pool. Whether in the bedrooms, living room or kitchen, Sassaman and her family are connected to the palm trees, emerald grass, Pacific breezes or the expansive pool. To increase this sensation, Sassaman chose goldenrod finishes for the interior and exterior spaces.

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