This reimagined Malibu beach house is a modern take on a Cali retreat

Sophie Goineau gave this Malibu beach house an interior overhaul inspired by its ocean views, sweeping cliff placement, and California sun

Malibu beach house
(Image credit: Virtually Here Studios)

This Malibu beach house draws inspiration from its natural context's iconic white sand and blue waters. Los Angeles-based interior designer Sophie Goineau reimagined the cliffside retreat by opening it up with soaring ceilings, expansive ocean views, and wide windows framing sunsets as they become liquid-gold, setting into the sea. The residential overhaul, commissioned by a young family in Careyes, Mexico, aimed at creating a stylish, modern home that can balance the requirements of the clients' newborn.

Malibu house

(Image credit: Virtually Here Studios)

Inside a modern Malibu beach house

This isn't the first transformation this property has gone through. Originally built in 1965, and then remodelled at the turn of the millennium, the house’s iterations were always limited to Malibu’s strict zoning laws. In this case, rather than focusing on expanding the external facade, Goineau focused her project on the interior development. 

Malibu house

(Image credit: Virtually Here Studios)

‘Some rooms were all divided by walls, there was no light coming through,’ she said. ‘We had to use all existing openings— sliding doors and skylights in vaulted ceilings— but there was no rhythm. What could we do here to create a harmonious vibe?’

Malibu house

(Image credit: Virtually Here Studios)

As walls were brought down, the house's focal point turned to its expansive oceanside vistas. The use of partitions, as opposed to heavier, fixed walls, helps define areas within the home - an example includes the use of a floating storage island in the bedroom, which also acts as a headboard, seamlessly keeping the room flowing and open.

Malibu house

(Image credit: Virtually Here Studios)

Additionally, Goineau drew upon three key elements of the site for her solution: the nearby ocean, sweeping cliff placement, and the warm California sun. This inspired her main interior feature – a ceiling sequence that brings to mind breaking waves.

Malibu house

(Image credit: Virtually Here Studios)

Finally, the designer aimed for this feature to be beautiful, but also practical. Constructed from four layers of ash wood and set at different angles, the timber ceiling cleverly creates internal sun shading within a house that is so open to the elements. 

Malibu house

(Image credit: Virtually Here Studios)

Every detail within the home has been chosen to reflect its Malibu location. In the living room, a rose gold bar cast in a shimmering reflective surface shines with shades of flamingo rose, tangerine pink, and gold. The surrounding walls and floors feel light and organic - a perfect canvas for carefully selected artworks and products which add a further contemporary touch.  The interior is further enriched by its furniture choices, acting as a furniture showcase from Mexico City-based ATRA.

Malibu house

(Image credit: Virtually Here Studios)

Materials are tactile with furnishings in rich boucle fabrics, saddle leather, warm teak, textured woods and black upholstery. Goineau said: ‘It is all a visual reference of naturalist materials. The dark materials chosen highlight the contrast between dark and light in nature, and all the pieces marry so well with everything else in the house.'

Malibu house

(Image credit: Virtually Here Studios)

sophiegoineau.com

Tianna Williams is the Editorial Executive at Wallpaper*. Before joining the team in 2023, she has contributed to BBC Wales, Ford UK, SurfGirl Magazine, and Parisian Vibe, with work spanning from social media content creation to editorial. Now, her role covers writing across varying content pillars for Wallpaper*.