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Bookcase wall, headboard, closet, counter pockets ... all built-in, all plaster.

Bookcase wall, headboard, closet, counter pockets . . . all built-in, all plaster

Sculptural form and practical function unite in the plaster-covered built-ins in this Southern California house. The kitchen's island and open cabinets, the living room's bookcase, and the master bedroom's freestanding bed platform are essential parts of the house's open plan and informal, but sophisticated, design.

Because the built-ins have the same form and finish as the interior walls, they act more as architectural features than independent pieces of furniture. Like the walls, they have pronounced vertical and horizontal lines interrupted with deep recesses. In the built-ins, the recesses become display shelves. In the walls and ceiling, they're windows and skylights.

The house's white-plastered walls, high ceilings, and built-ins give it a continuity and a bright, airy feeling. Mexican pavers running throughout the house and extending to surrounding patios add to an architectural style that its designer, Ken Ronchetti of Rancho Santa Fe, calls "sort of Mediterranean high desert."

Throughout the house, Ronchetti capitalized on plaster's ability to remove sharp angles: in the bookcase, for instance, it softens what might be a rigid grid by rounding edges of intersecting planes.

Because the main part of the house is one open space, Ronchetti used a 16-foot-long island as a half-wall that divides the kitchen from the dining and living areas. At each end of the island, 5-foot-high L-shaped wing walls screen views of the cooktop. Glossy black appliances and cabinets provide an elegant counterpoint to the plaster's informal look.

In the master bedroom, the 8-foot-tall headboard divides the space into sleeping and bath zones. Made as one unit, it incorporates the separate furniture elements that fill most bedrooms: night stands, lights, bed, chests, and a closet. It fills the center of the bedroom but leaves an impression of uncluttered space.

Photo: Wall of rectangles makes 8-foot-high, 15-foot-long bookcase that blends into back wall of living room. Each opening measures 15 by 26 inches and is 17 inches deep. The dividing grids are 3 1/2 inches thick. Curve of steps on right extends into living room floor tiles

Photo: Headboard wall with cantilevered light soffit has built-in night stands at sides of bed platform. Closets and shelves fill the other side of the 16-foot-long wall (below right)

Photo: Two-direction cabinet hangs above kitchen counter. Curved edges soften corners

Photo: Pillar-like shapes and thick, horizontal line of counter repeat architectural detail of surrounding walls. Backs of pillars are hollows for shelves (below)

Photo: Studs and plywood give form and strength to the built-ins. Metal lath creates the gently curved edges and supports the three plaster layers
COPYRIGHT 1988 Sunset Publishing Corp.
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Copyright 1988 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Date:Apr 1, 1988
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