This year, we're launching three—a Malibu country home, a desert oasis, and the Sunset Beach House.

Sunset Staff  – September 28, 2020 | Updated October 1, 2020

Continuously sparking cutting-edge ideas and trends, Sunset’s annual Idea House has established itself as a renowned and respected project among our audience, as well as within the design community as a whole.

Every year, Sunset’s Idea House features a renowned builder and designer who work in tandem to create a home that showcases the latest in design innovation, technology, and trends.

This year marks the 15th anniversary of the Sunset Idea House, and we are expanding our scope by showcasing three different projects. All are in Southern California; each has a different style. We have a Malibu country home with a luxury twist by renowned architect Douglas Burdge, a desert home in Indio adjacent to Coachella, and the popular festival. Our third is our Sunset Beach House that sits on the sandy shore of Malibu.

From the Ashes: A Malibu Country Home

In 2018, the devastating Woolsey wildfire reduced some 400 homes in Malibu to rubble. Andrea Tennant’s home was one of them.

She and her children, Flora and Andrew, instantly knew they would rebuild on the same site. After living in London, Europe, and Australia, the Malibu house they’d moved into in 2005, with its sweeping mountain and ocean views, was the ultimate expression of a peripatetic life built on optimism and forward momentum. As Andrea says, “Our challenges along the way strengthened our resilience, and after the horror of the fire, we sieved through the ashes and began to piece together a new story.”

That story will come to life in the 2021 Sunset Idea House in the hands of Malibu’s renowned Burdge Architects, with interiors by Marina Fernandez de Cordova. The house will embrace the site’s dramatic nature and the casual indoor-outdoor elegance of the Malibu lifestyle, all with a nod to the Tennant family’s Scottish roots.

“Although Malibu and Scotland are in a sense a world apart, the context isn’t dissimilar,” says Tennant. “They both have proximity to water, the abundance of nature, stunning sunsets, and heartfelt loyalty to heritage and home. We are excited about this opportunity, and being able to create this new chapter in our family history with the collaboration of Sunset Magazine and its sponsors.”

The City We Are Calling Home: Malibu

If you’re enamored of the authentic West Coast lifestyle, it’s hard to imagine a location more perfect than the picturesque Malibu Canyon. This year, Sunset will call this romantic beach locale home to our annual Idea House.

Nestled in one of the most coveted spots of Southern California, our 2021 Idea House sits perfectly positioned in the Malibu Park area of the storied enclave—an area filled with rich history and some of Hollywood’s best kept secrets.

Embodying a modern and dynamic style, Sunset’s 2021 Idea House will be one filled with innovation, cutting edge design, and countless sources of lust-worthy inspiration.

The house is a two-story, 5 Bedroom / 4.5 Bath New England farmhouse style. Located in the Malibu Park area of Malibu on a 1.14 acres lot overlooking the ocean. This area was one of the hardest hit during the Woolsey fire. The livable area will be 3,716-square-foot, plus a 546-square-foot detached garage. New proposed pool, bocce, and sport court is also planned, along with a future guest house over the garage.

Home to Rich History

Whimsical foliage, hidden trails, and spectacular ocean views are just a few ways to characterize the idyllic Santa Monica Canyon.

Malibu is a beach city in western Los Angeles County with a population of 12,645. It’s known for its Mediterranean climate and its 21-mile strip of the Malibu coast. Incorporated in 1991 into the City of Malibu, the area is home to Hollywood movie stars, people in the entertainment industry, and other affluent residents. Most Malibu residents live within a few hundred yards of Pacific Coast Highway (State Route 1), which traverses the city, with some residents living up to a mile away from the beach up narrow canyons.

Nicknamed “the ‘Bu” by surfers and locals, beaches along the Malibu coast include Surfrider Beach, Zuma Beach, Malibu Beach, Topanga Beach, and Point Dume Beach. The city is bounded by Topanga on the east, the Santa Monica Mountains (Agoura Hills, Calabasas, and Woodland Hills) to the north, the Pacific Ocean to the south, and Solromar in Ventury County to the west.

About the Architect

Douglas W. Burdge, AIA, and his firm have designed and built over 300 custom residences in the Malibu region alone.

As comfortable designing a Mediterranean-style estate as a modern home, Burdge has created breathtaking contemporary ocean-front retreats with floor-to-ceiling glass doors that open to reveal endless vistas of the sea and sky. Burdge is also well known for designing in a “Rustern” style, a term he trademarked, which means “a home, furniture or design style of rustic modern influence.”

In addition to residential projects, Burdge and his team have designed award winning boutique hotels, restaurants, shopping centers, and private clubs. Projects have been featured in publications such as Architectural Digest, The Wall Street Journal, Veranda, Robb Report, Luxe, and Traditional Home. In addition to receiving several “Home of the Year ” PCBC Golden Nugget awards, his residential work in Sun Valley has consistently landed his firm on Mountain Living Magazine’s annual Top Mountain Architects & Interior Designers list.

Douglas graduated with a Bachelor of Architecture degree from the University of Southern California. He is currently a member of the American Institute of Architects and the Institute of Classical Architecture and Art.

The proud father of twin sons, Doug currently resides in Malibu with his wife Laura. Doug also co-owns Buhaus Built, a luxury tiny house manufacturer, and is the creator of the Sunset BUD Living Home.

California Desert Oasis

The five-bedroom, four-bathroom home features a resort-style backyard with a heated saltwater pool with tanning shelf, elevated spa, fire pit, and and granite slab bar with seating for 5. The attached casita suite has an additional entrance that opens to a private courtyard.

The versatile floor plan has two comfortable living areas, one in and outdoors, four dining areas, and three bar areas, designed for formal and casual entertaining in both intimate and large group settings. We are excited for our architectural, design, and landscape teams to work their magic on creating another award-winning Idea House.

Located in Indio, in the Coachella Valley of Southern California’s Colorado Desert region, our Sunset Desert Idea House sits 23 miles east of Palm Springs. Nicknamed the City of Festivals for the many cultural events held in the city, Indio is home to the famed Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival.

Sunset Beach House

Welcome to our four-bedroom, three-bathroom Sunset Beach Idea House. A light-filled bungalow with unobstructed north-to-south views of the bright blue Pacific Ocean. The open floor plan invites guests to flow from the front entrance through to the 50-foot-wide patio with its breathtaking sunsets. Like an empty canvas, this home awaits our designer’s touch to create a jewel box on the water.

Located on prestigious Broad Beach Road in Malibu, our Sunset Beach Idea House shares the sandy ocean access with many celebrities who live here. One of only 108 homes on the most expensive strip of land in the 90265 zip code, our Idea House project is ready to embrace the relaxed Southern California beach lifestyle.


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