After moving into the 1964, circular George Bissell Horizon House (part 1), homeowners Johnson and Gough get to know life in the round through a unique home renovation (part 2). With the updates finished, the homeowners were ready to appoint and arrange furniture accordingly. It was time to bring the past back to life and embrace some seriously groovy home decor.
Having graduated from IKEA to midcentury furnishings at the Kappe residence some 10 years ago, the couple had plenty of sources to tap for the weekend house. “We pretty much knew [vintage] was what we’d want to do in the Laguna house, too, but make it more of a swinging bachelor pad with a low couch and sparse furniture. The look was driven by the concrete floors and glass walls; it was a no brainer for me,” says Gough.
“A round house is so unique,” Johnson adds. “We’re all raised to live in boxes and it took me a couple of months to get the intuitive feel of a round house. First, everything was focused inward toward the fireplace; that’s what you’re trained to do in a box house. After a while I realized the whole flow is from the in to the out, so I rearranged the furniture to be much more outward looking now.”
The couple planned a phase-two project, where the windows now blocked by the bedroom closets would be restored and the freestanding closets shown in the original plans would be constructed of walnut instead of the specified teak and Formica. “Until you’re actually in it, the surprise of being in a round house doesn’t hit you,” reports Gough. “Stan [Goodrich], the former owner, asked how we were enjoying the Zen qualities of the circular layout. I hadn’t really noticed that until he said it, but it is very soothing and you don’t waste any steps.”
“Either people really get it or they don’t understand it at all,” says Johnson of visitors’ reactions to the unique space. “To me it’s a groovy ’60s bachelor pad—kind of Dean Martin visits ‘The Jetsons.’”
As for Goodrich, “I miss it terribly—the serenity and energy of the house,” he says longingly. “The reason why I bought my condo in Palm Springs is because it had one curved wall and reminded me of the Horizon House.”