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A serene California bungalow where simplicity shines

Long inspired by Belgian architecture, Slater knew he wanted bleached French oak floors but went through at least 18 different stains to achieve his particular vision for how the plaster walls met the floors. His dog, Finley, lies under Perriand sconces that replace overhead lighting, near a custom sofa, a Nakashima coffee table, and Jeanneret chairs. “It was never going to be one of those bright spaces at night,” say Slater. “This is a house that at night feels totally different. It becomes dark and romantic, versus in the day you get these beautiful sun spots.”

While Slater obsessed over literally every detail, much of his fanaticism was directed at the tones used throughout. “I love the feel of plaster, and it took me quite a while to find the exact movement I wanted throughout,” he says. “I’m kind of a lunatic.” For the entertaining room he wanted a big, long couch, and loved the idea of using a Jeanneret daybed as a coffee table. An art lover,Slater pared back significantly in this home. “For me art can bring such an energy or intensity into a house, and I really wanted it to connect with the overall aesthetic,” so each room features just one piece. The Mary Corse painting from the '60s he bought at Kayne Griffin Corcoran and chose for the den is “one of if not my favorite piece I own.”

A Serene California Bungalow Where Simplicity Shines Architectural Digest2

“I like the idea that your great room is your kitchen, your eating, your living space,” says Slater, who removed a wall to open the former to the rest of the home’s front half. To him the pitched roof felt like old Venice and was a must-keep. He plastered the refrigerator, freezer, and pantry, leaving space for visitors to appreciate the La Cornue range and glass-clad cabinet of collected Heath and Japanese ceramics in bone and metallic hues. “I thought if I’m going to go really muted and natural with everything else it would be nice to have piece that’s a little more thought through,” he says of the stove. Slater estimates he went to 100 stone yards to find the natural limestone for his kitchen counters, despite it being a soft stone. “I was going with look and feel more than I was going after functionality,” he laughs.

A Serene California Bungalow Where Simplicity Shines Architectural Digest3

The CEO based his bedroom—which opens out to the backyard and pool—around George Nakashima’s work. The sculptural bed with caning inset, side tables, and buffet were all bought from auctions. A James Turrell print is the sole art piece. Slater is stimulated by the contrast of neutral and natural tones against dark woods and a new-meets-old juxtaposition. In fact, he likes when the furniture isn’t in perfect condition: “I find the discoloration and dents to be really beautiful.”

On the advice of close friend and fashion designer Jenni Kayne, Slater keeps all his toiletries tucked away in specially built cabinets to the sides of the honed marble double vanity. “I love the idea of just so clean and minimal,” he says. His closet space is hidden in the same room, too, with a floating tub becoming the focal point. The sleekness continues inside the plastered shower,which has a recessed shower head and Peter van Cronenburg pulls.

A Serene California Bungalow Where Simplicity Shines Architectural Digest6

Slater’s backyard pool, especially, has the tranquil feeling so signature to Aman resorts. Indeed, that evocative yet minimal design philosophy inspired him in his use of simple grasses, olive trees and a black pebble bottom. “What Aman does so well is they’re very clean and serene and there’s a calmness to them,” he says. “I always attribute it to them staying true to the architecture of the locations, but they also tell their stories through local materials, which has always resonated with me.”