“I love the fact that I can look out any window and feel like I am connected with nature,” says Neil Tomlinson of the 1960s house he and his partner Ed Ramirez playfully call their “treehouse.” Built on a quiet slope overlooking the Box Springs Mountains in Riverside, this airy modern gem embodies that dream fusion of California cool with Mid-century design.
The space’s personality really comes to life on mornings spent with coffee on the pool deck and evenings tucked into the cozy den right off the master bedroom. It’s no wonder this is Neil and Ed’s ultimate zen space, but getting there was a year-long labor of love for the couple who was introduced by mutual friends nearly four years ago. “We’re yin and yang,” says Ed says of their design and personal dynamic. “We complement one another really well.” Here, the duo tells us more about their space. Read on for a sneak peek.
How Did You End Up Discovering This Place?
Ed: We were living in a really cool and unique warehouse loft space in the heart of Downtown Long Beach yet we were missing a private outdoor space and pool where we could entertain, so we started looking for unique homes and friends told us about this one.
Neil: We came to see the house and wrote an offer that day. It was love at first sight— when you walk through the front door you are immediately drawn to the outdoors through large floor to ceiling glass doors. It was designed by architect Philip Esbensen for his family, but it was severely neglected and needed a lot of TLC. We have lived here for two years, spending the first year restoring the home. Now we’re at the point where we can really enjoy the house and entertain friends.
How Did You Approach the Interior Design?
Neil: It was important to us not to interrupt the architectural integrity of the home—the post and beams, the sliding doors, the original tilework—so we chose materials that would have been available during that time period.
Ed: When we first moved in everything was beige. The walls were beige, the floors were beige and we wanted more of a cheerful environment. Over the first weekend we came in and painted the entire house white and the objective was to fill it with color.
Neil: We knew what we liked and we simply began filling our home with good design and things we wanted to live with.
How Has Living in a Mid-century Home Inspired You?
What’s Your Favorite Space in Your Home?
Neil: I would have to say it's whatever room I am currently in. To keep things fun we often switch decor items and furniture around… and then wait for the other to notice or say something!
Ed: Everyone loves the sunken bathtub in the guest bathroom. What I like is the home office, because it has all of the photographs and blueprints that the architect gave to us hanging on the wall. For me it completely brings the house together, because you get to see what it used to look like and that it still is that.
Take the Tour
Neil and Ed restored their breezy California home to match its Mid-century roots—come see inside.
What Makes This Your Zen Space?
Ed: We both have very challenging jobs, so it’s important to have a place where you can recharge. We open up all the windows, the breeze comes and we have 360-degree views of nature.
Neil: It definitely recharges me. I never want to leave.
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