Cory and Nick’s Compact Hilltop Home

published Apr 7, 2011
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Name: Cory Buckner & Nick Roberts
Location: Malibu, California
Size: 700 square feet
Years lived in: 2 Years

Cory and Nick’s place is about an hour outside of the city. After driving miles and miles up the winding streets to the summit, we finally reached their home. The expansive view, which includes the ocean on clear days, was well worth the drive. I counted just five other homes in sight and the only noise was that of birds. Their modern residence is the ultimate getaway from the hustle of the city.

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The home opens up to the surrounding environment with two sliding glass doors in the living room. The generous use of large windows captures every inch of the view. Cory and Nick don’t let the limited square feet restrict their entertaining of friends and having dinner parties. I can only imagine a warm summer night’s activities involving dinner, dessert, and laying out looking at the stars.

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Apartment Therapy Survey:

Our Style: Modern

Inspiration: The objective was to build a small house that would lift our spirits whenever we were home. We were interested in designing an efficient space that would be as fireproof as possible, that intruded as little as possible on the land, and made good use of renewable energy.

Favorite Element: The view of the mountains lit by morning sun and the daily sunset over the ocean.

Biggest Challenge: Meeting health dept. requirements (new septic system)

What Friends Say: “Great! Terrific! I want one!”… “This is the best little house I have ever seen.”

Biggest Embarrassment: Passive solar design causes overheating in the months of October and November.

Proudest DIY: The steel canopy and the kitchen.

Biggest Indulgence: The biggest indulgence was deciding on using Rheinzinc for the exterior finish instead of stucco.

Best Advice: Build septic system first (we didn’t)

Dream Source: Modernica

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Resources of Note:


  • Eames Rocking Chair and Eames Coffee Table: Modernica
  • Dining Chairs (Duma Chair): Inex, Los Angeles


  • Refrigerator: Liebherr from Snyder Diamond in Santa Monica


  • Wool Area Rug: Ikea




  • George Nelson Saucer and Cigar Lamp: Modernica
  • Led Lights from Westwood Electric in West Los Angeles




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Thanks Cory & Nick!

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