Spanish Colonial Revival on the Coast: Part 2

Adamson House in Malibu, CA

In my recent post about my visit to the Adamson House in Malibu, I mentioned that there were two facets to this coastal jewel that held my fascination. The first was its location. The second aspect is incorporated into the very structure and finish of the house itself.

Prime So Cal Real Estate

Front View Adamson House
Front View Adamson House

The Rindge family, the last private owners of the Rancho Malibu Spanish Land Grant, gave this small corner of the land to their daughter and her husband. This amazing Spanish Colonial Revival home, designed by renowned Los Angeles architect Stiles O. Clements, is now an historic landmark and museum.

In addition to being an excellent example of Spanish Revival architecture, the home houses what seems to be endless artworks.

Rhoda Adamson, the Rindge family daughter who built a beach home on the property with her husband Merritt Huntley Adamson, was very particular with the home’s decor.

Because of this, there are only a couple of paintings in the house, and they are Spanish-Mexican antiques.

The rest of the art in the house is either built in, painted on or carved into all the interior (and some exterior) surfaces. Much of this art was actually one of the family businesses.

Malibu Potteries

Hallway Tile Persian Rug Detail

Hallway Tile Persian Rug Detail

This brings us to the second interesting aspect of this home and the purpose for this post. Rhoda Adamson’s mother, Mary Rindge, established the now-legendary Malibu Potteries on the family ranch. The Adamson House contains the best surviving examples of decorative ceramic tile produced by the Malibu Potteries.

The house glows with the incredible hues of the superlative tile work displayed on every surface throughout: walls, ceilings and floors. It just leaves one speechless. The mastery of the art of ceramic tile in this house is beyond breathtaking.

The 1920s and 30s saw an explosive growth in Mediterranean-style architecture in the U. S., both residential and commercial. A corresponding interest in Spanish, Italian, Moroccan and Mexican decorative arts rose. Malibu Potteries operated in a crucial time period. During its short existence from 1926 to 1932, Malibu Potteries made an outstanding contribution to ceramic art in California through its development and production of a wide range of artistic and colorful decorative tiles.

The Adamson House is tucked away in a corner of the Los Angeles megaurb, but it is well worth seeking out. The tours are not free, but the tile Persian rugs alone are worth the price of admission!

Adamson House flower pot, Spanish Colonial Revival style
Adamson House flower pot
Porthole window with Malibu Potteries Tile, spanish coloial revival style
Porthole window with Malibu Potteries Tile

Email or call me at 626-221-5244 to create design and build Spanish Colonial Revival furniture and lighting for your home.