The psychology among luxury home owners has changed, through the pandemic. As we have written several times, “home” has taken on a new meaning during lockdowns. The perceived value of living space has increased, especially among the luxury homeowner. More than ever, home is the calm in a once-in-a-100-year storm. It’s where we work, exercise, live our lives. So there’s been much more of a focus on renovations and interior design.
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If the objective is to de-compress from a frantic pace, chill, then what about this? Sitting on a lush, comfy couch, with a glass of scotch and good cigar, staring into a commercial-grade, large-scale, saltwater aquarium housing a wide variety of sea life and a tapestry of vibrant colours. Talk about a beach vibe. This is what Nic Tiemens from Infinity Aquariums (also of HGTV notoriety) created for a client who owns a custom design home in Lido Isle, a quiet community an hour south of Los Angeles.
Lido Isle is known for its prime, in-demand waterfront properties, a close-knit community comprised of successful entrepreneurs and captains of industry, high-end, coastal designer homes.
Interior design: Large-scale, saltwater aquarium the focal point of the main room in this lavish California home
The aquarium Tiemens built is impactful enough to transport the homeowner into an actual scuba dive, at least in their minds. It was designed by Tiemens to utilize the entire wall of the family room. Farmhouse aesthetic was the goal, to accompany that subtle beach vibe.
In terms of specifications: it’s a custom, 1,500 gallon acrylic aquarium with a steel frame support stand. It has a custom LED lighting system with 14,000K colour spectrum, and high-end remote filtration with complete automation.
Regarding Luxury spoke with Nic Tiemens about the project:
From a design perspective, what were the objectives, in tandem with the homeowners, when you designed the aquarium for this home?
The most significant objective for this project was to bring the ocean element into the home on a grand scale without the aquarium being disproportional or lacking cohesiveness with the rest of the interior. It was important to the homeowners that the aquarium be the the most inviting focal point of the room and create a sense of tranquility.
How in particular does it blend in with the interior design of the living space?
The 15 foot long, 4 1/2 foot tall aquarium is a dramatic back drop for the main living space and takes up the majority of the entire wall. It can be seen from almost anywhere on the ground floor. That includes the backyard, the boat dock, and even from the many sailboats that navigate the harbour on a daily basis.
As you get closer, the aquarium is strategically placed next to a billiards table that offers a permanent invitation to hang out, relax, and get a better look at the dozens of fish that inhabit the tank.
What were some of the challenges, for a home this size?
The level of customization in this home is extensive. We wanted to bring that calibre of detail and uniqueness into our aquarium design. The sheer size of this aquarium creates a few challenges. First, the weight of the water approaches 15,000 pounds. That requires heavy duty floor reinforcement before much of the construction can even begin.
Additionally, the amount of equipment needed to run this aquarium required us to locate several components down in a dedicated basement as well as several locations along the exterior of the property. In order to ensure that the aquarium was quiet, most of the filtration equipment needed to be placed away from the tank.
What was the overall purpose behind doing this?
For the client, the purpose of this project was for them to finally obtain the aquarium of their dreams in their new dream home. For us, it was to create something they had never seen before and completely exceed their expectations.
Since we are not physically there, how does the aquarium convey a sense of relaxation?
When you’re able to observe such beautiful and exotic fish from around the world in your own home, it instantly transports you to another world and takes you out of your normal day-to day mindset. It’s such an incredible experience to have an aquarium of this size and witness these amazing animals in their element.
How important is this, in your view, coming out of the past year?
We are so grateful to all of our amazing new clients that are leaning into their pandemic lifestyles and customizing to enjoy their homes as much as possible. It has been a very difficult year for so many of our friends and family. We have really grown to appreciate the amazing opportunities that have come our way in such a challenging time.
Are you getting enquiries from other homeowners looking at interior design, perhaps adding an aquarium?
With each project we complete, we inspire someone new! Word travels fast once people see our work and we have had plenty of business opportunities as a result.