Cindy Shearin’s resources and skills reach far beyond that of the average real estate agent. She is well known for her skill in designing, building, and rehabbing properties, in addition to expert handling of the traditional aspects of real estate transactions.“Several of my family members were developers,” she explains. “At an early age, I was fascinated by the total process of the design and building of new homes.” Therefore, when Shearin moved to California nearly 30 years ago, she began her career in real estate sales and development. “I was very fortunate to find myself in the desirable South Bay community [consisting of Manhattan Beach, Hermosa Beach, Redondo Beach, and Palos Verdes],” she says. “I was also fortunate to affiliate myself with the best real estate agents, brokers, contractors, and subcontractors.” Haute Residence caught up with Shearin to discuss trends buyers are loving in Manhattan Beach and her favorite design layout in homes:
What are some things you're noticing buyers are wanting to see in their homes to make them more functional?
Our client’s wish lists can be quite extensive and we always try to accommodate every item on their list. A perfect example of added functionality would be the Beach Room we designed into our property at 235 4th Street in Manhattan Beach. When your family and friends come in off the beach you have a great entertaining space directly off the walk-street, and a place to get cold drinks from the built-in refrigeration system. Mudrooms are also a big request, these spaces are the catch-all for backpacks, gym bags, cleats and beach paraphernalia which helps keep the home tidy.
Other hot ticket items we are implementing into homes we design are motorized window treatments, full-size residential elevators, heated bathroom floors, smart toilets in master suites, and a built-in coffee espresso machine in the kitchen. We also have buyers looking for healthier home systems. The Life Source whole house filtration system and descaler produce alkaline water throughout the entire home without taking the nutrients out of the water. This allows you to drink out of any faucet and bath in this amazing water. The plumbing system, fixtures, and machines also remain functioning and looking like new in the home.
When buyers are looking to update or renovate their homes this time of year, what do you recommend them to do first?
For updating, spring and summer are always a great time to declutter and bring in fresh accessories. So many of our color palettes today are neutrals, taupes, and blacks, therefore bringing in a pop of color looks refreshed with these neutral back-drop colors.
Also, it’s well known that kitchens and baths add the most value to your property. When The Shearin Group takes on design projects for clients, we like to use the highest quality, upscale components that will fit the design budget. Some of our favorite resources are Kallista and Toto. We used Kallista sinks in the property at 235 4th Street which are so fresh and modern. Also, Dornbracht makes some of the most sophisticated faucets that both perform and are attractive. I think updating appliances is always important to maintain, and right now German designed Miele makes top-of-the-line gourmet kitchen products for the self-proclaimed chef in all of us. The Miele products that we added to our 4th Street property include a full-size wine refrigerator, steam oven, double ovens, cooktop, dishwasher, and a side-by-side refrigerator. The ultimate kitchen to use for everyday living and entertaining. Combine all of this with a splash of summer accessories and it’s magical!
Are you noticing a common trend of a certain design in homes lately?
Today’s buyers are trending towards clean lines in a soft-modern design, lots of glass allowing for indoor/outdoor living, and luxury elements and appliances. Components like floating staircases and vanities that make the spaces feel light and airy are important, and the attention to detail with lighting and smart home features are all part of the package our clients desire.
Do you have a favorite design layout that you like to see in a home?
In the sand section, we maximize the views and outdoor spaces. We are lucky to be able to build three story homes with a reverse floor plan which allows the indoor/outdoor living on the walk streets, and easy access to outdoor patios and entertaining spaces. We also love designing rooms that flow naturally and easily from space to space. An open floor plan is still the most desired layout for our clients. The multiple outdoor spaces and indoor/outdoor living areas, like we have in the 235 4th Street property in Manhattan Beach, are a huge sought after feature with our almost perfect weather. Residents like being able to dine outside almost nightly and it's easy to do so when you have retractable doors where you can flow from the kitchen to the outdoor dining room so smoothly.
What would you recommend to clients who are wanting to enhance or update their outdoor spaces?
We recommend adding an outdoor fireplace or fire pit if space allows, it’s cozy and relaxing on a cool evening. Another smart addition is combining built-in furniture along with free standing that can be rearranged for events. Built-ins save space and add a lot of extra seating for guests. One of our favorite additions for privacy is to add strategically placed built-in planters, especially along an upper-level balcony. It simply creates a more intimate space. At the beach, an outdoor shower is a beloved addition especially for families with kids. Other conveniences that enhance your property are direct keypad entries and secondary refrigeration system for overflow. We tuck in a full-size refrigerator inside the home which is ideal if space allows.
The home featured in this article, 235 4th Street in Manhattan Beach, CA was developed by Legacy Estates in Los Angeles known for building some of the most upscale homes available in today's marketplace in the greater Los Angeles area. The interior design for the property was created in collaboration with Cindy Shearin of the Shearin Group.