Dezeen Magazine

Gingerbread Dreamhouse by Kelly Wearstler

Kelly Wearstler creates modernist Gingerbread Dreamhouse

Interior designer Kelly Wearstler has put an architectural spin on a Christmas classic, creating a gingerbread house in a California modernist style.

Wearstler designed the limited-edition Gingerbread Dreamhouse in collaboration with pastry chef Mark Tasker from New York restaurant Balthazar and entrepreneur Richard Christiansen from food retailer Flamingo Estate, with all proceeds going to charity.

Gingerbread house in modernist style with checkerboard icing and large porthole window
The Gingerbread Dreamhouse is a modernist take on a festive tradition

"Gingerbread houses are such an iconic and traditional staple of the holiday season but Richard Christiansen of Flamingo Estate and I wanted to give them a classic Californian contemporary spin," Wearstler told Dezeen.

Instead of the typical gabled cottage, Wearstler's gingerbread house has the intersecting flat planes of a low-lying modernist home. Porthole windows and a white checkerboard icing facade, with varying sizes of checks, complete the look.

Side view of the Gingerbread Dreamhouse, showing two side porthole windows and a colonnade at the rear
The house is made entirely from gingerbread and icing, with features such as a checkerboard facade and round windows

"We drew inspiration from many iconic mid-century and brutalist homes in Southern California, particularly Rudolph Schindler and Frank Lloyd Wright's iconic architecture," Wearstler said.

The structure is built entirely from gingerbread biscuits with icing as the bonding material.

While coming up with a design that would be strong and stable under these constraints was challenging, Wearstler found that mid-century style was actually perfectly suited to the task.

"The main challenge was designing an incredible house that could be easily assembled in the classic gingerbread style," said Wearstler. "We really leaned into the flat-pack, simple planes of modernist architecture and it truly all fell into place."

Kelly Wearstler sits on one side of the Gingerbread Dreamhouse while Richard Christansen stands on the other
Wearstler devised the Dreamhouse design in collaboration with Richard Christiansen of Flamingo Estate

"In the end, we designed a house we would actually like to live in," she continued. "We often think of gingerbread homes existing in cold, alpine climates but ours is a desert home with sharp lines and a modern attitude."

One hundred Gingerbread Dreamhouses have been made in total, and are available to purchase via the Flamingo Estate website for US$650 (£490).

All proceeds will go to Create Structure, a charity that aids communities to rebuild after natural disasters.

Wearstler founded her design studio in 1995 and is best known for her hotel projects, such as San Francisco Proper, which combines vintage European design for an eclectic look.

Her recent work has included the renovation of a 1950s Malibu beachfront cottage and a virtual house-garage hybrid designed for basketball player LeBron James' electric Hummer.

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