Modern Scandinavian Retreat in Encinitas' Moonlight Beach

Written by
Full Name
Published on
22 January 2021

This article originally appeared in Modern Luxury San Diego.

Desert-inspired landscaping and sleek outdoor spaces gives this three-story saltbox plenty of curb appeal.

Listed for $11.9 million, this modern Scandinavian retreat by dasMOD is creating waves in Encinitas’ Moonlight Beach. Here’s a look inside.

It isn’t every day that an opportunity arises to build a home across the street from the sandy shores of a prime beach in San Diego. But that was just the case when Sven Simon and Erik Gilmer discovered 239 Fourth St., a prime lot with jaw-dropping views and access to Moonlight Beach in Encinitas. Simon and Gilmer weren’t simply interested in constructing another beach home. Instead, the founders of dasMOD (, a San Diego-based boutique real estate development firm, focused on capitalizing the views of the ocean and Moonlight Beach while benefiting from the highest level of modern design finishes and style.

“Moonlight Beach represents one of the most iconic sections of coast in San Diego,” says Simon, who, along with Gilmer, works with leading architects and designers to create one-of-a-kind residential and commercial properties. The result is a multistory, light-flooded home designed by Encinitas-based architectural firm The Brown Studio (, where windows and walls interact to beckon light while protecting privacy, and where every room and corner has been finely crafted and curated. Clocking in at 2,847 square feet, the three-story home features five bedrooms, three bathrooms and a rooftop deck complete with a spa, a fire pit and an outdoor kitchen that’s ideal for entertaining.

Further, the architects put a twist on the classic beach cottage by creating a basement level, complete with two bedrooms, one bathroom, a kitchenette, a living room and a separate entrance. Designed to seamlessly integrate with the rest of the home, the additional level brings its own, independent function—ideally suited as a guest apartment, live-in nanny suite or mother-in-law unit.

Interior designer Sara Simon of Handsome Salt (, who furnished the space, echoed the architects’ palette, which was inspired by Scandinavian modernism; terrazzo and hemlock flooring, birch cabinets and stone surfaces provide a canvas against which the carefully selected furnishings and art complement the ocean views instead of competing with it. White, cream, blush and subtle tones are teased through tile, textiles, art, finishes and lighting to cast a soothing feeling throughout.

“So many new-build homes seem to come in only two flavors: ultraclean contemporary or modern farmhouse,” says Gilmer. “In working with The Brown Studio on the architecture and design, as well as Handsome Salt on the furnishings, our goal was to create a more personalized, less expected approach to modern coastal living. Scandinavian modernism gives you the cleanliness of contemporary architecture with an important sense of warmth that most buyers are instantly drawn to.”