Paul McClean | Highlighting the Outdoors through Luxurious Modern Architecture

Paul McClean trained as an architect in Ireland, and founded McClean Design in 2000 after working for award-winning architectural practices in London, Dublin, Sydney and Southern California. McClean Design is one of the leading contemporary residential design firms in the Los Angeles area. The firm’s projects reflect an interest in modern living and a desire to connect their clients to the beauty of the surrounding natural environment. The incorporation of water, an emphasis on texture and natural materials, and the elimination of the barrier between indoors and outdoors are hallmarks of McClean’s designs. 

Paul has become the go-to architect for celebrity clientele such as Beyoncé, Jay Z, and Calvin Klein. He is also the architect behind “The One” in Bel Air, one of the most expensive homes ever built. Although based in Southern California, the firm’s work can be seen throughout the Western United States, Canada, England and Thailand.

In this episode of The Fireside Chat™, Paul shares his journey with us, and how his passion for drawing homes began from a very young age. He elaborates on his firm’s design process, and how he keeps an open mind when aligning with his clients’ vision for their dream home. He discusses strategies he uses to maximize the feeling of expanse and openness in his designs, in spaces both large and small. Although merging the indoors and outdoors has been at the heart of McClean’s work from the beginning, he shares some of the shifts he’s noticed in how his clients are prioritizing outdoor space.

This episode of The Fireside Chat™ podcast is hosted by Ryan Bloom, co-founder and president of Urban Bonfire. If you enjoyed it and love great design as much as we do, please subscribe. Follow us on Instagram @UrbanBonfire or join the conversation on Linked In. To find out more, please visit

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