LocationCulver City, CA
Project TypeRemodel & Addition
- Bedrooms 3
- Bathrooms 2
- House 1320 SF
- Garage 440 SF
The clients, a wife and husband team, were particularly familiar with the property. She grew up in the home and inherited it from her late mother. Over the years they both made frequent visits and grew accustomed to the old place. But now, without its former occupant, a decision was to be made: sell the property in the red hot LA real estate market or peel back the layers of wear and history to give the home a second life. In the end, sentimental value took precedence over financial gains and the couple decided to keep the house and remodel.
Our consistent dialogue with the clients formed a healthy collaboration pushing for the best from all sides. She wanted the house to belong as it always had in the sliver of a rapidly changing city; he wanted a home well appointed enough to measure up to the nearby real estate inventory. Together we wanted the house to not exhibit a visible affront. Nothing flashy, nothing ostentatious or far reaching. The freshly remodeled property was to be the new home for the clients’ college-aged children. A family home passed down through the generations; humble yet stylish, considered and efficient, right in the middle of LA.
A relationship between small and large, sight and sense, then and now, captures the story of a home revived in place.
With the family belongings removed, they were left with many more layers to scrape back. A domineering tree sitting curbside marked the property and shaded the front yard from the public, even blocked a beautiful jacaranda from view. A rotting makeshift wheelchair ramp from the driveway up to the front door delineated what one would consider the front entry. To the left, a two-story new house towers over this quaint single-story residence already nearly undiscoverable from the street at first glance.
By maintaining the existing house and all its inherent virtues, the remodel highlights the front porch as the central characteristic of its new identity. Out with the old disintegrating roof and spindly support columns and in with a new cantilevered overhang clad in an asphalt shingle roof to contrast against an off-white stucco. A focal cantilevered roof spans over the floating concrete front porch. A nod to a big smile facing the street, inviting the neighborhood in.
Larger dark bronze metal windows brighten up vaulted spaces inside. The old overcast tree no longer sits in front but its memory is not to be forgotten: a new olive tree is planted adjacent to the original and now a series of cast concrete steps replace the dilapidated ramp leading one from the sidewalk directly up to the front door. What was once hidden behind the whims of nature and necessity is now open to the neighbors again.