Our clients, a professional couple with three grade-school age children, had lived for many years in their charming 1930’s vintage house in Stone Canyon, a lovely wooded canyon extending into the hills north of Sunset Boulevard near UCLA. The original house was typical of many vernacular “builder’s houses” constructed in Los Angeles in the 20’s and 30’s: well designed, but lightly and sometimes perfunctorily constructed, and often sited in a way that did not make optimal use of the topography and site features. The clients wished to “make-over” the original house, enhancing and restoring many of its charming features, addressing many years of deferred maintenance, while adding desired amenities and features to support a modern lifestyle.
The front of the house was repaired and restored, and the original brick details were completed and improved. An awkward and poorly designed entry porch cover was demolished, and a new classically-inspired portico was designed and constructed, providing a new focus for the facade.
The core of the original house was extensively replanned. The original small dining room, which had been on axis with the front entry door, was demolished and relocated to the south, creating a true “center hall” entry, which now goes from front to back, providing a view through to the garden beyond. The new dining room takes over what was the formal living room of the original house, now reimagined as a glamorous, Hollywood-inspired entertainment room, enveloped in lush, blue lacquered walls and ceilings. The kitchen, family and breakfast rooms were gutted and replanned, providing updated amenities and modern features.
The addition of a new wing along the north margin of the property provides a sitting room retreat and wine room on the ground floor with broad doors accessing the rear yard. The entire upper level of the house was replanned, to provide an upstairs family sitting lounge, master suite and three children’s bedroom suites.
The original rear yard was a steeply sloping canyon hillside, and mostly unusable. The landscape here was completely reimagined, with terraces used to recapture the hillside for family outdoor living. New amenities include an outdoor kitchen and dining area, with fireplace, a pool terrace with pool/guest house, and an upper children’s sport court.