Ok, I may have teetered all the way to insane on a scale from normalcy to insanity. But, all I see in this house (which I’ll walk you through below) is A TON OF GD POTENTIAL so today it is another edition of: ‘That Space, This Style’. A series where I find a not so pretty house in LA that is being sold for an exorbitant amount (but for LA standards is not too insanely priced) and rework the design and style of it to bring it to a modern and livable standard. So, what house has caused me (and you) a worry that I may have lost my marbles? It is a rustic craftsman bungalow that was built in the 30’s in the West Hollywood Hills of Los Angeles. Once you get into the before pics you’ll quickly wonder what I see in it but hang on cus let me walk you through a few of the things that were huge draws for me, which I will go into later in the post.
- The HUGE lot size. Land in a good area = pure gold in LA. A house is a house but if you have a good piece of property in a good area you can sit on it for years and watch it appreciate. And this one property is made up of four lots.
- The original character. It has beamed ceilings in every single room (they aren’t the right finish now) but you can’t get innate character like that anymore without spending a small fortune anymore.
- The potential for growth. Due to the large lot size and the way the house is situated there is plenty of room to add on, bust out a wall or two and adapt the house to something a bit larger than what it is currently.
- The proximity to the city without being in the city. It is about 15 minutes from Hollywood, West Hollywood and just a bit further to the East Side or to the Valley.
So let’s get into these before pics and what I would do with each room. Let’s start with the outside:
| Exterior |
Not what you were expecting I am sure. At first sight, it looks like the ride operators station at just about every log flume ride in every amusement park across America. But look past the log shaped beams and the grey and dark brown facade guys. There is a gem of a house under there.
Just out of the front door there is a covered patio, which has tons of potential with just a little bit of paint as right now it is feeling REALLY dark and “ye old saloon-y” I’m waiting for someone to tie their horse up to one of those beams with what is going on now, but soon it will be relaxing, bright, and inviting.
See what I mean? But look at those grounds. So much space. So much room to expand, so much potential. Imagine the river rock and those tree trunk beams weren’t there and all the sudden it is looking a lot more appealing right?
| Landscaping |
But while we are still outside let’s talk about the grounds and the landscaping. This tree. THIS TREE is one of the biggest selling points for me TBH, and I know that sounds insane but look at how sculptural, large and beautiful it is.
You have so much potential with this little area.
I’d obviously get rid of that log picnic moment happening (the current owners must be verrrrry outdoorsy), and I would add some grass under here but it would be such an incredible area to hang out, play or lounge in. There is such a large space with so much area that the possibilities are endless.
I’m thinking a little seating area/fire pit on one side. Obviously to roast marshmallows at every night.
On the other side (nowhere near the fire) I’d attach a swing up in one of those branches.
Then around the perimeter, I’d install some built-in seating with lots of pillows (obviously in an outdoor fabric).
And guess what is just across the yard? A mini garden/orchard. If I am looking correctly those look like lemon trees and I can only imagine how much fun this area could be with an herb and fruit garden. Do I know anything about gardening and harvesting said garden (is that even the terminology?) NOPE, not a think, but you bet your bottom dollar I’ll do my research and pretend I am Oprah or Martha in the mornings when I go to pick the veggies and herbs for tonight’s supper. Oh ya, I’d start saying supper too.
I’d get some good soil in there, rip out all those jade bushes on the far end, paint the fence and create myself a perfect little oasis.
I’m still trying to figure out how exactly the lots are laid out but from what I can tell the house is towards the back of the lot, at the highest point and then it gradually works its way down to the street with a few different plots of land.
Id love to modernize some of the old falling areas a bit and terrace some of the landscaping similar to what they did here:
Moving into the inside of the house… are you ready?
| Living Room |
I know, I know. It is dark, heavy and VERY rustic feeling right now. But I would open it up by doing something crazy and painting every single inch of that room white.
Think bright, open, airy, and something that would reflect and bounce light around the room. Those beams in the house are stunning and original which I love but I would want to brighten them up a bit so they looked similar to these
There are actually quite a few windows in the room so there is quite a bit of natural light that I am assuming comes into the house but all that heavy wood is weighing the whole room down. I’d also bust open that door on the right of the image and install some huge steel framed doors that would open up onto the huge outdoor area on the side of the house which you saw earlier. Something similar to this sort of vibe, where the entire wall opens up and out into the outdoor area basically creating one massive indoor-outdoor living room.
Ignore this modern house above and below and just pay attention to the huge doors that open up to the outdoor areas.
Opposite the front door, you have this fireplace, which I can’t decide if I love or hate. It definitely feels old and rustic, but I also love that and think that once the rest of the room was addressed this could totally work.
| Kitchen |
The kitchen would need a full overhaul, what with that lattice moment happening at the top of the room and the “yellow brick road” happening underfoot. Oh, don’t forget about the stone countertops which surely are a beast to clean.
As far as layout goes I am not quite sure if you would be able to push this far wall out but if not then the space could be totally reworked with new counters and cabinets to better use the space and then I would leave the uppers just as the windows. Similar to what they did in here (ignore everything else going on this beautiful pic besides the windows as uppers)
And of course, this area would get a LOT of white paint
| Guest Room |
Guest room?! Ha more like a guest closet. In case you didn’t notice this room is right off the kitchen (scroll up in case you missed it, and it does feel very much like you are in the cabin of Jack Sparrow’s ship. But it also, once again, has a lot of innate character with that wood if it was painted. I’d rip out that porthole window, rip out the shelving and then potentially rework the bed situation with a new built-in if it wasn’t possible to open it up at all. Similar to this (but obviously A LOT smaller):
BUT if we could open it up to the outside then I would create an eat-in kitchen area that had a similar vibe to this.
| Master Bedroom |
This room looks pretty spacious compared to the rest of the house, which is one of the only redeeming factors saving the house. I’d paint this entire room white and then potentially rework that little alcove area to allow for more storage as it looks like there is a large rounded seating area off the bedroom as well.
Those windows have got to go, and if possible I would make them quite a bit larger to let some light in, but that little alcove has a ton of potential as a seating area, or we could get crazy and put a huge floating tub in there.
| Master Bathroom |
So, either the bathroom has that rounded seating area I was talking about, OR the bathroom is totally open to the master which isn’t totally awful either. The layout seems quite weird so it would all need to get reworked, but I don’t hate the terrazzo floors and wall in the shower. Did you notice that the shower opens up to the bathroom as well as that alcove? Seems very interesting, what the heck happened in this house on the daily that they would need two entrances just a few feet away from each other. Was that rotunda area a yoga area that someone what then walk into the shower from?!?!? I think, and this is obviously without me ever setting foot in the space. I would demo the whole thing and create a huge bathroom area that was all open and then tile the entire space. Similar to what Leanne Ford did here.
Which would then allow me to rip out that fake wall that makes up the shower and increase the floor space and open it up visually.
| Bonus Area / Workshop / Art Studio |
Another surprise! There is a large art studio/bonus space on the property as well. It looks scary and a bit horror film-esque right now but I would open it up with some huge doors or a garage door as well as some skylights possible and it could turn into a second bedroom or a huge workspace. The possibilities are pretty endless with this one.
So what do you think? Insane, or has a lot of potential?