We are lucky enough to own what is – very nearly – our dream home. The house was built in 1931 by a prominent local architect, Sylvanus Marston. It is on a hillside with amazing views over downtown LA and to the coast… …almost perfect!
The original idea was to do minimal cosmetic changes and – since I love to cook – to renovate the existing (very dated) kitchen. But early on in the design process we were persuaded to be much more ambitious.
The master bedroom was on the ground floor, right off the front door and facing the terrace, so when we entertain outside, our guests could look in through our window. Not ideal! Here is how it looked in March.
Plus, when it was built, the kitchen was the servant’s area, separate from the main house. The blue-prints – we still have the originals! – show a small kitchen, tool-shed and servant’s porch off the garage, with a butler’s pantry and swinging door connecting them to the main living area. Sometime in the 80s these were consolidated into a rather awkward kitchen/family room, at the wrong side of the house from the view. When we eat outside I have to carry everything right through the house.
The plans took an frustratingly long time to get through, and there were numerous weather-related delays, but finally at the end of April some lovely guys arrived and work has begun!
At the beginning of the May a container was delivered onto our driveway. Being from the UK, I was expecting a skip or small dumpster, but what arrived was almost as large as the container that brought our belongings from London…
…and it has been filled – and we are now working on filling container number two!
The current master suite is going to become our kitchen, to take advantage of the view. We will extend the porch the full length of the house to make an outdoor dining area, and then add a floor above so that the new master suite retains the view. Pretty epic, but the way that that the house is laid out, the area can be completely sealed off. And since the old kitchen is staying in place until the new one is built, we can continue to live in the house while work goes on.
Here is how the master bedroom looks today:
I am having such fun planning the new rooms! Watch this space for updates and ideas……and wish us luck!