2630 Harlesden Court
Los Angeles, CA 90046
4 BR, 4 BA
This Asian-influenced mid-century modern residence, designed by architect Richard Stoddard for the Hollander family, is now on the market for the first time since it was built in 1964. The spacious 4,972 square foot home is situated up a long private driveway and features an open floor plan with floor-to-ceiling windows.
The home offers plenty of natural light and beautiful views of the yard, designed by landscape architect Armstrong & Sharfman.
There is seamless indoor to outdoor flow, with terraces, 2 fire pits, a black-bottomed pool, pool house, and winding trails and steps that lead through the gardens to a tranquil lily pond.
1545 Courtney Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90046
2 BR, 2 BA
This newly listed California bungalow was originally built in 1920 and has been carefully restored. It features newer systems, thoughtful additions, and high-end materials and finishes throughout.
The 2 bedroom, 2 bath is extremely private–situated behind tall gates and hedges–and provides unbeatable outdoor space with a saltwater solar pool and outdoor kitchen.
You know when you walk into a store and it’s just totally right and you immediately start dreaming about where each piece will go in your home? That’s what happens when you step into Garde, the newly-opened home furnishings and personal accessories store on Beverly Blvd, owned by Scotti Sitz.
Sitz is both impeccably stylish and incredibly sweet. She’s had an impressive career–working first for Calvin Klein and later as the director of retail development for Giorgio Armani. The classic, minimal style of those major brands finds its way into Garde’s retail space, which use to be an old electronics repair shop–untouched for over 30 years. “It was a boring space with no character,” Sitz tells Take Sunset. “I thought, how do I create an inviting environment out of nothing?” She completely overhauled the space. “You name it, we gutted it,” she says. “There was an old drop ceiling with 1950′s tiles, the skylight was boarded up, linoleum on the floors, bad windows, partitions.”
The end result is light, open, modern and minimal without being austere. “The space was long and narrow, so I needed to divide it without walls or partitions,” Sitz explains. “We painted the big grey stripe through the middle, added shelving and display surfaces so you have a subtle feeling of different spaces, but still open and gallery-like.” When asked about her design influences, Sitz says she has many–gathering her likes and dislikes over the years in order to fine tune her own style. But for this project, one particular inspiration stands out. “In the past couple of years, my go-to design influence has been the Belgian architect Vincent Van Duysen,” Sitz states. “Mr. Van Duysen represents the minimalist, which is in my nature, but without being severe. He puts the warmth and tactile elements back in spaces and manages to keep all the rooms flowing in a natural direction.”
As for picking Garde’s location on Beverly Boulevard, Sitz explains that she use to live right around the corner and has watched the neighborhood change into the perfect location for her retail store. “It’s become the neighborhood of higher-end vintage furniture and design, without being over the top,” she says. ”It is kind of the anti La Cienega and PDC [Pacific Design Center] area. It’s less commercial, which I like.” And so far, so good. Sitz says she loves her shop’s new neighborhood. “I love contributing to the cool vibe that’s now known as ‘the Beverly Corridor’.”
Contributing to that vibe is Garde’s unique mix of housewares and accessories, including silk textiles by artist Stevie Howell, jewelry by designer Satomi Kawakita, brass ornaments by Anna Karlin, pottery by Sara Paloma, and ceramic and hemp wall hangings by Michele Quan, which I immediately fell in love with. Sitz says the most important aspect in choosing the collections she carries–aside from being beautiful or interesting–is her personal connection with the designers. “I love the stories behind each artists’ journey and the process to create their designs,” she says. “And I curating collections from artists in the U.S. and abroad. The world has truly gotten that small, thankfully.”
3515 Verdugo Vista Terrace
Los Angeles, CA 90065
2 BR, 1.75 BA
Built in 1962, this mid-century modern home is sited on an idyllic hillside in Glassell Park. Designed with California living in mind, the entertaining spaces open to the enclosed courtyard and patio.
The 1,492 square foot residence also features beautiful Jarrah hardwood flooring, an original stone fireplace in the living room, an alarm system, and central heat and a/c.
751 North Ogden Drive
Los Angeles, CA 90046
3 BR, 2 BA
I’m excited to give Take Sunset readers a sneak peek into another stunning transformation by ModOp Design. This Spanish architectural was built in 1928 and has only had two prior owners. Conveniently located in West Hollywood and close to the restaurants and shops of Melrose and Fairfax, this 1,480 square foot home features many original details along with modern updates for the discerning buyer.
Known for their thoughtful renovations of mid-century modern and bungalow homes on the east side, a Spanish style house in West Hollywood is a change of pace for ModOp’s Greg Steinberg and Alexandra Becket. But this was a project they couldn’t pass up: “The minute we stepped inside the front door of this home, we fell in love with its original character,” Alexandra says. “The wood beams took our breath away, and we saw tremendous potential in restoring its original charm.” Greg agrees, adding, “We had been looking in the neighborhood and passed up a few, but this one stood out.”
The West Hollywood neighborhood is an area that the couple knows well. Their own home, which Greg has lived in for over 20 years, is located only a few blocks away. ”I’ve always liked that the neighborhood is so centrally located and walkable,” Alexandra says. “And since the Grove opened, the neighborhood has improved tremendously. So many great businesses, restaurants and stores have opened. We never have to drive, if we don’t feel like it!”
Some of Greg and Alexandra’s favorite places to go in the neighborhood? “The Melrose Place Farmers Market on Sundays, walking to Whole Foods, the Coffee Commissary, Lindy & Grundy, or grabbing lunch at The Golden State, V Cafe or Froma,” Alexandra says. “Favorites neighborhood activities are Thai massages at the new PaliHotel, City Yoga, Runyon Canyon, and the new West Hollywood library. In the evening I love to walk to the Fairfax Farmers Market for dinner at Short Order and see a movie at the Grove!”
920 North Foothill Road
Beverly Hills, CA 90210
5 BR, 4.5 BA
$6,499,000 Sold for $6,625,000 on 3/21/2012.
This stunning A. Quincy Jones architectural was built in 1962 and is located in a prime Beverly Hills location.
It’s extremely private and secluded, tucked away up a gated driveway with an entry courtyard, sparkling water fountain and beautiful pool.
The 5,185 square foot post and beam residence features a sunken living room with dramatic 18-foot ceilings, a fireplace, and giant walls of glass overlooking the park-like manicured grounds and pool.
Rob and I joke about our dog having his own architecturally designed dog house some day–there’s just something funny about imaging that our 23 pound mutt is an architecture snob. However, I didn’t know that in 1956, a 4-year-old black Lab named Eddie actually had his dog house designed by Frank Lloyd Wright! Architects & Artisans reports that Wright designed the dog house after 12-year-old Jim Berger wrote him asking if he’d design a house for his dog. Jim said he “would appreciate it if you [Wright] would design me a dog house, which would be easy to build, but would go with our house.” He referred to the Robert Berger House in San Anselmo, California, also designed by Wright–a prototype that somewhat fulfilled the architect’s original conception of the Usonian homes. At first, Wright politely declined saying he was too busy, but suggested that he write him again later in the year.
According to Architizer, after a second letter, the boy was surprised to receive a complete set of drawings for a small triangular dog house with a similar form to the hexagonal geometry of the main home’s hexagonal plan. Wright specified that scraps of the Phillipine mahogany and cedar used in the main house were to be incorporated in the dog house. There are several Wrightian details, like an inconspicuous entrance hidden on the opposite side of the structure and a low-pitched roof with generous overhang. The Bergers didn’t end up constructing the dog house until 1963 were it stood for ten years until it was dismantled. “Frankly, it’s the best story ever about Wright,” says filmmaker Michael Miner, who has launched a promotional tour for his new documentary Romanza on Wright’s work in California. “People think he was this curmudgeonly old architect, but here he was, breaking down and doing something wonderful for a 12-year-old.”
In 2010, the dog house was rebuilt exactly to Wright’s specifications by Jim Berger and his brother. Miner filmed the construction process and included it in Romanza. Jim admits the original house was shunned by Eddie and all subsequent dogs. “He didn’t like it–he liked to sleep by the warmth coming out of the front door,” he says. And even the new dog house suffers from a complaint common to many of Wright’s larger designs. “Yes, it does leak,” Miner acknowledges.
After the break, Jim Berger’s original letter to Frank Lloyd Wright and Wright’s response.
2215 Canyon Drive
Los Angeles, CA 90068
6 BR, 4 BA
Built in 1958, this classic mid-century modern Hollywood Hills home gives you plenty of room with 2,838 square feet of interior space, 6 bedrooms and 4 baths.
Set back from the street for privacy, the residence features a separate parking pad for five cars. The house has an open floor plan and nice indoor/outdoor flow. Read more…
6525 Point Lechuza Drive
Malibu, CA 90265
4 BR, 3.5 BA
Mid-century modern architecture collector and preservationist Michael LaFetra bought this Malibu beachfront property back in 1999–it was originally a spec-house owned by Pia Zadora. In 2000, LaFetra began working with Pierre Koenig on designs for the beach house.
According to a 2005 LA Times article, the two became friends after LaFetra bought Case Study House #No.21, also designed by Koenig. Unfortunately, while working on the beach house design Koenig died in 2004. According to Curbed, Koenig’s wife Gloria told LaFetra that he’d wanted architect James Tyler, known for his work with architect Craig Ellwood, to take over the project.
Recently completed, the 4 bedroom, 3.5 bath residence is sited on a breath-taking site. It was described by Koenig as being “a perfect jewel” and “with a view that rivals CSH #22″.
There are so many great home tours coming up this spring, and I’m particularly excited about De LaB’s S, M, L, Xl Echo Park House Tour on Saturday, March 24th. The self-directed, walkable tour features four diverse examples of architecture designed to maximize the livability of Echo Park. In a neighborhood that’s typically known for bungalows and stucco, these homes feature contemporary design and efficient living. All the homes on the tour are within walking distance from each other, so grab a pair of comfortable shoes and hit the streets to explore the 4 houses: one small, one medium, one large and one extra-large.
SMALL: John Oddo’s 495 square foot house designed by Good Idea Studio was featured in the Los Angeles Times last year as an example of inspired design in a small space. Don’t be fooled by its diminutive size; its thoughtful design maximizes the space.
MEDIUM: Simon Storey‘s Eel’s Nest is just 960 square feet. Even more remarkably, it’s on a 780 square foot lot. Check out how Storey manages to make a house just 15 feet wide feel remarkably spacious.
LARGE: You might remember the side-by-side townhomes dubbed Dick+Jane from when we wrote about them on Take Sunset last March, and Rob ended up selling one of them as well. They are about 1,600 square feet each and on the tour, you’ll be visiting one of them, developed by brothers Kevin and Harde Wronske of Heyday Partnership.
X-LARGE: The first model of designer/developer Jerome Pelayo’s newly debuted sustainable and modern Sunia Homes is in Echo Park–a 2,000 square foot home featuring green amenities such as solar panels, grey and rainwater harvesting systems, a wood pellet stove, and bamboo flooring.
The tour runs from noon to 4pm. After the tour, there will be a happy hour at newly opened Red Hill restaurant in Echo Park. Owner Jason Michaud will be offering food and drink specials to tour ticket holders that day. Tickets are $35 a person and must be purchased in advance. There’s also a limited number of early bird tickets available for $30 a person until March 10th. Go here to purchase tickets. For more information on the tour and to volunteer to be a tour docent, go here.
(Photo Source: Brian van der Brug/Los Angeles Times, Kirk McKoy/Los Angeles Times, Heyday Partnership, ©Laure Joliet/Sunia Homes)