Bridging Past and Present in a California Craftsman

It is a problem every proprietor of a historic house faces: How do you change your life to adapt your residence? And just how much can you change your home to accommodate your lifetime?

When a California couple purchased a turn-of-the-last-century bungalow on a tight-knit Santa Monica street, they were charmed by the house’s period detailing and closeness to the shore. However, the dusky woodwork cast a gloomy pall over the inside, which was at odds with their modern tastes and set of fine art photography.

The group asked Los Angeles architect Erik Evens and Woodland Hills interior designer Alana Homesley to aid them with the house’s upgrade. A specialist in historic architecture, Evens balked at the idea of painting the vintage woodwork. “My initial response was to attempt to renew the public spaces into how they were,” Evens says. “Over time the customers and Alana brought me to the point of view this home required to work for the customers’ lifestyle and aesthetic.”

Treated into a revivifying coat of white paint, the walls and woodwork still have their historic character but now reflect light and improve the furniture and artwork. “Now that I have seen the final solution, it absolutely feels like the right decision,” Evens says. “The home straddles the line between traditional and contemporary.”

in a Glance
Who lives here: A professional couple and their 3 children
Location: Santa Monica, California
Size: 2,965 square feet; 4 bedrooms, 4 baths
That is intriguing: The houses in this area were originally built on sand dunes, together with boardwalks leading to every residence.

Evens Architects

The spacious front door opens directly into the living room, dividing the room into two seating areas. Here Brenda Anton wing chairs are paired with a lithe custom coffee table designed to evaporate into the setting. Bleached colors underscore the coastline setting without resorting to shore house clich├ęs.

Evens Architects

The seats group is more informal on the opposite side of the living room, where a custom chaise was used instead of a sofa to preserve views of this fireplace. The chairs are from Christian Liaigre.

The living room ceiling felt especially low before the painting job, due to the unpleasant distinction between the brown white and wood coffers. Now that both are painted the exact same colour, one notices the craftsmanship, not only the contrast.

Evens Architects

The owners’ photographs set is exhibited on the plate rail in the dining area, where the original built-in buffet has been treated to a coat of paint. (The walls are probably painted Pith out of Martha Stewart Living, the programmer states; the trimming is your brand’s Bright White.)

Thecustomchairs are coated in a watery gray-blue Hampton linen in Mallard out of Rose Tarlow. “I like colours that aren’t easy to comprehend,” states Homesley. “I find it quite soothing, and I think it works very nicely with wood tones and with white”

Evens Architects

The chandelier is a modern creation from Lindsey Adelman. It is an unconventional choice for a Craftsman bungalow, but Homesley believed the room needed something funky and a bit sparkly to contrast with all the natural finishes.

Evens Architects

The kitchen”was pretty dreadful and seriously in need of updating,” Evens says. The plan team gutted the room, creating a generous fresh cooking area designed for food lovers who enjoy fun in their kitchen.

Industrial-style stools cozy up to an island covered with walnut butcher block and illuminated by a pair of vintage mercury glass pendants. New beams and tongue and groove paneling add curiosity overhead.

Evens Architects

The gray-blue colour introduced in the dining area continues in the kitchen, in the form of Dark Grey Whale subway tile out of Heath Ceramics. The counters are coated in Pietra del Cardoso, a sandstone that looks like bluestone but is stronger and more resistant to staining.

Shelves installed facing the windows screen the owners’ ceramics collection and filter views of the neighboring residence.

Evens Architects

Architect Evens was able to squeeze four bedrooms and three baths to the next floor by reconfiguring the staircase and including a dormer back. The master bedroom, shown here, was opened into the roofline and outfitted with structural ties along with a tongue and groove ceiling.

Evens Architects

Woven grass Conrad shades were used throughout the house. “We needed privacy, because the houses are so close together,” states Homesley,”but we did not wish to block out all the light”

The custom walnut credenza in the master bedroom has been created taller than ordinary, to look less modern.

Evens Architects

As you may expect from a house dating back to about 1903, the original master bathroom was considerably smaller. Evens borrowed space from adjoining chambers to create this fresh toilet, aspiring to something that was traditional but glossy. Horizontal planks produce a solid line around the room. The contractor for your remodel was Krassel Construction.

Evens Architects

The iron bathtub has its own nook; recessed shelves maintain toiletries close at hand.

Evens Architects

The extensive front porch promotes interaction with the street.

Evens Architects

Due to the area’s historic temperament, the architect was not allowed to change the house’s facade, save to get a fresh coat of paint.

Evens Architects

The houses on the street were originally built on sand dunes, with board boardwalks linking the homes into the street.

Front doorway bisects the living room, restricting the quantity and positioning of furniture. New glass pocket doors divide the dining area from the analysis; the neighboring stair hallway was reconfigured, also.

Click image to enlarge.

To fit four bedrooms and three baths in the next floor, Evens reconfigured the staircase, inserted a rear dormer and tucked cabinets beneath the eaves flanking the master bedroom. Bedrooms 2 and 3 share a frequent bathroom, conserving space.

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