February 22nd, 2009 § Leave a Comment

A great new resource for design inspiration. Houzz is your online source for finding a design style for your kitchen, patio, living spaces, baths, bedrooms, exterior architecture and more.

Pretty cool source.

Post Modern Update: The Pasinetti House

January 20th, 2009 § 5 Comments

Simplicity and elegance in a modern setting.

A kitchen remodel even a dog could love.
(I believe all dogs check out what’s on the counters when we are at work. )

These photos are from an LA Times article,
Haralamb Georgescu’s midcentury Pasinetti house renovated:
Architectural gem headed for tear-down is respectfully upgraded.

Kitchen Notes on the Pasinetti Renovation.

  1. What had been a small galley kitchen was opened to allow a greater social flow to the dining room and living space.
  2. The Formica counter tops were replaced with a smooth white quartz.
  3. To reduce the scale of the kitchen appliances, the refrigerator and freezer were placed in separate drawers with cabinet fronts that match Georgescu’s cabinet design and proportions, and a new mahogany finish connects them to the bookcases in the main living area.
  4. My one reservation: The paneling behind the range is mahogany. As beautiful as it is, grease splatters on a wood back splash will discolor the wood. I would have liked to see milk white back painted glass just behind the range. It would have been appropriate for the style and also it would make the quartz pop.
The photo was taken on day 206 of the renovation.
Stark Ghost Chairs. Morredi of Denmark Dining Table.

Photo from demolition.
Note the wall up, jalousie windows, formica tops,
lipped cabinet doors, awkard cooktop location.

Day 225. What a difference!
Appliances by Sub-Zero, Miele and Bertazzoni.
Fixtures by Dornbracht and Blanco.

Notes from LA Times Article:

Architect Haralamb Georgescu (1908-77) is considered one of Romania’s most important architects. Today many of his modernist buildings in Bucharest are landmarks. Despite designing dozens of buildings in Southern California, Georgescu never gained the same level of fame as his midcentury contemporaries. The Midcentury Modern Pasinetti home, built in Beverly Hills in 1958, was for sale as a tear -down in 2007. The idea was to replace the home with yet another over done, ridiculous behemoth Beverly Hills Tuscan style McMansion. Krikey! Was I descriptive enough?

The developer Tim Braseth says “developers do not need to replace a house in order to gain a maximum return.” Braseth saw the beauty in the post modern structure and had the Pasinetti home restored with updated conveniences, improved building methods and energy efficient materials and technology that brought the home up to date while still respecting the integrity of the home’s important design elements. The Pasinetti house is now being designated a Los Angeles Historic Cultural Monument.

For more information: click here for the LA Times article.
For a press release: click here.
For more inforation on the developer: click here

New Year ~ New Vibe

January 11th, 2009 § 3 Comments

A door knocker from Atlas Homewares.
Hello 2009!

What do you have to say for yourself?

2008 was in short, a sticky wicket of a year leaving most of us uncertain of a lot of things.

2009 is starting off lean but hopeful. I predict that more people will turn to cottage industries brought to life through the internet to bring in new forms of income. There are stories all around us of people who are reinventing themselves. I love that!

Here is one story that is close to my heart. The LA Times has a story that peaked my curiosity: An Eichler house in Granada Hills gets restored on a budget. I grew up near the Eichler’s in Granada Hills and I remember the first time I fell in love with modern architecture and Eichler Living.

My 3rd grade friend Michelle S. lived in a Eichler Home on Jimeno Avenue in Granada Hills. Here is the thing: When you are a kid, everything seems so much bigger. I am sure now, if I go back the rooms would seem smaller and I probably would want to rip out all of the horrible remodeled kitchens and restore them to the purist form of the Eichler. But it was an impact on me nonetheless. It was then, stepping through for the first time to the inner courtyard, viewing with awe, from a third graders vantage point, the glistening floor to ceiling glass walled courtyard, that I knew I loved modern architecture. Putting together our homework projects in her Eichler home were good times. Her house was much different than my 1960′s long and rambling ranch style home I lived in. It was then I developed a love of architecture and identifying period styles. It was the early 70′s, still a fairly new neighborhood at the time, in the era of the Brady Bunch before they went into re-runs. Speaking of the Brady’s, the Eichler’s used a lot of Walnut paneling. I kind of felt like I was in Mike Brady’s den.

Van Gogh elementary school was the brand new elementary school, also post modern in it’s design, where all the neighborhood kids attended. As a kid, I had many great memories of the Eichler neighborhood: the slumber parties; the girl scout crafts we made at another school friend’s Eichler house on Nanette Street; on Lisette Street where the very nice retired school teacher who’s name I can’t remember, but I will never forget that she taught us, the neighborhood kids, how to make s’mores on a bar-b-que from her Eichler backyard deck overlooking the Van Gogh playground. Halloween nights winding our way through the steep hills thoughout the whole neighborhood; This was a care-free time, when kids ran free in neighborhoods, played outside until the street lights went on at dusk. I lived around the corner from the elementary school and the Eichler neighborhood was above us in the hills, referered to as the Balboa Highlands, I remember looking up from my backyard, where I could see the Eichler Homes on the hill and looking at the lights coming on inside from these modern glass walled homes and wishing I lived there. I am sure today that the trees have grown tall, obscuring the views but my fondness for the Eichler has never left me.

Fast forward to today, it’s great to see an Eichler home restored. Thanks to the LA Times, we get to see a story of an Eichler tastefully restored on a budget and even greater story of watching one person transform her love for modern design into a viable business. Click on the link to Cindy Epping’s web based mid century modern furniture store, and see how she has parlayed her hunting and gathering into a phenomenal website for period furnishings, www.onestopmodern.com.
Bravo Cindy! Ingenuity is the mother of invention.

Here are a few of my favorite shots from the LA Times Story.
All photos by (Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles Times).

A detail of the casework: a fresh new look that preserves the period vibe.

Epping updated her kitchen, trying to preserve the original ambiance while adding modern touches such as the new faucet for the original avocado-green sink. The cabinets were sanded and restained.

Carpet tiles from www.flor.com form a rug in the kitchen.

A pair of Bertoia wire chairs from the 1960s take their place in Epping’s atrium.

A little color in the living room: an orange-stiched ottoman from
Urban Outfitters and a blanket from Anthropologie.

Like many Eichler homes, the entrance to Epping’s house is an atrium. She cleaned up the space, keeping the slat roof (not original to the design) but replacing the plants and adding a simple Primelite lamp.

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