A Midcentury Medical Office Given All the Comforts of Home
The squat, single-story medical building in Los Angeles’ historic Filipinotown wasn’t the type of structure most people dream about converting into a residence. There weren’t the soaring vaulted ceilings that you might find in a church or the thousands of square feet of open space that a warehouse would offer. Instead, there was a room-size X-ray machine, walls lined with lead and enough tiny sinks to outfit an airport restroom. But to Daniel Nadeau and D. J. Peterson, it looked like home. “We had both lived in traditional shingle-style houses,” says Peterson, an international strategy consultant with roots in LA. “At the end of the day, we really wanted to opt out of the regional bungalow aesthetic.”
Peterson turned the old X-ray room into his office. Trying to recycle the lead that lined the walls and protected technicians from radioactivity, the couple took a suggestion from the Environmental Protection Agency and approached a local gun club to see if they would want the material for bullets, but the idea was shot down. Despite the condition of the place, Nadeau and Peterson didn’t think twice about their new purchase. “We never wanted a huge, sprawling home—just something with personality,” says Peterson.
Before the conversion, the living room served as a physical therapy room and was lined with floor-to-ceiling mirrors. During the demolition, the couple discovered a perfectly intact fireplace, complete with faux logs. “The building was constructed in the 1950s as a gynecologist’s office, and she preferred a homier feel,” says homeowner D.J. Peterson.
FROM LEFT: The bedroom and office doors are topped with transom windows, a nod to the midcentury medical offices that were here before; in the kitchen, vintage doctors’ chairs roll up to a custom stainless steel table, and the cabinet color was inspired by green scrubs.
The dining room wall is decorated with what looks like a collection of framed bandannas, but they are actually a piece by Nadeau made of thousands of tiny razor blades printed with the pattern of the scarves.