Open House Report, LA Edition: 5 Can't-Miss Gems This Weekend

There's so much great residential design in Los Angeles, and like the city itself, always in flux. Styles get revived, get tired, get renovated, and then look dated again, and depending on the economy, get renovated again. Here are five open houses this Sunday worth visiting even if you're not in the market. in Santa Monica, a Mid-Century whose 90s renovation is showing its age and a Post-Modern condo that's still looking OK.

In West Hollywood, a condo in Lorcan O'Herlihy's brilliant Modernist building on North Kings Road, and in the hills, a small post-Art Deco and post-WWII house, plus a 1920s cottage revival that's had a lot of recent white paint.

634 Hightree Road, Santa Monica, $3.695M (above)
A classic example of how stylish renovations can become dated, this house was designed in the early 60s by architect Michael Leizer as your typical Mid-Century Post-and-Beam. Thirty years later, re-imagined by architect Mark Mack, who grafted on a deep-toned, Post-Modern color scheme in what looks like matte Venetian plaster a la Luis Barragan, added a two-story pool house (above) and redesigned the kitchen. All of which can be resolved with a few gallons of white paint. The gardens look overgrown in the best possible way. Originally on the market last fall for $4.295M and re-listed two weeks ago at the current asking price. Open Sunday, February 12 from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.

212 Marine Street, #301, Santa Monica, $1.495M
"Experience New York loft living in the heart of Santa Monica…" say the agent. Then again, real estate agents have vivid imaginations. Listed as a 2-bed/2-bath, one of the bedrooms has been incorporated into the living space. But in Santa Monica on the edge of Venice, it's still a swell place to live— a short walk to the beach, great light, high ceilings, white floors and outdoor space. That second bedroom has a glass roll-up door, opening it to a terrace. Check out the realtor's slideshow for better images. With two parking spaces and in a stucco Post-Modern building over retail, the HOAs are a bargain $386 a month. Which probably does not include utilities. Open Sunday, February 12 from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.

825 North Kings Road, West Hollywood, #9, $795M
An internationally published project by architect Lorcan O'Herlihy, 825 North Kings Road is next to the historic Rudolph Schindler house. Along with concerns about replacing single-family homes with large multi-unit infill, many in the neighborhood were afraid the new condos would overpower the adjacent low-slung complex Schindler built in the 1920s, but O'Herlihy's building has gotten universal praise. We took a look at another unit in this building last year which had been on the market since December, 2010 and finally closed in September, 2011 for $105K less than its asking price. All the floor plans are different but all have the same high level of finishes and details, and this 2-bed, 2-bath unit could be brought back to it's originally austere esthetic with some white paint. Ot not. On the market about a week and an opportunity to check out one of West Hollywood's most interesting new buildings. Open Sunday, February 12 from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.

5916 Tuxedo Terrace, Los Angeles, $850K
In Hollywood Hills East, this charming 3-bed, 2-bath stucco Moderne from 1948 has been on the market about two weeks for $70K less than it sold for in 2006. Some great details here, like the curving window in the dining room that's almost a reverse bay window and the thin period railing on the street-front balcony. Looks like some thought has gone into the renovation, although the kitchen could use some help. We love the simple lines of the filtered-down Art Deco influences and the listing pictures don't do it justice. Open Sunday, February 12 from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.

3756 Effingham Place, Los Angeles, $1.645M
This very sweet Los Feliz house in an Anglo-Norman revival style dates to 1928 and may look like a cottage from the front, but inside the 4-bed, 3.5-bath house has been given a very up-to-date rehab without loosing its Cotswald-meets-Normandy origins altogether. On a sloping lot, the house has three stories in the back, with mature landscaping and a lovely terrace. Apparently an attempt at a stylish flip, it has been reduced $254K since coming on the market in June, 2011. Open Sunday, February 12 from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.

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