First House ProudAuthor:Abigail Stone
Laura and Cliff Muller of Los Angeles-based Four Point Design Build, Inc. transform a small bungalow into a dream house for a couple of newlyweds and first time homeowners. Photos by Zeke Ruelas.
The couple had purchased their first house, a three bedroom bungalow with a mid-century beach vibe. They turned to the web, looking for someone to help them manifest the modern farmhouse they envisioned, and were fortuitous in discovering Laura and Cliff Muller of Four Point Design Build, Inc., a multi-disciplinary interior design build-firm based in Los Angeles whose philosophy, as encapsulated on the landing page of their website, is to create “beautiful environments that provide order, inspire creativity, and generate good health, productivity, and pure joy!” Laura handles design services while Cliff shoulders the role of general contractor.
“We wanted to make the home our own, but having zero experience we knew we needed help. We came across Four Point’s portfolio and knew instantly that they were the one for us—our reaction to every project of theirs was ‘wow we love that!’, ” the client remembers. “They so completely understood our vision that by the end of the renovation we didn’t even have to look at multiple samples or concepts, because the first one they presented was always perfect.”
At 1500 square feet, the cottage felt cramped. “We expanded the home,” says Laura, adding approximately 500 square feet that encompassed a master bedroom suite with large walk-in closet, a guest bath, a powder room, a laundry room and a new kitchen.” Cliff chimes in, “We designed an entirely new roof life and exterior landscape that meshed seamlessly with the bungalow’s existing architectural style.”
Due to the site’s setbacks and existing diagonal plot layout, the team needed to get creative in order to achieve the client’s spatial and design goals. “Cliff and Laura were so honest and amazing at telling us ‘hey this is where you can save money and this is where you should spend a little more.’,” says the client, “I can’t imagine that type of integrity being common among many contractors and designers. From our visits to Home Depot, to rug shopping in the La Cienega Design District, they remained steadfast, informative, patient, and supportive while we explored every single item we purchased!”
“It can be challenging,” Laura agrees, “while working within the limitations of the property and the budget, to squeeze in everything on the wish list. In this case, it was the combination of the constant massaging and brainstorming over the use of space, hard-lined plans and the budget and the client’s patience, constant communication and collaboration that enabled us to deliver this amazing dream project that checked off ALL of the boxes.”
It certainly did. “When we first saw the house,” says the client, “there was an overwhelming sense of gratitude and excitement. We can’t believe we did it and we can’t believe we get to live here! Now a year and a half in, we still get that happy feeling walking through our door. At night the house takes on a beautiful glow—from the kitchen lights to the chandelier above our dining table—giving off an enchanting and cozy vibe which Laura and Cliff created for us.”