Gold StandardAuthor:Abigail Stone
Standard Architecture ventures into the custom spec home market, partnering with developer Tyron McKille of Plus Development, to update houses to reflect how LA lives today.
While there are certainly plenty of new homes going up in Southern California, there’s also an increasing market for renovating the classic homes of the 20s and 30s. Melding the original architecture of these spaces, often beset with a dark, warren of small, formal rooms and separate kitchens, to a modern lifestyle, takes some ingenuity.
Jeffrey Allsbrook and Silvia Kuhle of Standard Architecture had performed this delicate surgery on a home in the Beverly Hills flats they’d created for fashion designer Jenni Kayne. That alphabet is at the heart of a series of spec homes that they’ve renovated in partnership with developer Tyron McKille of Plus Development.
“McKillen approached us in late 2015,” Allsbrook remembers, “He was interested in creating spec homes that combined warm, minimal interiors and indoor-outdoor relationships with the historic elements of the existing house under historic preservation,” adds Kuhle.
In the vein of the home Standard Architecture had created for Kayne, natural materials, including bleached wood, stone, marble and steel-framed windows, pull the home from the 1920s into the 2020s. To increase the home’s square footage, Standard incorporated a 1,500 square foot addition to the home’s rear and second story. Fleetwood’s pocket doors open up the rear of the home to new pool and its corresponding pool house.
The modern, minimal interior incorporates key elements of the pre-existing home including its Georgian Revival brick facade facing the street, porte cochere, the living room’s bay window and the home’s winding staircase while also transforming them to merge the old with the new. The exterior has been white-washed, the existing steel windows were painted charcoal. A grid of pear trees, which change color with the seasons, add grace to the front yard.
A pale paint palette is partnered with white and gray marble and white painted wood paneled ceilings, brightening the streamlined interior. A dark entryway has been reimagined as a voluminous two story foyer with an open 2nd story hallway.
Bleached herringbone patterned walnut wood floors lead to an art room, past a newly open kitchen, with a cook’s kitchen in the panty, and a pool patio in the rear yard. New white oak floors in the living room partner with the room’s original wood beam ceilings, stained glass windows, French doors and fireplace. Upstairs, the master bedroom’s pitched ceiling opens up to a sitting room and a second story patio. Windows that wrap around the corner light up the master bath.
“It was our first collaboration with designing custom spec homes,” says Kuhle. “Everybody was in awe over the quality of the space and unique design approach,” Allsbrook adds.