High StandardAuthor:Abigail Stone
Standard Architecture’s Jeffrey Allsbrook and Silvia Kuhle have a unique, modern take on the historic 1920’s Spanish Revival homes that populate Beverly Hills. The team paired up with Plus Development, pooling their resources to develop high-design single-family residences. “Tyrone McKillen [of Plus Development] approached us in late 2015,” Allbrook recalls. “He was interested in a design that combines warm, minimal interiors and indoor-outdoor relationships with the historic elements of the existing home under historic preservation,” Kuhle adds.
Relying on warm natural yet minimal materials including wood, natural stone, marble, and steel windows, the team opened up with interiors, stripping them free of their moldings and washing the walls white to improve their flow. Expansive windows and the addition of sliding doors amplifies the light and underlines the connection between indoors and out that is crucial to life in Southern California.
The home’s original warren of small rooms was rethought to bring it in line with modern life (witness the modern kitchen with its expansive island).
Streamlining the interior puts the emphasis on the home’s most arresting features including the four wood-burning fireplaces, transformed with new plaster and marble surrounds, and the tiled surround which sets off the front entryway.
A two story foyer is lit by a new skylight while the front’s inviting curved window finds its echo in a triplicate of similarly shaped archways that vibrate through the center of the home.
A two story wooden library, created from rift sawn white oak and accessed by a sliding wooden library ladder, is both sculptural and practical.
A 3,500 square foot addition to the original 6,000 square foot home extends into the backyard. It adds a cedar-beamed family room whose fully-pocketed Fleetwood sliding glass doors open it up to the backyard, extending it into the landscape and integrating these interior and exterior into one unified space.
Upstairs, in the master, three pairs of steel French doors open onto a balcony which overlooks the backyard and the pool.