Real Estate Report: 1959 Ranch Deconstructed in Mandeville Canyon


A new way of looking at the Mid-Century California ranch house and stripping it down to the edge. To quote the realtor, “this home is very buyer-specific.” We’d call the results moody and sequestered, neither of which is a bad thing, and we’re crazy about the pool.

The Basics: 4 bedrooms, 4 baths with a pool on over an acre in Los Angeles’ Mandveville Canyon, built in 1959. Recently reinvented and priced at $3.850M.

Not So Basic: Much of the interior of this classic ranch with a board-and-batten exterior has been stripped away and sandblasted. Floors are now polished concrete and tile. We’re loving that there’s no lawn anywhere— the  property was re-landscaped by eminent designer Jay Griffith with mostly native plants, resulting in a house really does feel set into the wooded canyon.

Around the vintage kidney-shaped pool, the original concrete has been broken up for planting:

The pool is off the master bedroom. It’s also what some LA realtors call a “naked pool” meaning no one’s going to be peering over your hedges. Nice slumpstone fireplace— slumpstone is a 1950’s cast-cement block made to look like adobe, usually intended to be whitewashed like adobe.

The master bathroom (below) is so big it probably started life as a fifth bedroom:


The skylit foyer divides the house, with bedrooms and a study/media room (above) to one side and a big entertaining space on the other (below)  giving new meaning to “L-shaped living/dining room” but that’s what it is, with a another slumpstone fireplace and a long wall of windows out to a covered terrace. Nice the way the board-and-batten exterior gets carried into the house.

To get a sense of scale, that dining table (above) is at least twelve feet long, and the kitchen is also huge, even tucked into the corner. There’s a service wing and garage to the right. The kitchen is almost too big— it’s a hike from the sink to the stove— and it’s remarkably “finished” for a house that’s so otherwise effortlessly under-finished:

Plus we’re not really sure you can have a twelve-foot dining table and only one dishwasher.

Thee’s radiant heat, but the house lacks air conditioning. It could probably benefit from a well-designed LED lighting system. And this being a canyon in Los Angeles, one of the first things people think about are fires. After snooping around a bit in LA County’s online permit system, we found out that the roof has been replaced with a lightweight, fireproof cement shake that looks just like cedar but doesn’t burn. Plus the huge expanse of roof make it a prime candidate for solar panels. Great house, really buyer specific, and totally unlike the standard Mid-Century re-hab seen everywhere. We took our images from the realtor’s dedicated site where there’s more to look at.

Listing: 13171 W. Boca De Canon Lane, Los Angeles [Redfin]