Bringing Back BranderAuthor:Lindsey Shook
Much of today’s architecture and design is focused on new, ground-up building. It’s rare that homeowners have passion for iconic architecture and desire to live in homes of the past. However when César Giraldo was tasked with renovating The Brander House, an iconic mid-century home designed by Eugene Kinn Choy in the 1960s, he was thrilled to preserve the home’s integrity while incorporating touches of modern design. We asked the designer to share more about the project and his hopes for revitalizing historic design.
Why was it important for you to preserve as many of the original details as possible?
As someone who has a deep appreciation for the designs of the past, it was a very personal matter to preserve the original details. I view it as my way of paying respect and honor to the original designer. However, there are situations when something designed in the past is not functional in the present. With this project my goal was to keep the original idea, but enhance it so it would be functional in today’s world.
What changes did you make?
No radical changes were made. The objective was to restore the house and keep its original mid-century modern charm. The cabinetry and wooden floors were refinished. The tiles were replaced throughout the house to match the originals, and the appliances were upgraded. For the interior furnishings, I was fortunate to have the support of one of the best mid-century modern showrooms, Midcenturyla, whose original pieces created a charming and timeless atmosphere. The house has a beautiful flow of small courtyards connected to the bedrooms that were upgraded to express their original approach. The landscape design was updated to maintain its original minimalist aesthetic, while I incorporated Tidelli furniture to bing in touches of modern design.
Is it your hope for the iconic homes in LA to remain unchanged? If so, why?
In a city where construction is out of control, with developers purchasing architectural gems to demolish and build bigger homes, I’m concerned that the architecture of the past will be obliterated, which makes me very sad. I love that the Brander House sits in a very desirable area of Los Angeles, with amazing views of downtown Los Angeles, representing its past glory to be appreciated today.
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