In Progress: A Modern Spanish Home in Santa Monica

This project originally began as the renovation of a single-story 1930’s Spanish home. The program called for us to add a second floor for a new Master Suite along with two additional bedrooms.

However, once we began the first phase of design, the scope of the project made a sweeping change. According to the City of Santa Monica, the existing garage was too small. Expanding it to meet city code would have required us to lose a large portion of the yard and reinvent the existing house footprint. Therefore, after we and the clients weighed the options, they determined it was more logical and economical to build a new house.

The new program weaves modern elements into the language of traditional 1930’s Spanish Colonial architecture. The result is an open, warm living space for family gatherings. The new home includes two family rooms, en-suite baths for each bedroom, his/her walk-in closets, an upstairs laundry, and a first-floor guest bedroom.

Every TBL project is tailored to the client’s own unique way of living.  Some fun features we added were built-in dog beds in the Dining Room so the dogs can join the family for dinner, a 10-foot tilt-up counter for passing food from the Kitchen to the Patio, and built-in niches for art and books that include USB charging stations for the family’s electronic devices.

Whenever possible, we suggested Green elements to the program.  We provided for solar collectors and specified dark-sky lighting. We added a rainwater filtration pit and a Laundry-to-Landscape greywater system which will take water from the upstairs showers and sinks directly to three mature trees planted on site…all woven beautifully into the landscape design by Anna Hoffman.

Construction Challenges

Challenges are part of any project and construction on this project was no different. In the process of locating the new home on the lot, we discovered the rear neighbor’s back wall encroached 1-foot onto our client’s property. To make matters worse, the neighbor’s pool is built too close to this wall.  While our first plan was to move the wall back to the property line, we knew that would undermine the neighbor’s pool foundation, and destroy his tiled patio.  Instead, we responded to this challenge by modifying our client’s pool design to keep the peace and keep project on track.

Current Construction Phase

Our general contractor is David Stumfall of Palisades Construction. The first floor framing is complete so you can start to get a sense of the individual rooms and the overall shape of the interior spaces. Recently, we started framing the second floor.

While the foundations were being poured, someone in the neighborhood tossed a giant, purple yoga ball over the fence and onto the job site. Kasey, the construction superintendent, said the crew were using it while they were tying rebar to the foundations to avoid hunching over. I think this should be a new, ergonomic construction trend!