written by:
June 7, 2011

One of the most exciting elements of any Dwell on Design is the home tours. We use the same curatorial eye that informs what you see in the pages of the magazine to select the dozen homes in and around Los Angeles that show up on our Westside and Eastside tours. For a preview of the Rome Residence by Fung+Blatt, which you can see on the Eastside Home Tour on June 25th, just read on. Then be sure to pick up your tickets here.

The residents of the recently constructed residence have shifted considerably, along with their requirements for the place. Yet the layout that Fung+Blatt designed for the artist couple who commisssioned the house works equally well for the family of four that supplanted them after just four months. Before they knew it the ground-level music studio with full-height doors had become a boy’s bedroom, and the painting studio, a guest bedroom.

Up the drive to a two-car cover and parking area, a set of concrete stairs leads to a central patio. Retaining walls are optimized with cast-concrete seams and planting beds filled with native grasses, lending texture and interest. It’s another flight up
Up the drive to a two-car cover and parking area, a set of concrete stairs leads to a central patio. Retaining walls are optimized with cast-concrete seams and planting beds filled with native grasses, lending texture and interest. It’s another flight up the brazilian cherry wood stairs to the front entry. Two mature trees were maintained onsite, the Brazilian Pepper lends shade to an outdoor all-purpose area. [Photo Credit: Josh Perrin]
Courtesy of 
© 2008 Josh Perrin Photography
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Detail of entry stair highlights the patterning of redwood and steel grid with a birch rail, giving view through to the front balcony and down to the carport. [Photo Credit: Jodie Bass]
Detail of entry stair highlights the patterning of redwood and steel grid with a birch rail, giving view through to the front balcony and down to the carport. [Photo Credit: Jodie Bass]
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The main living room area is filled with light from the South and East, overlooking a valley of Mount Washington towards Montecito Heights. The teal rocker and storage unit at right are Eames designs, the leather sofa was salvaged from a public school, th
The main living room area is filled with light from the South and East, overlooking a valley of Mount Washington towards Montecito Heights. The teal rocker and storage unit at right are Eames designs, the leather sofa was salvaged from a public school, the coffee table a mid-century Modern find, and the deck loungers were purchased from restoration hardware. Brazilian Cherry wood floors partially covered with wool rug from Christopher Farr. [Photo Credit: Jodie Bass]
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The kitchen is the center of the home, linking front and back, outside and in, the study hovers above. [Photo Credit: Josh Perrin]
The kitchen is the center of the home, linking front and back, outside and in, the study hovers above. [Photo Credit: Josh Perrin]
Courtesy of 
© 2008 Josh Perrin Photography
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View to kitchen from the office offers a captivating display of overlapping spaces, angles, and light. [Photo Credit: Jodie Bass]
View to kitchen from the office offers a captivating display of overlapping spaces, angles, and light. [Photo Credit: Jodie Bass]
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A series of single-pitch standing seam slanting roofs align with the surrounding trees and vistas. Sliding doors open completely, exposing the interior to the pine needle covered slope. The master bedroom on the lower level has its own porch, separated by
A series of single-pitch standing seam slanting roofs align with the surrounding trees and vistas. Sliding doors open completely, exposing the interior to the pine needle covered slope. The master bedroom on the lower level has its own porch, separated by a light-filled master bath. [Photo Credit: Josh Perrin]
Courtesy of 
© 2008 Josh Perrin Photography
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The rear sitting area, as utilized by the previous owners, is furnished with a vintage couch and chairs.  It has since been transformed to a dining room with reading nook. [Photo Credit: Josh Perrin]
The rear sitting area, as utilized by the previous owners, is furnished with a vintage couch and chairs. It has since been transformed to a dining room with reading nook. [Photo Credit: Josh Perrin]
Courtesy of 
© 2008 Josh Perrin Photography
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Here's another view of the sitting room with dining room just off to the side. The colorful furniture and clean lines of the facade certainly give the space a uniquely Californian feel. [Photo Credit: Josh Perrin]
Here's another view of the sitting room with dining room just off to the side. The colorful furniture and clean lines of the facade certainly give the space a uniquely Californian feel. [Photo Credit: Josh Perrin]
Courtesy of 
© 2008 Josh Perrin Photography
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Current owners melded their former dwelling’s period furnishings—an L. & J.G. Stickley settee at right, William Morris attributed chair, and Handel lamp—with their new setting.  The reading area is “an homage to our craftsman home we left to live here,” s
Current owners melded their former dwelling’s period furnishings—an L. & J.G. Stickley settee at right, William Morris attributed chair, and Handel lamp—with their new setting. The reading area is “an homage to our craftsman home we left to live here,” says owner Allison Morgan. Hanging above, a work by Georgia-based artist Kathleen West, known for her contemporary take on Arts and Craft style block print, links past with present. [Photo Credit: Jodie Bass]
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The clerestory makes for a bright master bath, with soothing blue glass tiles by Hakatai cover walls and floor alike. Appealing contrast of textures and light might be why this design team have completed sixteen projects in the area, half new built, half
The clerestory makes for a bright master bath, with soothing blue glass tiles by Hakatai cover walls and floor alike. Appealing contrast of textures and light might be why this design team have completed sixteen projects in the area, half new built, half renovations. Shower faucets by KWC and custom tub by Sunrise Specialties. [Photo Credit: Josh Perrin]
Courtesy of 
© 2008 Josh Perrin Photography
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Detail of bathroom vanity highlights craftsmanship of local cabinet maker Greg Shirk, who also did the work in the kitchen.  Polished chrome fixtures by Jado and basin by Lavabo. [Photo Credit: Josh Perrin]
Detail of bathroom vanity highlights craftsmanship of local cabinet maker Greg Shirk, who also did the work in the kitchen. Polished chrome fixtures by Jado and basin by Lavabo. [Photo Credit: Josh Perrin]
Courtesy of 
© 2008 Josh Perrin Photography
11 / 15
The Guest bedroom just off the main courtyard, has furniture and bedding by Ikea and makes a comfortable napping area for the family cat. [Photo Credit: Jodie Bass]
The Guest bedroom just off the main courtyard, has furniture and bedding by Ikea and makes a comfortable napping area for the family cat. [Photo Credit: Jodie Bass]
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Interior stairs serve as a thermal chimney and light well, providing ventilation as well as illumination at all levels.  [Photo Credit: Josh Perrin]
Interior stairs serve as a thermal chimney and light well, providing ventilation as well as illumination at all levels. [Photo Credit: Josh Perrin]
Courtesy of 
© 2008 Josh Perrin Photography
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A well-worn antique Guatemalan bench hugs the northern wall of the central courtyard. [Photo Credit: Jodie Bass]
A well-worn antique Guatemalan bench hugs the northern wall of the central courtyard. [Photo Credit: Jodie Bass]
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The main entry skirts the central Patio where a wood table from Restoration Hardware awaits the next gathering. [Photo Credit: Jodie Bass]<br /><br /><p><em><strong>Don't miss a word of Dwell! Download our </strong></em><a href="http://itunes.apple.com/us
The main entry skirts the central Patio where a wood table from Restoration Hardware awaits the next gathering. [Photo Credit: Jodie Bass]

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Up the drive to a two-car cover and parking area, a set of concrete stairs leads to a central patio. Retaining walls are optimized with cast-concrete seams and planting beds filled with native grasses, lending texture and interest. It’s another flight up
Up the drive to a two-car cover and parking area, a set of concrete stairs leads to a central patio. Retaining walls are optimized with cast-concrete seams and planting beds filled with native grasses, lending texture and interest. It’s another flight up the brazilian cherry wood stairs to the front entry. Two mature trees were maintained onsite, the Brazilian Pepper lends shade to an outdoor all-purpose area. [Photo Credit: Josh Perrin]

What made this adaptation easy was a solid core, conventional materials and simple lines, activated with layering of interior views.  As Principal Michael Blatt puts it, essentially “we think what will the ruins look like, what are the parts that no one is going to change. If you design good spaces, people will use them no matter what their needs are.” The pair foresaw practical concerns while their clients were taken with sliding glass doors or fire pits.  You have to have foresight when designing a space, explains partner Alice Fung, “we tend to think much more long-term.”

For more images of the project, please visit the slideshow.

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