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June 21, 2011

June gloom greeted the Dwell on Design tourists early Saturday morning, but that didn’t damper their enthusiasm to get up close and personal with six residences in Dwell on Design’s self-guided Westside Home Tour. From Venice to Baldwin Hills, every home was a ravishing rendition of thoughtful modern living. Though interpreted in uniquely personal ways, modern life through the lens of these six homes was a common pursuit for a welcoming atmosphere that blurred the inside with outside and made full use of the California’s (almost) eternal sunshine. Here are few glimpses of the homes we toured last weekend.

Surprise and color are the order of the day at Appleton Living by architects Tryggvi Thorsteinsson and Erla Ingjaldsdottir, principals at Minarc—and it begins at the entrance. A red grilled floor ushers you from the entrance and delivers you to the front

Surprise and color are the order of the day at Appleton Living by architects Tryggvi Thorsteinsson and Erla Ingjaldsdottir, principals at Minarc—and it begins at the entrance. A red grilled floor ushers you from the entrance and delivers you to the front door.

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� 2011 Carren Jao. All rights reserved.
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The front door is an awe-inspiring 14-foot mixed wood creation made by L.A. custom door fabricators Real Door Inc. The wood used in making the door were mostly leftovers from the shop, says Dino of <a href="http://www.realdoorinc.com/index.htm">Real Door

The front door is an awe-inspiring 14-foot mixed wood creation made by L.A. custom door fabricators Real Door Inc. The wood used in making the door were mostly leftovers from the shop, says Dino of Real Door Inc.; that fact isn’t evident from the artistry evident in the door’s gorgeous gentle-wave patterning.

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� 2011 Carren Jao. All rights reserved.
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The 4,500-square-foot, six-bedroom, two-story home has multiple living areas rendered in a neutral color palette and punched up with bright color.

The 4,500-square-foot, six-bedroom, two-story home has multiple living areas rendered in a neutral color palette and punched up with bright color.

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� 2011 Carren Jao. All rights reserved.
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Wood and wood panels can be seen from the floors to the walls, which adds warmth and intimacy to home. The gesture seamlessly sweeps the eye from the floor up to the walls.

Wood and wood panels can be seen from the floors to the walls, which adds warmth and intimacy to home. The gesture seamlessly sweeps the eye from the floor up to the walls.

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� 2011 Carren Jao. All rights reserved.
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The office is hidden behind the first living area, completely removed from a visitor’s field of vision. It gives the owners a private place to work, while still keeping them connected to the rest of the home. It is a clever use of space says one visitor.

The office is hidden behind the first living area, completely removed from a visitor’s field of vision. It gives the owners a private place to work, while still keeping them connected to the rest of the home. It is a clever use of space says one visitor.

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� 2011 Carren Jao. All rights reserved.
5 / 32
Minarc intentionally used materials commonly used in industrial settings and declined to paint over it. Their strategy made the home low-maintenance, perfect for the six members of the family, three dogs and an ever changing roster of foster pets who woul

Minarc intentionally used materials commonly used in industrial settings and declined to paint over it. Their strategy made the home low-maintenance, perfect for the six members of the family, three dogs and an ever changing roster of foster pets who would call it home.

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� 2011 Carren Jao. All rights reserved.
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The Appleton home also showcases a beautiful outdoor area complete with pool, seating, living area and play area, which can all be seen from the kitchen.

The Appleton home also showcases a beautiful outdoor area complete with pool, seating, living area and play area, which can all be seen from the kitchen.

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� 2011 Carren Jao. All rights reserved.
7 / 32
This home was moved into almost two years ago, but shows little wear.

This home was moved into almost two years ago, but shows little wear.

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� 2011 Carren Jao. All rights reserved.
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Once inside, the living area sits on the left while the media center is on the right. Through the slender staircase, the kitchen, breakfast and dining areas can easily be seen.

Once inside, the living area sits on the left while the media center is on the right. Through the slender staircase, the kitchen, breakfast and dining areas can easily be seen.

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� 2011 Carren Jao. All rights reserved.
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Windows create a lot of the drama in the Rose House. Each one was thoughtfully planned out and placed by architect Robert Thibodeau, says the owner.

Windows create a lot of the drama in the Rose House. Each one was thoughtfully planned out and placed by architect Robert Thibodeau, says the owner.

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� 2011 Carren Jao. All rights reserved.
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Almost every room fills with light, says the owner. Guests who sleep over are provided with eye masks in case they’d rather not be woken up by the morning sunlight.

Almost every room fills with light, says the owner. Guests who sleep over are provided with eye masks in case they’d rather not be woken up by the morning sunlight.

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� 2011 Carren Jao. All rights reserved.
11 / 32
The windows in the Master Bath open directly onto the balcony facing the street. But there is no worry of neighbors being able to peek in. The owner says that Thibodeau dutifully walked all around the street, making sure that nothing can be seen from any

The windows in the Master Bath open directly onto the balcony facing the street. But there is no worry of neighbors being able to peek in. The owner says that Thibodeau dutifully walked all around the street, making sure that nothing can be seen from any vantage point.

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� 2011 Carren Jao. All rights reserved.
12 / 32
The Tatami home has a very closed concrete exterior that reflects the sensibilities of its ultra-private Japanese owners. It is also the result of Swiss designer Roger Kurath’s tilt-up pre-fab system.

The Tatami home has a very closed concrete exterior that reflects the sensibilities of its ultra-private Japanese owners. It is also the result of Swiss designer Roger Kurath’s tilt-up pre-fab system.

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� 2011 Carren Jao. All rights reserved.
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The residence was designed according to the proportions of the Tatami mat, a "golden ratio" of Japanese culture, says Kurath.

The residence was designed according to the proportions of the Tatami mat, a "golden ratio" of Japanese culture, says Kurath.

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� 2011 Carren Jao. All rights reserved.
14 / 32
The interior of the home is evidence of its meticulous owners. Everything has its place, hidden behind sleek white shelving systems.

The interior of the home is evidence of its meticulous owners. Everything has its place, hidden behind sleek white shelving systems.

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� 2011 Carren Jao. All rights reserved.
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The residents' office was similarly well-organized. Every book lined up perfectly and twin Macs were oriented toward the home’s heart, the central courtyard.

The residents' office was similarly well-organized. Every book lined up perfectly and twin Macs were oriented toward the home’s heart, the central courtyard.

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� 2011 Carren Jao. All rights reserved.
16 / 32
Kurath stayed away from any customization, preferring to purchase off the shelf products to lower the cost of building the home. Only the windows were custom-made, which is how it really is done in Switzerland.

Kurath stayed away from any customization, preferring to purchase off the shelf products to lower the cost of building the home. Only the windows were custom-made, which is how it really is done in Switzerland.

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� 2011 Carren Jao. All rights reserved.
17 / 32
The windows turn into doors with a twist of the handle, a standard design in Switzerland says the docent.

The windows turn into doors with a twist of the handle, a standard design in Switzerland says the docent.

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� 2011 Carren Jao. All rights reserved.
18 / 32
The central courtyard is undoubtedly the star of the show. The softly curved lines on the roofline create a picturesque frame for L.A.’s blue skies and abundant sunshine. A lone tree sits in the middle, the focal point for the whole home.

The central courtyard is undoubtedly the star of the show. The softly curved lines on the roofline create a picturesque frame for L.A.’s blue skies and abundant sunshine. A lone tree sits in the middle, the focal point for the whole home.

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� 2011 Carren Jao. All rights reserved.
19 / 32
The Sunlight House is a welcome addition the sleepy Baldwin Hills neighborhood that doesn’t usually see new construction.

The Sunlight House is a welcome addition the sleepy Baldwin Hills neighborhood that doesn’t usually see new construction.

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� 2011 Carren Jao. All rights reserved.
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The home was built in only about five months using a hybrid system.

The home was built in only about five months using a hybrid system.

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� 2011 Carren Jao. All rights reserved.
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The garage door is commercial grade, which means that it needs less maintenance than a regular garage door.

The garage door is commercial grade, which means that it needs less maintenance than a regular garage door.

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� 2011 Carren Jao. All rights reserved.
22 / 32
The Sunlight Home has a very strong linear details that create a sense of movement all throughout the house.

The Sunlight Home has a very strong linear details that create a sense of movement all throughout the house.

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� 2011 Carren Jao. All rights reserved.
23 / 32
The whole residence is wired and hooked up to a smart home system that allows the home to be controlled from anywhere. Controls are available for temperature, security systems, even turning the fireplace on and off.

The whole residence is wired and hooked up to a smart home system that allows the home to be controlled from anywhere. Controls are available for temperature, security systems, even turning the fireplace on and off.

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� 2011 Carren Jao. All rights reserved.
24 / 32
The Sunlight Home is made to grow with its owners’ needs. Tracks and trolleys are positioned all along the walls, which allow owners to create rooms just by moving one wall to another part of the home.

The Sunlight Home is made to grow with its owners’ needs. Tracks and trolleys are positioned all along the walls, which allow owners to create rooms just by moving one wall to another part of the home.

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� 2011 Carren Jao. All rights reserved.
25 / 32
All appliances and fixtures in the home are positioned around the core of the home. Only about 5 percent of the electrical resides throughout the rest of the home. The rest is centrally located in the Core. The Core also houses 100 percent of all heating,

All appliances and fixtures in the home are positioned around the core of the home. Only about 5 percent of the electrical resides throughout the rest of the home. The rest is centrally located in the Core. The Core also houses 100 percent of all heating, ventilation and air-conditioning systems. This makes it easy to assess the condition of each system and, eventually, to upgrade when the time comes.

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� 2011 Carren Jao. All rights reserved.
26 / 32
Streetside, foliage and a concrete wall by artist Evan Holloway camouflages Anthony Pearson and Ramona Trent’s low-key Mar Vista home.

Photos weren't allowed for the this home, an unassuming low-slung bungalow inhabited by Anthony Pearson and Ramona Trent, an artist photographer couple. Outside, a rusted garage door with a vintage BMW parked out front and a short hollow block wall covered this gem of a home.

Photo by 
Originally appeared in How a Bungalow Went from Bland to Brilliant
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Architects Frank Escher and Ravi GuneWardena’s design may be strict in its layout and proportion, but it lends itself to casual living.

Here's another image from the Dwell archives, shot by Noah Webb. Once inside, the space ushers you outside once again with an amazing vista of Los Angeles framed by an 11-foot-tall and 26-foot-long glass wall on the south end of the living room.

Photo by 
Originally appeared in How a Bungalow Went from Bland to Brilliant
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The home features earthy, tactile materials, such as natural tile, wood, and hand-finished plaster.

Natural gray quarry tile covers most of the home, which makes the home easy to maintain. It’s almost like one big shower that just needs to hosed once in a while to clean up, says Ramona to a docent.

Photo by 
Originally appeared in How a Bungalow Went from Bland to Brilliant
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Look behind the mid-century facade, and a back patio offers an unexpected 180-degree view of the Los Angeles basin.

The view changes depending on the season, shares Ramona. In the winter, snow capped mountains can be seen from the comfort of her living room. On clear days, Griffith Observatory appears like a mirage.

Photo by 
Originally appeared in How a Bungalow Went from Bland to Brilliant
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The Venice House now sits beside its architect’s home. It is hidden from the eyes of curious passers-by with a screen of foliage. Megan Schoenbachler and her husband were already working with Marmol Radziner on the design of their home when the property b

The Venice House now sits beside its architect’s home. It is hidden from the eyes of curious passers-by with a screen of foliage. Megan Schoenbachler and her husband were already working with Marmol Radziner on the design of their home when the property beside Marmol became available. That’s how the couple and their architect became unintended neighbors.

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© 2011 Carren Jao. All rights reserved.
31 / 32
The garden is lush and holds within it a secret outdoor hot tub. Owner Megan Schoenbachler explains that if all goes according to plan, the foliage planted by the tub will form a natural screen, hiding the tub completely from sight.

The garden is lush and holds within it a secret outdoor hot tub. Owner Megan Schoenbachler explains that if all goes according to plan, the foliage planted by the tub will form a natural screen, hiding the tub completely from sight.

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� 2011 Carren Jao. All rights reserved.
32 / 32
Surprise and color are the order of the day at Appleton Living by architects Tryggvi Thorsteinsson and Erla Ingjaldsdottir, principals at Minarc—and it begins at the entrance. A red grilled floor ushers you from the entrance and delivers you to the front

Surprise and color are the order of the day at Appleton Living by architects Tryggvi Thorsteinsson and Erla Ingjaldsdottir, principals at Minarc—and it begins at the entrance. A red grilled floor ushers you from the entrance and delivers you to the front door.

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