In their old Brentwood abode, a carefree Los Angeles couple frequently invited friends over for dinners revolving around from-scratch pies straight out of their big pizza oven. But once the kids grew up and moved out, it was time to downsize and start anew in charming, walkable Venice Beach.
New York architecture and design firm Reddymade knew exactly how to create a compact house for the big-hearted couple that wouldn’t quell their penchant for entertaining. Founder Suchi Reddy was well acquainted with their spirited personalities, having first met the couple on vacation before fast becoming friends.
"They are both so generous and passionate about building community. Their world is full of interesting people, and they always want them to come visit. They love collaboration and conversation," explains Reddy.
The house the couple became enamored with was designed by L.A.-based m_Royce Architecture at the request of the original owner, who grew up on the property in the 1950s. It flaunts two volumes, with the private bedroom and bath spaces floating structurally above the public ones.
This layout, in classic California fashion, merges the interiors with the gardens and lap pool. The couple brought Reddymade on to refine this "spec home" and customize it through different materials, proportions, and details.
First, Reddy fostered a deeper sense of privacy by expanding the dwelling’s boundaries from beyond its glass walls to the podocarpus trees framing the site. She also scrapped plans for perforated metal facade elements, replacing them with stained black oak instead. Covered in polished dark concrete, the ground level blends with the exterior, forming a vast, seamless floor plate. The cladding of the main house melds dark wood with soffits that return to the ceilings so that the eye is drawn outwards.
One focal point, seen from the entrance, is the kitchen’s sculptural black island, crafted from composite stone. A matching black dining table can be lengthened all the way to the patio to seat as many as 30 people.
"They wanted to have a dining table as long as possible for big events like Thanksgiving," says Reddy. "The house had to be flexible in ways that accommodated their lifestyle."
Adjacent to the dining area, a motorized door fully opens up to nature and the pool significantly strengthens a dialogue between the outdoors and indoors. In back, a separate guest house above the garage is accessed via a black staircase—yet another warm, sculptural form. Underneath it, the patio morphs into a Zen rock garden.
Reddy says it was essential the overall layout be "spacious, comfortable, and welcoming"—and that serene feeling also pervades the second floor. Here, white oak winds its way through the master suite and conjures a minimalist Japanese feel with quarter-sawn bleached oak cabinets and a commodious bathroom featuring a Hinoki soaking tub against a backdrop of large-format porcelain tiles.
Marked by a glass facade, the front room of the house, beside the entry, is a relaxing library that doubles as a guest room courtesy of a retracting, translucent Panelite wall that "still keeps the free-form architecture open," says Reddy.
Architect of Record: Matthew Royce
Builder/General Contractor: Kasis Construction and Pillar Homes
Structural Engineer: Jeff Guh
Landscape Design Company: Fiore Landscape Design
Cabinetry: Taek Oh, Redraw LLC