My House: An Architect Couple’s Playful Courtyard Home in Los Angeles

My House: An Architect Couple’s Playful Courtyard Home in Los Angeles

By Anna Squier
Annie Ritz and Daniel Rabin, the couple behind And And And Studio, didn’t shy away from texture or color when it came to renovating their Silver Lake digs.

Architect couple Annie Ritz and Daniel Rabin, cofounders of And And And Studio, recently renovated their home in the creative enclave of Silver Lake, Los Angeles—a neighborhood filled with bohemians, hipsters, and young creative families. This major remodel and addition was an exploration in materials, color, and texture which transformed a rundown home into one that’s open, bright, and playfully chic with midcentury-inspired decor.

The simple single-story home of Annie Ritz and Daniel Rabin has been updated with carefully selected materials, fixtures, and color palettes. Elegant shapes play with sophisticated textures, creating a uniquely Californian courtyard home. 

The existing home, about 1,000 square feet, was in disrepair and completely gutted down to the studs. A taller, reframed roof gave the single-story space lofty ceilings. The addition, which provides another 1,000 square feet, is the other arm of the now T-shaped abode. Set back on a large lot and nestled between a pool and courtyard, it takes advantage of natural light and facilitates the family’s indoor/outdoor lifestyle.

This home’s backyard hosts a large swimming pool and deck. Big windows and a sliding door provide indoor/outdoor connections. 

Distinct outdoor zones, such as this wood deck adjacent to the pool, are just as integral to the home as the indoor living spaces. 

Through their work, Annie and Daniel are dedicated to "creating inventive and unique spaces that balance sophisticated and playful, refined and odd, contextual and different." Their Silver Lake home is a true example of the firm’s creative approach. We chatted with the couple about the challenges and triumphs of designing Courtyard House.

What were your main sources of inspiration?

We took a lot of inspiration from the material choices within the project. We are constantly discovering different materials and thinking about how they want to be used, how they can influence the design, and what effect and atmosphere they will lend to a space. 

A mixed material palette of wood paneling, marble, brass fixtures from Phylrich, and simple geometric tile creates a sophisticated master bath retreat with a laid-back, California vibe. The square tiles are from Japan, and though they were oddly sized, Annie and Daniel took on the challenge of incorporating it into the bathrooms, using it to bring out different vibes.

Wood slats wrap the master bath walls, bringing in a touch of warmth and contrasting texture. 

For example, we came across a commercial tile from Japan that was pretty pedestrian but had a really nice, matte finish and fun color palette. It was a small, oddly sized square tile, and we challenged ourselves to bring that tile into our bathrooms in different ways. In the master bathroom, you see it in a warm natural tone, paired with shiplap wood paneling and brass fixtures, whereas in the kid’s bath, we used it in more of a retro sense and integrated the tile into an immersive, colored grid. 

Pastel blue tile and Driklolor paint in the soft, pink Pillow hue add a touch of playfulness to the kid’s bathroom. A Flower Pot pendant light from Verner Panton hangs above the round mirror and wall-mount faucet. 

What was on your checklist when designing this home?

We start every project with an open mind. We review and balance the site, existing conditions, and budget with lifestyle needs and goals and treat every project as an opportunity to test new ideas. With this project, we wanted to experiment with color, texture, and materials and balance that with quiet and loud moments. To that end, we sought an architectural form that was very simple—two pitched volumes meeting at a right angle to create a "T."  It was both a response to the existing site as well as a way to best connect all of these spaces to distinct, outdoor zones.

The original 1,000-square-foot house (where the open living, dining, and kitchen area is mostly located) abuts the new, 1,000-square-foot addition in an "T" configuration to make the best use of the site.

A gabled roof line, custom board and batten siding, and punched window openings keep things simple and clean. 

How did you choose the color palette?

We think of color as a sophisticated design tool that’s key to creating a unique and holistic space. The kitchen is a great example of this; we integrated a rich, olive green in the cabinetry and paired it with sophisticated detailing, natural materials—Calacatta marble and a warm oak—and an unusually shaped island. 

In the kitchen, olive green cabinets pair with Calacatta marble, stylish fixtures, and a circular, wood-clad island.

The round island was another opportunity to play with materials: the wood cladding adds a unique texture.

Calacatta marble dramatically extends from the counter and sink to form a backsplash and floating shelf. 

From there, we developed a bold palette to complement and build upon this scheme—a custom, 20-foot-long, turmeric velvet curtain; a terrazzo dining table paired with burgundy chairs; a warm, neutral sofa opposite a bold marigold one.

The dining table is a custom piece with a terrazzo top on a steel base.  Burgundy Result Chairs from Hay add a rich color accent to the dining room. 

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The open living space is full of natural light with vaulted ceilings that heighten the space. White walls provide the perfect backdrop for the designers’ bold palette of colors and materials. 

The entry hall is another snapshot of design experimentation with wood built-ins, open cubbies,  and simple brass hooks. 

What is your favorite feature of the house?

That’s very hard to answer about your own work. We find ourselves drawn to the main living space—its height, openness, natural light quality, and warmth. It’s the linchpin between the front courtyard and the backyard and pool area. When we have friends over, we open up the front and back sliders, and the space becomes the connection or meeting place.

Large sliding glass doors connect the interior living spaces to the outside, providing seamless indoor/outdoor transitions. 

The living room is a blend of old and new, simple and bold, playful and sophisticated with Muuto, Tom Dixon, and repurposed Maharam furniture. 

Large windows provide views to the courtyard while drawing in plentiful daylight.  Aballs Wall Sconces from Parachilna march down the hallway to a small office space with built-ins. 

What was the biggest challenge in designing your home, and how did you overcome it?

The existing house was unremarkable and in disrepair. Given its context and neighbors, it was set unusually far back from the street, leaving a significant amount of front yard vacant and unused. We saw this odd feature as an opportunity to create something special: a property with a quiet street profile that you enter through a private garden and courtyard. 

It sounds unusual, but the existing site didn’t have a single living plant or tree—in order to make the front courtyard work, we brought in a 50-year-old olive tree to give it a heart and a center, balancing it with boulders and native plantings to create a play space for our kids and an elegant entrance sequence for our visitors. 

The couple added a 50-year-old olive tree to create a sense of arrival for guests.

Visitors enter the gate and first take in the courtyard; then they experience being in it as they approach the house. Once inside, the front courtyard is part of our kitchen: it can fully open onto it, and you experience it again from a different perspective. The long and light-filled, thickened hallway of our kids’ bedrooms looks onto the courtyard and the olive tree. It’s as much a part of the house as the actual house itself.

Visitors experience the beauty of the courtyard upon entry as they step atop large pavers leading up to the wood deck.

The home's courtyard is ideal for indoor/outdoor living. By opening the sliding glass doors, the kitchen space is connected to a courtyard dining space, which is ideal for family gatherings and entertaining. 

Where do you recommend shopping for home decor items, either locally or online?

Menu, Ferm Living, Muuto, APlusR, Parachilna, Madera Surfaces, and Drikolor.

More My House:

A Creative Couple’s Live/Work Loft Is Full of Sunny, Southwestern Vibes

A Bay Area Restaurateur’s Woodsy Retreat Prioritizes Community

Apparel Designer Mikey Armenta’s Northern California Surf Retreat

Project Credits:

Architect of Record: And And And Studio / @andandandstudio

Builder / General Contractor: Zorzoli Builds LC Construction

Structural Engineer: Craig Philips

Interior Design: And And And Studio

Cabinetry Construction: Rowla


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