How Good Idea Studio Revamped a 1924 Clapboard House on a $62,000 Budget

How Good Idea Studio Revamped a 1924 Clapboard House on a $62,000 Budget

By Emily Young / Photos by Heather Culp
After architectural designers Louis Molina and Laurent Turin of Good Idea Studio revamped a tiny, dilapidated 1923 clapboard house in 2004, they moved their Los Angeles office into the ground level and have taken turns occupying the 578-square-foot living quarters upstairs. While Turin is supervising the firm’s office in his native Switzerland, Molina, who also teaches at the Woodbury University School of Architecture in Burbank, gives us the tour of their diminutive-by-design Echo Park remodel.

My grandparents’ first house was in Echo Park. My aunt and uncle lived here, too. After World War II, my family moved out to the San Fernando Valley where there was more interest in the newer, the cleaner, the fancier. But my generation has rediscovered the appeal of living in a place with easy access to transportation, coffee shops, and galleries, a place that has parks, history, and complex layers.
There used to be three houses on this lot. The city issued a permit to knock down the two in front in 1978.The place was like a rundown public park because it was open to the street on three sides. The house was in such a bad state of decay that the property was sold as land value only. But we thought the foundation, redwood structure, and roofing were in pretty good shape. It was just the siding, interior finishes, plumbing, and the electrical that needed help.

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