Before & After: A Classic Beach Cottage in Dana Point Becomes a Stunning Family Home

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By Jennifer Baum Lagdameo
Contemporary updates transform this classic SoCal beach cottage inside and out.

Located just off the Pacific Coast Highway in Dana Point, California, this classic 1950s beachside Cinderella cottage underwent renovations to accommodate a young family and their two soon-to-be teenagers. MYD Studio sought to "reconfigure the space for increased functionality, durability, and aesthetic continuity." The architects updated elements of the original structure with a modernist aesthetic that reflects their clients' taste and contemporary Southern California lifestyle.

MYD Studio updated the interiors with a material palette that includes white oak, terrazzo, plywood and laminate cabinetry, and glazed ceramic and porcelain wall tiles. They reimagined the exterior of the home with angles, a flat roof, and a palette of black and white siding. 

The home's balanced modern aesthetic and the true collaborative spirit of the project made it especially noteworthy for the firm. "As architects, we were actively involved during all project phases and worked closely with the homeowners to develop and realize solutions that not only met budget and schedule requirements, but also reflected their playful style," they explain. Scroll through for a look at the stunning before and after results. 

Before: The Exterior of the Home

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A two-level structure was added to the rear of the property in 1965. This space housed a master bedroom above and a den below. 

A two-level structure was added to the rear of the property in 1965. This space housed a master bedroom above and a den below. 

This image shows the foundation at the side yard which would pave way for a new asymmetrical entry.

This image shows the foundation at the side yard which would pave way for a new asymmetrical entry.

The original Cinderella cottage in the front contained a kitchen, living room, and kid's bedroom before the renovation.

The original Cinderella cottage in the front contained a kitchen, living room, and kid's bedroom before the renovation.

After: The Exterior of the Home

MYD Studio updated the exterior with a mix of black and white siding. They expanded the master bedroom on the second level and remodeled the den on the first floor into an additional bedroom. A new "black box" addition houses a third bedroom.

MYD Studio updated the exterior with a mix of black and white siding. They expanded the master bedroom on the second level and remodeled the den on the first floor into an additional bedroom. A new "black box" addition houses a third bedroom.

The exterior design juxtaposes wide, horizontal siding with traditional board and batten. The black, asymmetrical flat-roofed addition seamlessly fits into the mix.

The exterior design juxtaposes wide, horizontal siding with traditional board and batten. The black, asymmetrical flat-roofed addition seamlessly fits into the mix.

The remodel kept the kitchen and living room in the front Cinderella cottage, but it converted the children's bedroom into a den. MYD Studio updated the facade of the original cottage to blend with the new contemporary profile. 

The remodel kept the kitchen and living room in the front Cinderella cottage, but it converted the children's bedroom into a den. MYD Studio updated the facade of the original cottage to blend with the new contemporary profile. 

Before: The Master Bedroom 

In the master suite, MYD Studio enclosed and extended the existing deck to create a larger bedroom.

In the master suite, MYD Studio enclosed and extended the existing deck to create a larger bedroom.

After: The Master Bedroom

A custom window seat is now located where the sliding doors to the deck had been. The Field lounge chair is from Blue Dot. 

A custom window seat is now located where the sliding doors to the deck had been. The Field lounge chair is from Blue Dot. 

Shop the Look
Norden Ceramic Planter
Norden Ceramic Planter
Beautiful ceramic planters for your succulents, houseplants and more.  Norden's ceramic goods are wheel thrown and made in Encinitas, CA. They’re suitable for indoor or outdoor use and will take any potted plant up a notch in looks.
Ceniza Lumbar Pillow
Ceniza Lumbar Pillow
HANDWOVEN IN MEXICO BY THE WOMEN OF OAXACA   Meet the zero-effort showstopper.
Room & Board Grove Nightstand
Room & Board Grove Nightstand
Mid-century details like solid wood turned and tapered legs and beveled edges lend an air of refinement to the Grove nightstand. Crafted by Pennsylvania woodworkers, Grove features an oil-and-wax finish that enhances the natural grain pattern of every panel of its solid wood construction.


The Wyatt bed is from Room & Board, and the Mimico nightstands are from Gus Modern. 

The Wyatt bed is from Room & Board, and the Mimico nightstands are from Gus Modern. 

The revised layout also allowed for a new walk-in closet and expanded bathroom. 

The revised layout also allowed for a new walk-in closet and expanded bathroom. 

Before: The Master Bath

The original master bath was dated and in need of updates.

The original master bath was dated and in need of updates.

After: The Master Bath

Heath Ceramics tiles in grapefruit pay homage to the original pink bathroom tile.

Heath Ceramics tiles in grapefruit pay homage to the original pink bathroom tile.

The colorful and playful material palette reflects the owner's personality and the beachside locale. The floor tiles are from Ann Sacks.

The colorful and playful material palette reflects the owner's personality and the beachside locale. The floor tiles are from Ann Sacks.

Before: The Lower Level

MYD Studio converted the bedroom on the lower level into a den.

MYD Studio converted the bedroom on the lower level into a den.

After: The Lower Level

The den is connected to the kitchen, providing a comfortable place for the family to hang out. The media console is from West Elm and the swivel chair is from Blue Dot. 

The den is connected to the kitchen, providing a comfortable place for the family to hang out. The media console is from West Elm and the swivel chair is from Blue Dot. 

A view of the den from the kitchen. Pocket doors allow the den to be completely closed off as needed. 

A view of the den from the kitchen. Pocket doors allow the den to be completely closed off as needed. 

The updated kitchen and dining space. At the back, you can see the new study/lounge. The pendant lighting is from Muuto, the dining table is the Saarinen table from Room & Board paired with Eames chairs with a wire base. 

The updated kitchen and dining space. At the back, you can see the new study/lounge. The pendant lighting is from Muuto, the dining table is the Saarinen table from Room & Board paired with Eames chairs with a wire base. 

Before: The Living Space

This was the den before. 

This was the den before. 

After: The Living Space

The new study lounge features ceramic tile flooring from Ann Sacks along with a custom plywood desk with a Formica top, Eames desk chairs, and an ottoman from Blue Dot. 

The new study lounge features ceramic tile flooring from Ann Sacks along with a custom plywood desk with a Formica top, Eames desk chairs, and an ottoman from Blue Dot. 

Before: The Second Bathroom

The lackluster bathroom before the renovation.

The lackluster bathroom before the renovation.

After: The Second Bathroom

The new bathroom features Terrazzo flooring from Concrete Collaborative and gorgeous green tiles from Heath Ceramics. 

The new bathroom features Terrazzo flooring from Concrete Collaborative and gorgeous green tiles from Heath Ceramics. 

Project Credits: 

Architect of Record: MYD Studio / @myd, Lauren Moss, Jason Yaw

Builder/ General Contractor: Owner, Karla Farjo

Structural Engineer: Greg McCormick

Landscape Design: Western Garden Designs, Matt Johnson

Interior Design: MYD Studio

Cabinetry Design/Installation: Rancho Remodel, Scott Meeker

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