Before & After: A Dilapidated Spanish Revival Home in L.A. Gets a Dazzling Renovation
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Before & After: A Dilapidated Spanish Revival Home in L.A. Gets a Dazzling Renovation

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By Julia Brenner
An inspired renovation brings new life to a rundown Spanish Revival home in Los Angeles.

When Los Angeles–based designer Shanty Wijaya purchased a ramshackle 3-bedroom/2-bath Spanish Revival home in the Jefferson Park neighborhood of Los Angeles, she knew it had the potential to become an extraordinary family home. The 1924 house had fallen into disrepair, and it was in need of both structural and cosmetic updates. It could have been a teardown, but Wijaya and her team at Allprace Homes saw an opportunity—and after a seven-month-long renovation, the home has a new lease on life.

Wijaya incorporated a vibrant mix of aesthetics into the home—from an Italian farmhouse–inspired kitchen, to a Victorian-era fireplace imported from England, to a Moroccan-inspired outdoor living space. The end result is a bright and beautiful home suffused with vintage character.

Before: Exterior 

"The home’s exterior and interior were both in terrible shape prior to the renovation," says Wijaya.

As the co-owner and lead designer at Allprace Homes, a boutique real estate renovation and development company, Wijaya immediately saw the potential in the property—although she knew it would be a massive undertaking. Ultimately, she was "motivated by the personal backstory of the property and a love for Spanish Revival architecture" and felt confident she and her team could "restore and elevate the home for a new family."

 "I love Spanish Revival homes, and we knew we could make something amazing with this house...It has history, and I love that." —Shanty Wijaya

Overgrown bushes and trees hid the character of the house and made the outdoor spaces feel small and unaccessible.

"The home had no privacy and no curb appeal," says Wijaya.

After: Exterior 

Wijaya added a front wall and custom wood gates to provide privacy.

Wijaya and her team sought to restore the beauty of the home’s original facade while extending its indoor/outdoor living areas and elevating its overall curb appeal.

The renovated exterior features fresh landscaping and hardscaping, along with new windows and doors. 

To restore the property’s Spanish Revival charm, the team added a new clay tile roof to the house and garage. A clay tile roof hanging above the driveway creates the illusion of a porte-cochère. Arches add character to the house and celebrate its architectural style.

Before: Living Room

Wijaya was initially approached by an acquaintance to buy the property, who told her it had belonged to the family of a childhood friend. The acquaintance felt that Wijaya was the right person to take over the property, and Wijaya was up for the challenge.

One of the biggest undertakings of the renovation was opening up the interior walls to allow for a better flow and more natural light. Wijaya explains that "prior to the renovation, there were lots of walls, a lack of sunlight, and a closed-off layout that made the house look small and tight."

The interior lacked natural light, had not been updated in decades, and was extremely cramped. Wijaya saw past the state of the home and focused on the potential in the home’s original architecture. 

After: Living Room 

"We chose aluminum wood-clad windows because the material is high quality and energy-efficient," says Wijaya. "They offer more design options and match well with the style of this house. We particularly wanted to add arches, windows, and doors to enhance the Spanish Revival character." 

At 1,212 square feet, the house is not large, yet Wijaya was able to reconfigure the main living areas to create an open flow and a feeling of expansiveness. Wijaya notes that her goal was to make the living areas "more functional and open, creating the illusion of a bigger space."

The team installed arched openings and new windows to improve natural light, and added niches for extra storage. The living areas feature Belgian oak flooring with a vintage finish that lends warmth and character. The 19th-century fireplace was imported from a Victorian home in England, and Wijaya added a custom mantel.

An avid traveler and preservation expert, Wijaya is always on the hunt for one-of-a-kind pieces she can repurpose in her projects. For this renovation, she selected a 19th-century fireplace imported from a Victorian home in England to anchor the living room. A new custom mantel frames the unique piece.

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Before: Kitchen 

The kitchen was small, closed off, and completely separate from the rest of the house.

In addition to updating and opening up the kitchen, Wijaya was inspired to transform the space into the central hub of the home.

After: Kitchen 

The kitchen's monochromatic Italian farmhouse aesthetic was achieved by inspired design choices, such as a high back farmhouse sink, zellige tile backsplash, La Cornue range, built-in range hood, limewash paint, and imported limestone flooring.

"My design inspiration was the Italian farmhouse kitchen, hence the use of the high back farmhouse sink, zellige tile backsplash, La Cornue range, built-in range hood, and limewash paint," says Wijaya. Vintage brass and brushed nickel hardware finishes add visual interest and depth to the cabinetry.

A table custom made of planked, solid oak with a distressed rub finish serves as a kitchen island.T he height and width are fully adjustable to accommodate the homeowner’s needs.

Before: Bedrooms 

A view of an existing bedroom.

The home’s three bedrooms were renovated and reimagined as a master bedroom, a guest bedroom, and a nursery. As the original bedrooms were quite cookie cutter, Wijaya incorporated unique design elements into each room to create more personalized spaces.

The bedrooms were found in disrepair and in need of major renovations.  

After: Master Bedroom

The master bedroom is bright and airy, with easy access to the yard and gardens. 

Wijaya drew inspiration for the master bedroom from tranquil Spanish villas, incorporating earthy textiles and elegant French doors that lead directly to the landscaped backyard. 

The newly installed closet doors are custom made. Unique details, like the cremone bolts attached to the leaded glass doors, create an extra layer of character in the room design.

After: Guest Bedroom

The guest bedroom is framed by a new arched window, which provides ample natural light and anchors the room with vintage character. 

After: Nursery 

According to Wijaya, "The design for the nursery was inspired by my recent trip to Australia. I wanted to make this room feel a bit whimsical. We used Chasing Paper’s removable wallpaper because we loved the striking pattern (and it is easy to install and can be easily removed). We used cafe doors for the closet doors because we wanted to elevate and add uniqueness to the room. The white sconce hanging on the wall is by MOOI."

Before: Bathroom

The original bathroom was dark and dingy.

After: Bathroom

The renovated bathroom features a clawfoot tub and new plumbing, fixtures, and lighting.

Before: Garage

Prior to the renovation, the garage was in such disrepair that it had been rendered unusable. Rather than tear it down, Wijaya chose to convert the garage into a multifunctional room with custom carriage doors.

The garage was so dilapidated that it was rendered unusable. 

After: Garage

Custom carriage doors lend an elegant touch to the converted family room.

Wijaya transformed the garage into an elegantly appointed, multifunction room that opens directly into the backyard for indoor/outdoor lounging.

The family room adds extra living space without altering the architectural integrity of the main house.

Before: Backyard

The backyard was a rundown combination of barren spots and overrun shrubs. 

The backyard was overgrown in certain areas and barren in others. Wijaya brought the space back to life with a mix of new greenery and decorative outdoor elements.

After: Backyard

Wijaya brought in olive trees, Italian cypress, bougainvillea, grass tiles, solar Moroccan lanterns, a chimney, and a hammock to set the yard’s Mediterranean tone.  

Wijaya wanted to create an outdoor area "just like in a European villa" with space for alfresco dining and indoor/outdoor living. She drew inspiration for the yard from "Mediterranean-Spanish landscaping as well as Hotel El Fenn in Morocco."

A new arched doorway framed by a delicate flower trellis creates a lush, storybook vignette.

Related Reading:

A Creative Couple Give Their Spanish Revival Home a Punchy Upgrade

An Art-Collecting Couple’s L.A. Home Is a Masterpiece in its Own Right 

Project Credits:

Interior Design: Allprace Homes / @allpraceShanty Wijaya

Builder/Landscape Architect: Allprace Homes

Staging Company: A 1000x Better / @a1000xbetter 

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