An Impeccably Renovated Midcentury by Case Study Architect Craig Ellwood Asks $3.75M

An Impeccably Renovated Midcentury by Case Study Architect Craig Ellwood Asks $3.75M

By Kathryn M. / Photos by Carothers Photo
This arresting Los Angeles–area residence echoes the style of the designer’s Case Study House #16B.

A restored midcentury residence by Case Study designer Craig Ellwood is now up for sale in Brentwood, California. Known as the Johnson House after its original owners, the modernist structure elegantly showcases its original construction, with exposed steel posts intersected by warmly colored wooden beams. The property has changed hands only a few times since its completion in 1953, with the current owners, who purchased the property in 2010, completing a full renovation that successfully updated the interior without losing Ellwood's signature style.

The Byron Lamar Johnson House in Brentwood, California, was completed at the forefront of Craig Ellwood's successful career as a home designer and builder in the Los Angeles area. The structure spreads out horizontally along the hillside, with only a carport visible from the street.

Inside, the steel-framed residence features original wood-clad ceilings and walls, as well as refinished terrazzo flooring and new built-ins throughout. All public spaces are positioned at one end of the home, while a single hallway leads to each of the three bedrooms.

Although not formally trained as an architect, Ellwood's embrace of steel-framed construction and modernist designs led to the commission of midcentury residences that are still coveted by buyers today. He is also known for contributing three designs to the famous Case Study House program sponsored by Arts & Architecture magazine.

One of those designs, Case Study House #16B in Bel Air, was built during the same year as this property. As such, Ellwood incorporated similar features into both structures—including the same eight-foot spacing sequences, as well as "floating" interior walls that stop short of the full ceiling height and appear to hover a few inches above the floor.

The original fireplace features a brick surround, now partially painted white. Flanking both sides are Ellwood's wood-clad, "floating walls"—which can also be found in his Case Study House #16B that was built during the same year.

Another view of the living area shows a sliding glass door that leads out to the patio. The current owners enlarged portions of the outdoor spaces as well.

Offering three bedrooms, along with four full bathrooms, the 1,676-square-foot Johnson Residence sits along a dead-end street at the top of the neighborhood, with access to one of several area hiking trails nearby. The kitchen and all bathrooms were updated during the recent restoration, which also included the addition of a backyard pool. Keep scrolling to see more of the home, currently listed for $3,750,000.

In a corner off of the living area, a built-in bench surrounds a dining table.

An opposite view of the dining area shows a built-in bar and drawers that were also added during the restoration process. A doorway leads into the kitchen.

The renovated kitchen includes all-new custom cabinetry, as well as updated appliances, fixtures, and other finishes.

At the opposite end of the home, one of the three bedrooms benefits from a glazed corner. A new bench adds seating and storage near the window, while a sliding door provides access to a covered outdoor space with framed views of Los Angeles.

A look at one of the home's four full bathrooms, all of which have been modernized with new flooring, tile, and fixtures.

Another bedroom is currently staged as home office and also provides direct access to the covered outdoor area.

The third bedroom comes with built-in storage along one wall.

Outside, the current owners added a small lap pool and updated the landscaping. The property's hilltop location also offers city and ocean views.

The Johnson Residence, located at 1515 N Tigertail Road in Brentwood, California, is currently listed for $3,750,000 by Crosby Doe of Crosby Doe Associates, Inc.

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