Before & After: Divine Details Help Streamline a Designer Couple’s L.A. Bungalow

A husband-and-wife team create a simple, understated home that inspires a sense of calm.

Not many home renovations start with a 70-year-old olive tree, but that was at the top of the wishlist for Mike Smolowe and Emily Valdez, the couple behind Los Angeles design studio Lou Home, when they began the overhaul of their 1920s Spanish bungalow. "That was one of the first ideas that we had," says Mike, noting that they had the tree trucked from Northern California and forklifted into its new home, a custom concrete planter in the front yard.

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