Collection by Kelly Dawson

A California Ranch Renovation Opens to the Outdoors

When a family relocated to Los Angeles, they tapped Montalba Architects to revitalize this 2,400-square-foot home with a simple, open, minimal style in mind.

An American illustrator and her executive husband had been living in London with their two teenage children when they decided to move back to the States. They found a possible new address in the Los Angeles neighborhood of Brentwood, a Westside city known for its luxury and exclusivity, but the property was far from the surrounding standards. The cramped home had been neglected, and clusters of dark rooms were removed from the sunny outdoors. But the couple envisioned a renovation that restored the structure’s original California Ranch style, and they hired principal David Montalba and his namesake firm to follow through. “The goal was to create large open spaces, with a minimal color and material palette, and lots of natural light,” Montalba says. In the end, the family was not unlike the house they transformed: both returned to their roots with a few added details.

“The house wasn’t well kept. The renovation was a full interior gut and [an] exterior remodel,” Montalba says. White oak flooring was used throughout the home’s common spaces to create a unified space, and the roofline was lifted to allow for more light.
“The house wasn’t well kept. The renovation was a full interior gut and [an] exterior remodel,” Montalba says. White oak flooring was used throughout the home’s common spaces to create a unified space, and the roofline was lifted to allow for more light.
Montalba wanted to design a property with easy access to the outdoors. A Noguchi glass coffee table and Eames molded plywood chairs sit in the bright living room.
Montalba wanted to design a property with easy access to the outdoors. A Noguchi glass coffee table and Eames molded plywood chairs sit in the bright living room.
The house’s wood beams were restored during the renovation, and custom millwork was installed for airy privacy between rooms—as well as a place for much-needed storage.
The house’s wood beams were restored during the renovation, and custom millwork was installed for airy privacy between rooms—as well as a place for much-needed storage.
“Skylights were introduced throughout the home to increase light without decreasing privacy,” Montalba said. A Bosch 36-inch, five-burner gas cooktop and a Miele refrigerator add a stainless steel contrast to the kitchen’s white aesthetic.
“Skylights were introduced throughout the home to increase light without decreasing privacy,” Montalba said. A Bosch 36-inch, five-burner gas cooktop and a Miele refrigerator add a stainless steel contrast to the kitchen’s white aesthetic.
Along with the interior design’s emphasis on natural light, Montalba also wanted a minimalist look. That sense of “timelessness,” as he says, is achieved with help from the Bertoia counter stools in the kitchen.
Along with the interior design’s emphasis on natural light, Montalba also wanted a minimalist look. That sense of “timelessness,” as he says, is achieved with help from the Bertoia counter stools in the kitchen.
A Zuma C Series bathtub sits under a Dornbracht showerhead in the bathroom, which is accented by the same walnut millwork seen in the more public areas of the home.
A Zuma C Series bathtub sits under a Dornbracht showerhead in the bathroom, which is accented by the same walnut millwork seen in the more public areas of the home.
The master bedroom exemplifies the home’s aesthetic: minimalist and light-filled, with the same white-oak flooring and custom millwork.
The master bedroom exemplifies the home’s aesthetic: minimalist and light-filled, with the same white-oak flooring and custom millwork.