Part 1 – Sands Residence, Los Angeles

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  • BradW


    The entry has been divided by a series of 7′ high walls creating a courtyard with orange trees, a central outdoor storage locker and a car port. The car port will be covered by a flat roof supported by post and beam construction. The posts will lift the roof above the walls to create a floating effect.

    The interior has been renovated by moving the kitchen to the back of the house and adding a study and guest bedroom with ensuite.

  • Paul C

    Brad W,
    Placing mom’s suite into that portion of the plan worked out well. Presumably Bed 2 would get a closet. Is there enough width in the kitchen/dining/living space to have the laundry in its own room, maybe between bed 2 and the kitchen and what would that do for the kitchen? Also given that one of the features Felix liked with the existing home was the L-shape, I wonder if the boundary on the study could maybe be more porous to bring some of that shape back to the overall living area?

  • BradW

    Good comments Paul…completely forgot about bed 2 closet and was never happy with the laundry…the study opens to the living room thru a bookcase/wall unit…

  • BradW


    Laundry is stacked, closet added to bed 2, kitchen linear with island…

  • Paul C

    Brad W,
    Looks good. I had a sense the book case might be open, still though I wonder if the open shelves is enough to emphasize the L shape. Then again, maybe the L is not that big a deal. In addition, I am not so sure if books look as appealing viewed from the page side vs. the binding side. The detailing on this feature would be crucial.

    I might be guilty of over analyzing here, tell tale sign of tryptophan withdrawal…

  • Elizabeth


    Had a similar idea to Brad’s, putting Mum in the separate wing.

    The “study” is not a room exactly: the L-shaped perimeter is a bookcase, about 6′ high, that wraps around but doesn’t close the room off.

    Squished the existing bathrooms a little to find room for the washer/dryer which are now in a utility room with water heater. Trying to figure out how to get the orientation right to separate these two.

    Added a few windows (master bdrm, 2nd bath, next to front door) and a sliding backdoor in the kitchen. I added a divider in the driveway to separate the vehicle area.

    I don’t see stairs to a basement. So, is this all the possible floorspace for storage? Hope not!

  • Doug Roberts


    Similar approach to Brad, except I put the mother’s bedroom at the very end of the front wing to give her as much separation from the living area as possible. I also rotated the master closet and shifted the bathrooms down to make room for a proper laundry room next to the mechanical room. I left the study area open to the living area except for a few millwork dividers. I also added some windows to the master bedroom, and bathrooms (high, horizontal type) to let more air and morning sun into the house.

  • Elizabeth


    I like how you manipulated the master closet and existing bathrooms to create a laundry room.

  • Terri


    I also put the mother’s bedroom at the end of the short “L” with the bathroom between it and the study. The study’s bookcase wraps around the corner. I didn’t install a door as I thought an open family study was desired.

    I put the kitchen in the centre to minimize noise disturbance to the bedroom (in case grandmother is up and about at night). The pantry floats to allow light transfer to entry but still create a visual barrier to the actual kitchen.

    I also moved the main bath door closer to that second bathroom to make it more convenient for the daughter to slip in. I also installed patio doors in the master bedroom for rear yard access. If desired, his mother’s room could have a single glass door to access the little garden between the pergola and home.

  • Terri

    I like the way you put the laundry in that mechanical room. It makes sense to have these machines all together. Maybe a little obscured window would also be a nice touch…

  • Terri

    I think it was wise to shift that master closet and bathrooms, as the master bedroom is a bit large. Maybe if the laundry sink were given up, the main bath could have a more functional vanity countertop. The kitchen sink is pretty much close enough to the laundry to negate the need for a laundry sink.

  • Terri

    I think you’ve improved the sightline into the kitchen in your second plan. I like the flexibility of closing off your study with that glass door.

  • Doug Roberts

    Terri — I love the way your bookcase wraps around and extends down the hallway to the mother’s suite. Are the walls separating the living room from the kitchen and study full height walls or only partial walls?

    Elizabeth — Great idea to add a sliding door from the kitchen to the rear garden.

  • BradW


    I felt that the living/dining/kitchen was too cramped in all the plans so I added a new living space to the house…PaulC this addition restores the L-shape living plan to the home…an indoor planter separates the kitchen and dining room…

  • Paul C


    Felix’s desire to provide his mother some “privacy/independence” and his affinity for the L-shape floor plan resonated with me and it is what drove this proposal (albeit maybe slightly over the top budget wise). Glass partitions have been used in the entry and study area and the front door to the home has essentially been relocated to the courtyard.

  • Steve


    Brad, I agree that the indoor living space was feeling crowded in some of these plans. Your new plan, of course, takes care of this in a big way. Oh, the possibilities!

    I note, however, that you’ve also enclosed the study, which leaves the back corner of the dining area rather dark. If it were me (and I wanted a separate study), I’d stick with the open bookcase in your first plans which filtered light from the north wall and front garden windows.

    Also, the view from the front door is almost all wall (the window straight ahead is 50′ feet away). What about inserting a narrow band of windows high in the wall opposite the garden windows (ala Wright’s Usonian houses or Schindler’s Buck House) to break up that expanse and even out the light?

  • BradW

    Steve – good suggestion – the high windows would echo the floating nature of the car port roof proposed earlier…

    Paul C – the guest house is a nice use of the front yard…I would not split the run of cabinets as you have done in the kitchen but overall very well thought out

  • Frances Grant-Feriancek


    I’ve tried a different layout for “Mom’s Suite”, and take full advantage of the morning light. All three bedrooms have generous closet space which should makeup for the lack of alternative storage.
    All common areas are open which includes the study. A floating bookcase defines this space.
    A stone planter is used to give seperation to the remaining two parking spaces.
    I wish I could step out into this backyard and enjoy a warm LA sunset! FInally thanks to Brad W or I would have missed including the laundry.

  • John Brown

    Now that is thinking outside of the box! I think the potential of “outbuildings” like the one you show is tremendous. Not only is there ultimate privacy but the exterior space between the outbuilding and the existing house becomes so much more vital. A nice solution – even if it is pretty expensive.

  • John Brown

    Thanks for posting the image. It is a great example of a modest residence and a good precedent for the project.

  • John Brown

    A solid scheme. Would you consider giving mom a bit more light and view?

  • John Brown

    I like the way you extended the narrow “service” band containing the bathrooms out into the house to form the study desk. Would you consider using something other than a solid wall on the side by the living room. Perhaps a free standing bookcase. It might make the study space a little more open without losing the rigor of the geometry.

  • John Brown

    I like all of your schemes. The extension out the back is quite nice but I have to say your more modest proposals are almost its equal without the additional cost. I really like the bookcase wall unit connecting the study to the living room.

  • Cat

    Some terrific plans today! I actually thought about this for a while this morning, but got hung up trying to put mom’s bath where the laundry used to be. I’m glad to see that not everyone got hung up there. And I am not sure what they used to keep in the outdoor storage next to the laundry, but I like Brad’s idea of adding a storage/wall thingie to separate the parking from the walkway/garden. Paul C’s idea of putting mom in that same space was definitely inventive, if costly. I really liked the idea of a more open study — it can’t be wrong for teenagers to at least worry that you might look over their shoulders while they are on the internet. Plus Steve’s picture and discussion about light and openness seemed right on the mark to me. The floating pantry was interesting. Is there room for something on the back of it? And all of the ideas about squishing the master closet, baths, laundry, mechanicals onto the north wall seemed ingenious. I’m now wishing I had this house and the money to renovate it!

  • Terri

    Coming back late in the day to see what transpired…Wow! Some really great posts–each one offering a unique detail or two.

    First, Doug, sorry about the typo with your name! I agree, those two walls that I put solid shouldn’t be–now I’m thinking that they should be the same height as the pantry (this also answers your suggestion, John). And yes, Cat, I’m not sure if an artpiece or extra (shallow) storage should be on the entry side of that pantry.

    I agree, Brad, with your feeling that the kitchen/living/dining seems a bit “cramped,” and I really like the way your last plan allowed the living room to be so separate–something which should alleviate familial stress in the years to come.

    Of course Paul’s solution alleviates that stress a lot, though perhaps grandmother might feel a little “out there” in her cottage…Although I expect that soon her granddaughter will be vying for it!

  • Louis Pereira

    I agree – a lot of quality solutions. The current house layout is akin to many Case Study Houses completed in the mid-century. They were a pre-cursor to these types of houses built in the subsequent decades.

    Excellent solution in my opinion for Paul’s ‘Granny Flat’concept! Would you believe this does not comply with most building ordinances in Canada and possibly in the US. A ‘young’ Andres Duany – an architect and new urbanist explains this beautifully in his slideshow presentation on youtube…(“part 5 of 9″)

    I highly recommend viewing all 9 of his video lectures.

    It’s rather late and I didn’t have an opportunity to complete my plans so i hope to post in part 2.

  • Elizabeth

    Thanks Louis for the link to the Duany lecture. Really interesting. Planning to watch the rest of ‘em.