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This restoration of a modern classic celebrates nature and open space

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  • Lauri Gaffin relaxes in her renovated 1950s living-dining area, which opens to the kitchen and the rear garden. The reproduction George Nelson clock is from the same era as the house.

    Living-dining area, Lauri Gaffin

    Lisa Romerein 

    Click to Enlarge

Landscape designer Jay Griffith and landscape architect Russ Cletta created the garden, which appears to flow into the living room. "I wanted the garden to be beautiful shades of green," Gaffin says. "And I wanted it to be wild and low-maintenance, because I work so much."

"We designed the garden to be in keeping with the architecture," Cletta explains. The limited plant palette includes three varieties of bamboo ― used as screening elements ― plus miscanthus grass, 'Goodwin Creek Grey' lavender, and Helichrysum petiolare 'Limelight'.

The peacefulness and the ever-changing light in both the home and the garden are Gaffin's favorite elements. "It is like waking up to a different painting every day. The shadows are constantly moving, both inside and out."

Design:  Cory Buckner, Los Angeles (310/472-3373)

Landscape Architecture: Griffith and Cletta, Venice, CA (310/399-4727)

A. Quincy Jones and the Eichler aesthetic

Working with his partner, Frederick E. Emmons, A. Quincy Jones helped popularize the informal, outdoor-oriented open plan that Lauri Gaffin appreciates.

As abstractions of the suburban ranch house, the Jones and Emmons designs ― often L-shaped or organized around an atrium ― emphasized post-and-beam construction and walls of glass.

These books explore the architects' contribution to modernism: A. Quincy Jones, by Cory Buckner (Phaidon Press, 2002; $60), and Eichler: Modernism Rebuilds the American Dream, by Paul Adamson (Gibbs Smith Publisher, 2002; $50).

More: 17 amazing Before and Afters


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