A Dilapidated 1912 Craftsman Is Brought Back to Life with California-Cool Style
It now feels both luxurious and relaxed at the same time.
One of the usual “issues” with older homes is that although they have plenty of character and history, their layouts are not quite optimized for everyday 21st-century living. That’s not exactly a bad problem to have, especially when you think of all the unique and historical features you’re getting in return. Plus, in some cases, the home’s layout can be transformed without any structural roadblocks.
Joelle Kutner and Jesse Rudolph of design-build firm Ome Dezin were able to do just that with this older Craftsman home in the Los Feliz neighborhood of Los Angeles. It was dilapidated, lacked some TLC, and had non-functional rooms, like its dingy kitchen.
“The home was built in 1912 and had some renovations afterwards but all the rooms felt very small, the layout cumbersome, and the mechanics and materials aged,” explains Joelle. There was a lot to update, but the pair were committed to honoring its rich history (it’s located on the same block where Walt Disney produced his first animations) and its classic California Craftsman character.
“The home is located in the heart of Los Feliz village, just off Hillhurst which is a bustling commercial street with many popular restaurants like Maru Coffee or All Time. More so it’s at the bottom of Griffith Park, which is a popular hiking destination,” Jesse says. “We thought about who would live in this house, the kind of lifestyle they would lead, and how the home could be an extension of themselves and their interests.”
The design duo kept some elements of classic California Craftsman style while adding in modern elements. Infusing a feeling of warmth and ease in the space and a connection to the natural world was the goal.
“Our inspiration for the materials and color palette of the home came from greens, grays, and beige colors that one would find in the California desert,” Joelle says. “Window trims are variations of green for interior and exterior. The plaster in the bathroom walls is a sandy color. The kitchen cabinetry is a ‘greige’ color and our revitalized original wood floors are a naturally stained white oak.”
Now there’s an open layout for the living room, dining room, and kitchen, which are connected to a mudroom—there’s a better flow that’s functional for everyday living. There’s plenty of light, with the large windows and skylights in the kitchen. It feels airier and more contemporary.
In addition to the three bedrooms and two bathrooms in the main house, Joelle and Jesse designed an ADU that was designed like a studio apartment with its own kitchenette and bathroom.
The sizable backyard features an outdoor kitchen, dining and seating areas, and even a sauna. There’s plenty of room to enjoy the outdoors here.
The classic Craftsman is now updated for modern living, but still retains its character and charm. “The finished design feels simple, slightly Scandinavian, and very inviting,” Jesse says. “A bungalow that leads to an expansive outdoor space and functional ADU feels like it encapsulates what’s great about Southern California living.”