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Thread: Before and after: A 1950s house in the Hills is opened up

  1. #1
    Elite Member Honey's Avatar
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    Dec 2006

    Default Before and after: A 1950s house in the Hills is opened up

    Before The original house.

    After Designer Xorin Balbes and architect Paul Ashley, of TempleHome in Los Angeles, transformed a Hollywood Hills residence, carving out an airier living space that emphasizes the connection between the inside and the outside. To gain usable space in the front yard, the team built a glass-paneled retaining wall close to the street; behind it they put in a pool. They also replaced the aluminum siding on the façade with cedar.

    Before The entrance.

    New openings in an existing wall along the entrance walk and patio “enhance the area with light, pool views and the sound of water,” Balbes says.

    Before A rear wall in the living room was knocked out.

    After Double-height glass panels were installed.

    Before The living room.

    After To enlarge the rooms and accentuate the link among them, the living room was extended to the original footprint of the patio, and the master bedroom was fitted with 30-foot windows to overlook the double-height space. Walker Zanger limestone flooring.

    Before The master bedroom.

    After “I wanted the entire hillside to be in view from the bed,” Balbes says of the master bedroom, which was expanded to incorporate an outdoor seating area. The vases and table accessories are from TempleHome, the designer’s line; the 1950s Venetian glass low table is by Conrad Divine.

    Before As the residence was being renovated, it caught the eye of film producer Bill Block, who lived next door. An admirer of Balbes’s work (“Nothing is too too,” he says), Block bought the house.

    After The master bath was updated with glass and marble. Walker Zanger bath and shower tiles

    Before The original façade.

    After “The cedar siding creates a feeling of a monolithic wood box raised and floating above the glass enclosure of the living room below,” Balbes says of the new façade. The amplified transparency of the first floor and the stairwell emphasize the view of the concrete-tile patio and the pool with its slate fountain.

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  2. #2
    Elite Member louiswinthorpe111's Avatar
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    Oct 2005
    Middle America


    Is that a pool you're supposed to swim in? Because that's a damn skinny pool.

    I love the cheap resin patio furniture in the before shots.

    For the most part the changes were for the better, esp. the windows. LOVE the bathroom.

    It's a little too white for me.

  3. #3
    Elite Member AllieCat's Avatar
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    Apr 2008


    Love the bathroom, but the house didn't look too bad before the renovations IMO.

  4. #4
    Elite Member SweetPea's Avatar
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    Nov 2006
    Garden State


    The first couple of shots look like an office building. The first few inside shots look like a Doctors office.
    Into the sunrise. The sunset is sad to me….it only means the night is coming.

  5. #5
    Elite Member HWBL's Avatar
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    Oct 2005


    I see is that hill over the back of the house and all I can think is: California, earthquakes, rains, mudslides, bye bye white house.
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  6. #6
    Elite Member Beeyotch's Avatar
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    Apr 2006


    ^^I know. And those houses are so incredibly expensive precisely because they're on the hill. My husband asked me when we first moved here, wouldn't I like to live on a house up on the hill someday. I looked at him with horror on my face and said, are you crazy?

    I'm not particularly crazy about this house, before nor after. (It looks really familiar, I want to say I've driven by it when driving through the hill but there's several houses that have that cedar and glass style...)

    The renovation looks newer (duh), more modern and does seem to make more usable space. But I don't like modern style anything, too stark, cold and uninviting.

  7. #7
    Elite Member cupcake's Avatar
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    Jun 2007
    Tampa Bay florida


    It looks really cheap
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  8. #8
    Elite Member msdeb's Avatar
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    Feb 2006
    in a van down by the river


    i like the bathroom. not wise to put a pool directly under a tree.
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  9. #9
    Silver Member a31cefiro's Avatar
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    Oct 2006
    New Zealand


    I liked the before better. It looks stark and uninviting now.

  10. #10
    Elite Member Rondette's Avatar
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    Jan 2006
    Between uncertainty and acceptance


    It took me a while to work out whch ones were the 'before' and 'after' shots...they have taken the photos at completely different angles. As for the house, I am pretty 'meh'..I can't imagine living somewhere that looks like a dentist's waiting room. And that black bed scares me.

  11. #11
    Elite Member Folieadeux's Avatar
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    Jul 2007


    I could never feel safe in such an 'open' house.

  12. #12
    Gold Member Flak's Avatar
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    Feb 2007


    Other than the funky backyard and the wood paneling, I didn't see anything wrong with it in the first place.

  13. #13
    Hit By Ban Bus!
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    Mar 2008
    Back of Beyond


    What do people have against tastefully plush, warm, and inviting spaces anymore? This house looks like a place where Mad Dr.'s torture people in bizarre medical experiments.

  14. #14
    Elite Member aabbcc's Avatar
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    Oct 2005
    Watching the sun set over Lake Superior.


    Don't like the furniture in either the before or the after. Not too crazy about the place in general.

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