Bought as a retirement home, the house was dark, had low ceilings and felt decidedly suburban. The challenge was to create an open floor plan and figure out a way to bring in a ton of natural light - all with a very limited budget. The house was reconceived as an LA-style house, with huge glass windows opening on to the pool. The main living rooms were all pulled to the back of the house. A balcony with glass railings was opened above the stairway that created a shaft of natural light that illuminated the center of the house. White oak floors with white cabinets and countertops reflected light and brightened the house further. The original master bathroom was so compromised from low roof lines that it was easier to build a new bathroom on the other end of the house than try to fix the one that was there.
The black walnut fireplace mantle and painted black wall of the guest cottage were an example of using leftover building materials from other projects to save money while adding some flare to the design of the house without spending additional funds.