Interior Renovation Breathes New Life into Modernist Home in LA

In the picturesque Hollywood Hills rests Ledgewood, an elegant California modernist residence that dates back to 1961. The visionary behind its creation was Robert Kennard, a trailblazing Black architect who dedicated himself to breaking barriers for minorities and women in the profession.

When faced with the task of renovating this historic gem, Interior architecture Studio Shamshiri‘s challenge was clear: preserve the essence and structure of the original while seamlessly integrating modern touches.

The key to honoring exceptional architecture lies in showcasing its adaptability to the needs and lifestyle of the present. With a focus on kitchens and bathrooms: spaces that have evolved significantly over time.

Studio Shamshiri imagined what the architect would have envisioned for these spaces if he was alive today. By infusing the monochromatic palette of midcentury modernist houses with splashes of color, they invigorate this home with a vibrant energy without compromising the architectural integrity.

Drawing inspiration from the surrounding environment, the architects employed a palette of mossy greens, establishing a connection between indoor and outdoor; an exploration of traditional materials and craft techniques in unconventional ways.

This signature approach becomes evident in the primary bath, where timeless Moroccan zellige tiles have been transformed into smaller pieces, stacked vertically, resulting in a strikingly contemporary interpretation of this centuries-old material.

In keeping with Kennard’s original ethos, these materials are thoughtfully deployed with a delicate balance of restraint and precision. This house stands as a testament to the enduring power of architectural vision, showcasing how past and present can harmoniously coexist in a transformative blend. It is a celebration of Robert Kennard’s legacy and a commitment to honoring great design while embracing the demands of contemporary living.

One of the primary obstacles faced during the project was the low roofline, a characteristic feature of mid-century architecture. The architects aimed to create higher ceilings in the addition, allowing for a more spacious and light-filled environment without compromising the overall scale and coherence with the existing structure. Striking the delicate balance between preservation and transformation was key to the project’s success.

Among the standout features of the revitalized home, the bright white kitchen takes center stage. Bathed in natural light, the kitchen boasts expansive windows above the sink, offering picturesque views of the newly installed pool. To seamlessly merge indoor and outdoor spaces, a wall of sliding doors opens the room up to the sprawling backyard, creating a harmonious flow between nature and the interior.

Photos by Stephen Johnson