Text from SweisKloss Design + Construct
This home was designed originally by Fredrick Monhoff back in 1949. It was originally a three bedroom one bath home with a total of 1200 square feet. It has had several additions over time: In 1952 a detached 2 car garage was added. In 1964 they enlarged one of the bedrooms and added a bath, which is today the master bedroom.
The latest transformation started in 2013. SweisKloss was hired to add to the home and renovate the main living space as well as the outdoor space. We added a new wing that provides 2 additional bedrooms, 2 bathrooms and a den. We used leftover space for a laundry room and pantry.
We also expanded the dining area and renovated the main living space. The clients lived in the home during the construction except for during tile and wood flooring installations. The right wing of the house is untouched and will become phase 2 to be completed on a later date.
Our biggest challenges in the design were: It was a small house on a small corner lot, so there was not a lot of space to work with. We had to really make use of the limited site available to achieve a lot. The house was designed with many angles and built with even a few more. We wanted to carry the original angles through the new design yet make it functional.
There were 4 specific elements that were the driving force in the design: Indoor/outdoor living; a lot of light; an open floor plan and continuity of space and views and the use of modern materials that fit seamlessly into the midcentury architecture.
The dining room was extended to add functionality to the space and to help create the indoor/outdoor flow both to the patio as well as the den on the other side. We did this with the use of folding doors and large windows as well as a minimal transition at the threshold. We continued the indoor tile out to become the patio surface as well.
We worked with the existing roof structure and the brick fireplace. We wanted to create a true open plan; we removed the utility room and opened the kitchen to the living space in order to create a kitchen that was integrated into the great room. Architectural challenging was the soffit and low ceilings.
We wanted to tie in the feature 7’ soffit without taking it all the way through the kitchen so we wrapped it around and used it to accentuate the space where the island is. The kitchen also was a place where all the angles had to tie in and transition. Material wise, we used walnut veneer cabinetry and white quartz counters with a fun teal backsplash.
The hall, simply a circulation space, became one of our favorite rooms in the house. It ties together the spaces in the new addition and accentuates the intersection of the angles existing and new.
The Monhoff design had some great features like these outdoor skylights. We wanted to keep them and enhance those spaces. We added a water wall feature that can be enjoyed both from the yard/spa as well as in the living room. The spa was added to the design scope during the process.
We wanted to wrap the house walls and fireplace and for it to feel like it always belonged, like it had always been there. The intention was for it to feel part of the architecture. This was a great exercise in saving a piece of history in Santa Monica and providing our clients with a modern and functional home.