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Sweet Digs: Tall-and-Skinny 2.0 - A 1960s model with good bones has some work done

Sweet Digs: Tall-and-Skinny 2.0 - A 1960s model with good bones has some work done

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Published by South Bay Digs
Dave McCarroll apologizes for the mess as he escorts visitors into his Hermosa Beach home. in his parlance, ‘mess’ refers not to piles of newspapers, plates stacked in the sink, or clutter on the living room floor. He’s talking about tasteful Halloween decorations being hastily cleared off of uncluttered tables, immaculate countertops and neat, orderly shelves for a photo shoot.

Pristine is the choice word to describe the sleek, modern interior of the home McCarroll shares with his wife and their three daughters, a marriage of minimalist design and tropical influences apparent in dark wood detailing and floor-to- ceiling glass walls. a remodeled 1960s ‘tall-and-skinny’ that was built on two lots – unusual at the time – it offers more openness and light than the prototypical, multi-level homes with narrow footprints that were so popular in the South Bay during that era.
Dave McCarroll apologizes for the mess as he escorts visitors into his Hermosa Beach home. in his parlance, ‘mess’ refers not to piles of newspapers, plates stacked in the sink, or clutter on the living room floor. He’s talking about tasteful Halloween decorations being hastily cleared off of uncluttered tables, immaculate countertops and neat, orderly shelves for a photo shoot.

Pristine is the choice word to describe the sleek, modern interior of the home McCarroll shares with his wife and their three daughters, a marriage of minimalist design and tropical influences apparent in dark wood detailing and floor-to- ceiling glass walls. a remodeled 1960s ‘tall-and-skinny’ that was built on two lots – unusual at the time – it offers more openness and light than the prototypical, multi-level homes with narrow footprints that were so popular in the South Bay during that era.

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Published by: South Bay Digs on Oct 12, 2011
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12/12/2011

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Sweet

a Sleek contemporary exterior iS highlighteD By angular mahogany wooD featureS

furniSHinGS in a neutral palette are counterBalanced By dark MaHoGany floorS and caBinetS

pHotoGrapHy By kiM pritcHard

Ta l l - a n d - s k i n n y 2 . 0 :
a 1960s model wiTH good bones Has some work done
by pamela coranTe-Hansen
dave Mccarroll apologizes for the mess as he escorts visitors into his Hermosa Beach home. in his parlance, ‘mess’ refers not to piles of newspapers, plates stacked in the sink, or clutter on the living room floor. He’s talking about tasteful Halloween decorations being hastily cleared off of uncluttered tables, immaculate countertops and neat, orderly shelves for a photo shoot. pristine is the choice word to describe the sleek, modern interior of the home Mccarroll shares with his wife and their three daughters, a marriage of minimalist design and tropical influences apparent in dark wood detailing and floor-toceiling glass walls. a remodeled 1960s ‘tall-and-skinny’ that was built on two lots – unusual at the time – it offers more openness and light than the prototypical, multi-level homes with narrow footprints that were so popular in the South Bay during that era. When Mccarroll first viewed the property five years ago, the house as seen from the street was a hulking stucco box bearing a disproportionately small bay window that appeared to have been added in the 1980s, and little else in the way of exterior decorative elements. once inside, potential buyers who could get past the nondescript exterior were greeted with a cramped kitchen and an oversized living room dominated by a clunky fireplace. While many house hunters may have stopped there, Mccarroll is an architect and immediately saw beyond the boxy period design and utilitarian, featureless layout. “there were two things that stood out about this house when we first saw it,” Mccarroll says. “the site was wider than the typical 25-by-110-foot lot, and it hadn’t been chopped up.” in other words, the authentic ceiling beams and tongue and groove construction that typify the traditional tall-and-skinny had been left unmodified by previous owners. Where some might have seen a tear-down, Mccarroll envisioned a Balinesemodern residence that was open to the outdoors and maintained the simple geometry of midcentury construction. to turn his vision into reality, Mccarroll called

the 12-foot fire slot is visually captivating

sliding glass walls open from the kitchen and dining room onto a tranquil split-level patio

Zebrawood cabinets appear to float over the stonefloor

upon architect Steve Wunderlich of 4c design Group, whom he met when the two worked together at kaa design Group in Marina del rey. “the collaboration was effortless,” Wunderlich attests. “We worked closely with dave all the way through the project. He was very involved in the detailing, materials selection and lighting.” poring over residential photographs and images and considering the practicalities of tearing down versus remodeling, a remodel was confirmed as the better option and, interestingly, enabled more square footage to be maintained. for a 2900 square-foot home, “it lives large,” says Mccarroll. Wunderlich and Mccarroll opted to preserve all five levels of the residence, mainly because the home’s major components were well-situated. “the challenge was in playing with the transitions between the levels, both inside and outside of the home,” Wunderlich states. “there was going to be a family of five living in this house, and it needed to feel more spacious but still maintain private areas for different activities.” to evoke a sense of connectedness, Wunderlich began by opening up the main level to the middle level by creating floating stairs. as a result, a visual link is established between the main-level kitchen and living room and the mid-level family room. “i can be in the living room and look through the stairs into the den to make sure my daughters are doing their homework,” Mccarroll quips. contributing to the openness of the floor plan and adding high-wattage natural light, sliding glass walls open from the kitchen and dining room onto a splitlevel patio. Here, a flat, rectangular water feature made

of board-formed concrete adds texture to the outdoor living area and boasts an angular chrome spout that was placed off-center so that it aligns with the front door. lush landscaping creates privacy and makes the main level feel much larger than the original design. Space for a functional, modern kitchen was created by tearing out the original massive fireplace, a point on which Mccarroll and Wunderlich initially disagreed but to which Mccarroll eventually acquiesced. the result, to his satisfaction, was a free-flowing space for entertaining. “When we have people over, everyone gravitates to the kitchen,” Mccarroll notes, gesturing toward a stone chef’s island and a dark wood dining table visible from the living room. on the practical side, the kitchen features an oversized thermador oven with sky-blue burner control knobs. losing the bulky, dated fireplace enabled Mccarroll, who is a partner at kaplan Gehring Mccarroll architectural lighting in el Segundo, to design a 12-foot fire slot along the south wall of the living room. the fire slot uses a combination of natural and artificial light to make a statement piece that is visually captivating yet practical and space-saving. above the slot, a wooden built-in cabinet conceals a 52-inch plasma screen television. “We wanted the technology, but we didn’t want to see it,” Mc carroll says, referring to the various built-in cabinets throughout the house that conceal computers and plasma screens behind mahogany doors and panels. in keeping with the home’s minimalist aesthetic, not a wire or monitor is visible anywhere, bucking today’s trend of making a plasma panel or other hightech gadgetry the focal point of a room. the home’s overall theme of openness and light

carries through to the upper levels, beginning with the transitional hallway off the master suite and two other bedrooms. clerestory windows at the very top of the walls create a sense that the ceiling is floating over the interior space and allow natural light to softly illuminate the off-white walls. furnishings and lighting fixtures in a neutral palette are counterbalanced by dark mahogany floors and built-in cabinets. in the master bath, zebrawood cabinets appear to float over the stone floor, making the room appear more spacious. a short flight of stairs leads to one of Mccarroll’s favorite features of the home. an enclosed room was added to the topmost level, with sliding glass walls that open onto a spacious deck with a view of the pacific ocean. the deck is outfitted with a sleek wooden cabinet that houses a grill and a refrigerator. it is here that Mccarroll says he has carved out a place to unwind and relax. Wunderlich and Mccarroll make a point of mentioning the home’s contemporary exterior, highlighted by an angular mahogany wood feature that climbs up the north wall of the house and hinges over part of the roof – a complete departure from the plain, shoebox appearance of the home’s former exterior. Mccarroll and Wunderlich credit builder Jeff Wilson’s attention to detail for the home’s immaculate finish and solid construction. as he stows away the last of the Halloween decorations, Mccarroll is asked about the spotless, tidy interior of the home. “i was sloppy as a kid,” he admits. “But now i’m pretty particular. So is my wife – we’re both virgos.”

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SoutHBaydiGS.coM | 10.14.2011

functional, modern kitchen where guests gather

clerestory windows create a sense that the ceiling is floating

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