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Private Residence, Valmonte, Palos Verdes Estates, California


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It is a tall order to restore a 1928 Spanish style cottage to meet current standards and modern aesthetics but without losing the heritage of the structure.

Luckily, Los Angeles-based interior and furniture designer Mandy Graham had the ideal client with whom to achieve this feat: Herself and her 14-year-old twin sons.

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The 2,400 square-foot (223 sq.metre) four-bedroom, four-bathroom house is located in the Los Angeles area, in Valmonte, Palos Verdes Estates. Valmonte’s architecture is often described as “story-book” because it includes a mix of several home styles including old Spanish, English Tudor, French Normandy, traditional and ranch.

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This area is characterized by groves of eucalyptus trees and the Palos Verdes Golf Club. It is just few blocks from the beach and close to Manhattan and Redondo Beach communities.

mandy7Graham’s house is nestled under a canopy of eucalyptus trees, surrounded by olive trees, agave and lavender. The house’s decomposed granite, flagstone pavers, terra-cotta tile roof and smooth stucco exterior suggest a Spanish and Mediterranean aesthetic.

mandy8Graham’s renovation was extensive, paring the house down to the original framing. There were two original arches that inspired the theme of arches and barrel ceilings.

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The original layout was generally honoured to embrace the warmth and charm of a traditional home, and only two additional bathrooms were created.

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Graham also thickened the walls to allow the inset of windows and integrated cabinetry, and to create wider thresholds.

mandy10We love the minimalist approach of the white walls that make a perfect backdrop for her own dark-wood furniture collection that is complemented with a restrained selection of personal antiques and vintage art. Natural walnut and limestone add texture and timeless elegance to the home.

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The bathroom and kitchen cabinetry, fixtures and lighting were also designed by Graham. The cabinets are solid walnut and the soapstone countertops are inset and framed by the rounded doors at each end. mandy2

In the kitchen, the La Cornue range was custom-painted and the same finish and colour repeat throughout the kitchen with metal panels on the lower cabinets and pair of integrated refrigeration columns. Tuija Seipell.

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