Renovation of Pacific Palisades Residence – Los Angeles

The designers at Venice, California-based Electric Bowery

have toned-down the opulent and slightly heavy Tuscan influences of a large colonial-style villa and turned the house into an airy, modern home.

The designers did not try to ignore the true bones of the structure, however. Instead, they kept what felt natural for the new owners while adding a strong, calming layer of features and furnishings.

We especially love the white plaster walls and high ceilings, and the white plaster fireplace and staircase. We also love the huge bathroom with its extravagant tiling and arched glass doors, and the impressively tiled kitchen that carries a strong Tuscan vibe.

The home is located in the elegant Pacific Palisades neighbourhood of Los Angeles. As the neighbourhood is nestled between the Santa Monica Mountains and the Pacific Ocean, it became clear to architects Lucia Bartholomew and Cayley Lambur, founders of Electric Bowery, that they needed to bring the gorgeous views and lush nature inside.

By using large windows and focusing on an overall lightening of the existing features the designers have created not just a much more modern home but also an eclectic backdrop to express the owners’ love of contemporary art and music.

We do love the dramatic kitchen and bathroom tiling, but we are glad the designers did not go too far with tiling in general, although it is an important characteristic of this villa. Tiles can easily overwhelm and distract from other elements of the interior. But in this house, the designers have stayed on the elegant side of the tiling debate.

Arches can also become a tiresome feature in a home, but it this residence the designers have found a way to let some of them stand, even embellishing some, yet finding a balance in which the arch doesn’t turn into a cliché.

While new may not be easy – having too much freedom can stunt creativity and turn the best intentions into ridiculous copies of the latest style – we feel that creating something new while respecting the existing is where true design and architecture stars can shine.

We have always loved renovations, restorations and re-imaginings because they require a sensitive and knowledgeable approach. We also appreciate a bit of history, a bit of story, a bit of a past in any building, but especially in a home. In this Pacific Palisades home, Electric Brewery is ticking off all of the meaningful points.

Electric Bowery is a collaborative group of architects, designers and developers, established in 2013 by architects Lucia Bartholomew and Cayley Lambur. The pair met in Los Angeles where they worked at Gehry Partners. Tuija Seipell

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