Friday, July 31, 2015

Bermuda Woods Palmer & Krisel Loaded with Original Character Hits the Market – Reseda, CA

Built in 1955 by Dunas, Greene & Swidler, this Bermuda Woods mid-century modern Palmer & Krisel-designed home still retains much of its original charm and character, surviving the decades with minimal changes. Measuring at just 1,296 square feet, this home fits in three bedrooms and two bathrooms and a two car garage, all on a 7,500 square-foot lot with an asking price of $399,000.

This home has got great original curb appeal, with its peach paint job and original woodwork, including original single-panel garage door. The streetside face of the detached garage still features its original board and batten siding, while the door opening side incorporates vertical siding matching the single-panel door. This was a signature of Krisel’s, as he’d often use multiple textures on home facades to break them up and add visual interest; in this case stucco, board and batten, and vertical siding. 

Living Room still modern and relatively unchanged after 60 years

Dining Room just off Living Room

Living Room looking towards hall - check out the signature Krisel soffit

The front door has been replaced with a Victorian-style glass-panel door, but replacing this update to a streamlined, mid-mod door fitting of the home is a simple fix. Walking into the home, the Living Room shows just as crisp and sharp as it did in 1955, with vaulted, open-beamed ceilings, a stacked red-brick modernist fireplace and four panel floor-to-ceiling windows. As intended, these large windows and glass slider allows for daylight to pour into the home, and allows the living areas to blur the line between indoors and out.

The kitchen is almost as it was in 1955, maintaining the straight, squared original cabinetry, with doors on the lowers and sliders on the upppers. The sliding panels on the upper cabinets appear to have been replaced with solid wood panels at some point; originally these sliders most likely would have been peg-board. Another feature Krisel liked to include in kitchens were the washer and dryer, and the hookup and drain pipe in this one can be seen next to the range.  The galley kitchen is brightened up by large clerestories, and a large four-pane window at the breakfast nook a the front of the home adds even more natural light.

Original kitchen - the cabinets are in great shape

Breakfast nook at front of home- the glass panel door is original

The bedrooms are all still in their original form, with the master at the front of the home and the secondary bedrooms fronting the backyard. All bedrooms feature open -beamed ceilings, while the master includes clerestories. The bedroom windows have been replaced with mullioned white vinyl models, which read more traditional than mid-century modern with the mullions creating artificial visual barriers that were never intended as part of the design. Replacement is an easy fix.

The master bath retains its original stall shower enclosure and the original medicine cabinet and mirror is still on the wall, still functioning after 60 years. The backyard is open and grassy, with a variety of small trees, a tiled patio and several planter areas. This home is one we love seeing - lots of original goodies still in place, and an uncompromised floor plan just as relevant today as it was in 1955.

Master Bedroom
Secondary Bedroom
Master Bathroom with original medicine cabinet and stall shower


Check out the Redfin listing here: 19412 Cantara Street

Or Zillow here: 19412 Cantara Street

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Allied Gardens Palmer & Krisel For Sale – Hacienda Heights, CA

After a little digging last week we were able to uncover the Palmer & Krisel-designed neighborhood of Allied Gardens, built in 1955 by builders Bollenbacher & Kelton. This particular midcentury home features four bedrooms and two bathrooms in 1,699 square feet with a two-car garage on a 6,100 square-foot lot with an asking price of $530,000.

The home has been expanded from its original 1,200 square-foot floor plate with additions between the main home and the formerly detached garage and a small extension that extends off of the rear of the home. This home was the victim of a flip in 2012, which saw bathrooms, kitchens and windows updated, including removal of the signature clerestories.

The front of the home reflects still retains its general Krisel exterior, with modifications reflective of the addition that was put on between the garage and home sometime in the 1970s. This addition removed several of the front windows and modified the roofline, but luckily doesn’t significantly alter the overall aesthetic of the property.

Original Allied Gardens Home, © J. Paul Getty Trust. Getty Research Institute, Los Angeles (2004.R.10)

Like most Krisel homes, the kitchen sits at the front of the home while the living and dining rooms site at the back. The kitchen has been opened up to the entry hall and living room, leaving little room for spatial division and in-home privacy. The kitchen features traditional big-box store style cabinetry that is more traditionally-styled than the contemporary architecture of the home, and like most flips, sports granite countertops with stainless steel appliances.

Living Room and addition. Removed clerestories around the fireplace and small windows at the addition create a darker-than-intended living area 
Kitchen - The original clerestories would have been above the cabinetry above the range

As the clerestories have been removed, the kitchen and living rooms show much darker than originally intended, and the rear addition adds square-footage onto both the dining and living rooms yet cuts the quantity of light entering the living areas.

Guest Bathroom
Master Bedroom
Secondary bedroom - we like the bedspread

The Master Bedroom shows fairly cluttered, but like many Krisels this wasn’t a large home, and used tricks like open beamed ceilings, floor-to-ceiling windows and clerestories to open up space. Unfortunately all of these have been removed, so rooms show tighter and smaller than planned by the architects. Both bathrooms have been renovated in a very generic style indicative of materials found at do-it-yourself stores. The secondary bedrooms are positioned at the back of the home, and show as tight as the master bedroom.


The backyard is fairly simple, consisting of two large concrete pads and a small grass/landscape area, and loses some square-footage due to the addition off of the living room.  Overall this home could be a really worth renovation, with lots of room to restore defining elements which have been watered down over the years.

Check our Redfin for more photos here: 1645 Matchleaf Avenue

Or here: 1645 Matchleaf Avenue

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Expanded Storybook Village Palmer & Krisel For Sale – North Hills, CA

Here’s a move-in ready 1956 Palmer & Krisel-designed mid-century home in North Hill’s Storybook Village. Having one owner over the past 50 years, this modernist home has been well-maintained. The home has been updated and expanded along the way to include features that suited the owner’s needs but don’t necessarily reflect the architectural style of the property. Encompassing 1,983 square feet, this home includes four bedrooms, two-and-a-half bathrooms and a two-car garage on a 7,700 square-foot lot with an asking price of $595,000. 

The front exterior of the home retains its original Krisel lines, including vertical banding on the face of the garage and is replete with a mid-century light-pink and white exterior paint scheme. The front yard landscape is quintessential mid-century, with a large street tree shading the grassy front lawn, a sweeping front driveway and well-tended flower beds placed against the façade of the home.

Inside, the home has been expanded in two places from its original floor plan. The garage, once detached from the main structure has now been attached with a central service porch /laundry room off of the kitchen. On the back of the home an extremely large addition has been tacked on, expanding the living area significantly and placing a small studio with its own bathroom and kitchen accessed through the backyard.

Original Living Room on left, addition on right
Original Living Room with signature Krisel full-wall fireplace

The form of the original living and dining rooms are still intact, with fireplace, vaulted ceilings and east-facing clerestory windows all washed on in a monochromatic lavender color. As a large addition has been placed on the rear of the home, the original south-facing walls of glass have been removed creating a large boxy opening into the addition. The addition does not incorporate nearly the same quantity of glass that originally would have been on the original 1,344 square-foot floor plate of the home, and creates a darkened interior living space.

Kitchen - window on left overlooks service porch

Wood paneled service porch - very mid-century

The kitchen has been updated with traditional raised-panel maple cabinetry and white tile counters, and sits tucked behind the entry. Those with a keen eye will spot three kitchen windows on the outside of the house and four on the inside – the fourth window looks into the expanded service porch/laundry room at the front of the house.  The service porch is vintage-y with its wood paneling, and adds a mid-century west-coast bit of charm to the home, while serving as a place to house the washer, dryer and spare fridge.

Master Bedrrom
Master bathroom - Why on earth was the mirror placed where it was?

Guest Bath
Secondary Bedroom

The master is split from the secondary bedrooms, at the northeast corner of the home and still sports its original clerestories which flood the retro-mint green-painted room with light. Both the master and guest baths have been redone in a fairly average manner, clean and functional; however, most curious is the mirror placement in the master bathroom, sited above the toilet rather than in front of the sink. The other two bedrooms are located at the west end of the home and still feature their original clerestories.

The studio on the back of the home creates a basic mother-in-law suite, which provides convenient living options for multi-generational families despite a small, boxy floor plan. The addition eats up most of the backyard, but still leaves room to incorporate raised garden planters, a small covered patio and a small grassy area. This is a well-maintained Palmer & Krisel home that is definitely move-in ready, with enough flexible space to accommodate a variety of new owners.

Studio addition on back of home
Backyard and covered patio

Check out the Redfin listing here: 16340 Gledhill Street

Or Zillow here: 16340 Gledhill Street

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

1955 East Whittier Palmer & Krisel For Sale – Whittier, CA

So far we’ve found a total of three Palmer & Krisel-designed neighborhoods from the mid 1950’s in Whittier, California, and out of those three we’ve only found out the name of one of them, Bartley Grove Estates, in West Whittier. This neighborhood we originally thought to be Allied Gardens, but turns out that’s a bit more north in Hacienda Heights. Until we can track a name down, we’ll call this neighborhood ‘East Whittier’, with todays featured home measuring in at an original 1,334 square feet, including three bedrooms, two bathrooms and a two-car garage on a nearly 6,300 square-foot lot.

There’s been some modifications that a previous owner performed as part of a ‘flip’ back in 2012, which unfortunately removed many of the original Krisel hallmarks. The front of the home incorporates a mix of stucco and board and batten siding. Unfortunately, when the windows were replaced custom aluminum replacements weren’t selected, and a chunky white vinyl window that was significantly taller than its original predecessor was placed next to the front door, interrupting the ¾ height board and batten accent siding, a feature that originally ran straight across, creating a visual draw to the window that was never meant to be. 

Entry Hall
Living Room
Living and Dining Room

Upon entering the home, visitors walk through the long entry hall and into the living and dining room which overlooks the back yard. The open, beamed celotex ceiling has been drywalled over, and can lights have been added throughout the home. The floor to ceiling windows which once graced the rear wall have been replaced with ¾ height windows which add somewhat unusable wall space and limit light flow into the home. The fireplace has been ‘normalized’, with a traditional mantle and surround, replacing what was once a mid-century hearth-to-ceiling stacked flagstone mantle-less centerpiece. Oftentimes, when people (former flippers in this case) don’t understand a style, they do their best to ‘normalize’ things in their mind, often at the cost of significant architectural details.

Dining and Kitchen. Clerestories would have been above the cabinets, extending the full length of the wall.

Long galley kitchen

The long galley kitchen sits just off the dining room at the east end of the home. The cabinetry and counters aren’t architecturally the style of the home, the product of the 2012 flip, along with the big-box store style backsplash. One of the big losses that happened during the 2012 renovations were the loss of the clerestory windows, which significantly cuts down on the natural light which flows into the room, along with the replacement of the floor to ceiling dining room window with a half-height unit, chopping up the space and limiting what makes midcentury modern so great – a blending of the indoors with the out.

Another interesting architectural detail which has been removed was the large soffit which spanned between the kitchen and living room, which housed uplighting and created spatial distinction. All these features are restorable; however it is somewhat senseless as to why they are removed.

Master Bedroom
Secondary Bedroom

Guest Bath

The master bedroom is currently set up as a children’s play room, and has been reconfigured from it’s original design, but still retains a sliding glass door to the back yard. The other two bedrooms are pretty minimal in size, and their large, linear windows have been replaced with chunky vinyl double hungs, which read older than the style they replaced. The bathrooms have both been redone in a style that matches the renovations to the home, but not the architecture.

Backyard. Replacement double-hung windows give the property a much older appearance than original floor-to-ceiling aluminium windows. 

The backyard has a large covered patio space and open, green lawn, with two small trees at either end of the yard. While the modifications made by a previous owner to this home didn’t take into account the architectural style of the property, the good news is that it’s all reversible. It’s just a matter of finding a new owner who understands modernism and is willing to put in the effort. The home is clean, and offers a good opportunity for a new owner to move right in to a 60-year old property without having to immediately replace everything, which these days is getting harder and harder to find.

Check out Redfin for more photos here: 16108 Santa Fe Street

Or Zillow here: 16108 Santa Fe Street

Monday, July 27, 2015

Million Dollar Monday: Renovated & Restored Pacifica Palmer & Krisel For Sale, San Diego, CA

In contrast to yesterday’s posting which featured a great diamond in the rough in Pacifica, today’s featured Palmer & Krisel is the same basic 1,792 square-foot floorplan as yesterday’s posting, only completely renovated, with a pool, three bedrooms, two bathrooms on a 8,400 square-foot cul-de-sac lot with an asking price of $1,079,000.

This 1961 home was fully renovated in 2012 and features water-wise drought-tolerant front yard landscaping. The front of the home retains its classic Krisel lines, with clerestories, decorative block and double door entry all still intact. A smart, three-tone paint scheme greets visitors to this home and subtly shows off the lines of the property. Walking into the home through the river-rock-lined entry courtyard, guests enter the great room anchored by a signature Krisel modernist corner fireplace and complimented by large floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the backyard.

Living as viewed from entry

Great room - demising wall removal allows more light to enter the space but compromises privacy

Entry as viewed from living area

The kitchen has been opened up to the living room, which allows for more light to flow into the otherwise long, deep living room but removes privacy and spatial separation in the home. Soaring, open-beamed ceilings keep the great room feeling large and open, and the natural finish lends warmth to the home.

The kitchen features architecturally appropriate flat-faced cabinets with pulls that resemble those that would have been found on original Pacifica models. Stainless steel appliances, composite counters and frosted glass uppers are complimented by green mosaic-tiled walls. Just beyond the kitchen is the original dining room, which is currently set up as a media/family room, surrounded by clerestories and floor-to-ceiling windows.


Original Dining area utilized as media/family room

The master bedroom is adjacent to the backyard swimming pool, and features a large sliding glass door the grassy back yard. Clerestories and sliver windows on either side of the bed add light to the room and help to blend the indoors with out. The master bath features a large, step-in shower along with clerestory windows and a vanity that compliments the kitchen cabinets.

The secondary bedrooms are all in-line with the master bedroom on the northeast side of the home, and like the master, offer large windows and clerestories maximizing natural light flow into the home. The secondary bath retains the original floating vanity, Formica counter top and undermount sink, along with original pulls.  It’s always a positive to see original features like this incorporated into a renovation. All three bedrooms are carpeted, while the main living areas and guest bath are finished in concrete.

Master Bedroom allows lots of natural light inside

Master Bedroom, bath & closets

Master bathroom
Secondary bedroom at front of home
Secondary bedroom overlooking pool area

Guest bathroom with original floating vanity
The large cul-de-sac lot offers both a large grassy area and a private in-ground pool, along with a covered northeast facing patio. Low and raised privacy fences in the right areas maximize views along with limited vertical landscape materials. This is a sharp home with a very tasteful and architecturally-appropriate renovation in a fantastic San Diego neighborhood, surrounded by other great mid-century modern Palmer & Krisel homes. With all these features and a pool with a reasonable price tag, this one definitely will not last long.

Backyard, covered patio & back of home


Check out Redfin for more photos here: 2539 Aster Street

Or Zillow here: 2539 Aster Street