Thursday, August 6, 2015

Whittier Tuscan-Themed Flipped Palmer & Krisel For Sale – Whitter, CA

Oftentimes when modernism isn’t understood, the owner tries to make sense of the structure by incorporating familiar elements the usually are in line with their own sensibilities, but out of line with the architecture of the property. This Palmer & Krisel-designed home in Whittier recently fell victim to flippers who turned this modernist property into what appears to be a cross between Tuscan and Traditional. Selling back in May as a fixer for $325,000, this four bedroom, two bathroom 1,333 square foot home now has a price tag of $519,000. This includes a detached two car garage and an in-ground pool on a 5,900 square foot lot.

Original facade of home from 1955-May 2015.

The front of the home has been recently modified to include new stucco, white vinyl windows and stacked stone accents. Originally (and up until May) the façade of the home had the original ¾-height board and batten siding extending to the base of the long, linear bedroom windows. Now the lines of the home have been confused, as the stacked stone extends halfway up the base of the home and creates an unintended void of space between the window base and stone veneer,  with the new white vinyl windows popping out from the façade, hovering over the stone and drawing attention to themselves where the original windows were designed to recede.

Driveway and garage - lots of orangy-brown here

The detached two-car garage is located at the rear of the property, and accessed via a darkly-stained faux stone driveway which passes through an overly ornate Tuscan-inspired gate. Entering the home through the Tuscan-inspired front door, one walks into the main living, dining and kitchen area. The demising wall between the kitchen and dining room has been removed, which opens the space yet removes privacy. It also creates a partially drywalled ceiling and partially open, beamed celotex ceiling in the great room.

Living and Dining Room - Fireplace, ceilings and clerestories luckily are still intact

Dining and Kitchen - removal of demising wall created two ceiling types

Luckily the clerestories and original sandstone fireplace and surround are still in place in the living-dining-kitchen. The original sliding glass doors have been replaced with French doors, which still let in quite a bit of light into the living area even though the mullioned panes of the doors add separation to the outdoors that the sliders did not. The kitchen has received a typical flipper makeover, with granite counters and stainless steel appliances, while the cabinets are heavy, traditional and overly ornate in appearance.

Kitchen - lights and wall cabinet placement are questionable

There’s a couple of things that instantly throw us off with the kitchen: The cabinet placement is somewhat off, with a pair of upper cabinet boxes bookended on both walls of the kitchen giving an almost random, lonely appearance. They add valuable storage but read more as an afterthought rather than a thoughtful addition, a drawback to the overly zealous wall-removal craze. The other thing we got a chuckle out of is the ornate Victorian-style flush-mounted lights on the vaulted kitchen ceiling. They seem almost frozen in stature, permanently suspended in mid-swing, never able to lie level.
The bathrooms have been remodeled in a similar mix of styles, with the hall bath incorporating granite counters, floor tile on the tub surround, and Moroccan-styled mosaic mirrors. The master bath incorporates the same details, and adds in a pair of glass vessel sinks.

Master bathroom wit a mix of styles, including vessel sinks

Master Bedroom

Secondary bedroom

The bedrooms still have their vaulted, beamed celotex ceilings, with the master offering French doors out to the pool area. Out back, the large, rectangular pool has been rehabbed, but just about everything in the backyard now is some shade of orange-y brown, from the house to the concrete to the fence and to the gate. Oddly, the exterior chimney is two-tone, with the upper half painted black – we’ve never seen this look before and it’s definitely one of the more curious decisions. At least most of it is only paint, and can easily be changed to a less heavy color.

Backyard - What's going on with that chimney?
Backyard with a whole lotta orange-y brown going on

On a positive, the home is move-in ready, with a pool and upgraded electrical. It’s just been altered with several different styles, some which compete with each other, many of which add a sense of heaviness to the home, and none of which are the actual architectural style of the home. There’s always hope for a restoration.

Check out Redfin for the full listing here: 16124 Hornell Street

Or Zillow here: 16124 Hornell Street

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