Friday, February 19, 2016

Mediterranean Meets Midcentury Modern – Torrance, CA

There are a grand total of 14 Palmer & Krisel-designed homes in Torrance, CA, and rarely do those 14 homes come on the market. An average of one per year comes on the market, and this featured home has had a heavy Mediterranean-style interior renovation imposed upon it. Built in 1955 by builder Hoard Miller, the home features three bedrooms and two bathrooms in 2,001 expanded square feet, a detached two-car garage and an above-ground spa all on a 8,800 square-foot lot and carries an asking price of $775,000.

Front of home
Front door reads more pirate ship than midcentury modern

The elevation of this home maintains its midcentury modern aesthetics, with a board and batten finish on the face of the detached two-car garage, deep roof overhangs and a strong sloping roofline over the garage contrasting nicely with that of the main home. The front yard is devoid of trees, and is ready for a water-conserving makeover.

Kitchen - original clerestory windows would have been above cabinets

Kitchen overlooks entry, wall removal eliminates privacy
Inside the home, most of the interior walls in the living, kitchen and dining rooms have been removed. The clerestory windows above the north kitchen wall have been removed, and one of the floor-to-ceiling windows on the north-facing wall has been cut in half. This is rather strange, considering that the demising walls were removed to open up the room, yet removed and reduced windows reduce the openness of the space, not to mention cut down on the amount of natural light entering the home. The dark floors also contradict the wall removal, as the dark color makes the now- great room appear smaller and darker.


Living room addition at back of home

Living room addition looking into original portion of home

Living room addition

The original living room would have sat where the current dining area is, and the signature Krisel-modernist fireplace that once anchored the living room has recently been removed. The kitchen features ornate raised-panel cabinetry, granite counters, thick crown molding above the cabinetry and stainless steel appliances make up the kitchen, which is topped off with pendant lights. The living room addition sits off the great room, and contains a large stone fireplace and sliding glass doors overlooking the backyard.

Master bedroom 

Master bedroom and walk-in-closet beyond

Secondary bedroom at front of home

Secondary bedroom at rear of home
Guest bath

The master bedroom features a rear-yard addition and has annexed a front-facing fourth bedroom to create a large walk-in closet. The addition has been done in a manner which compliments the home, and utilizes the same open-beamed celotex ceiling. A secondary rear-facing bedroom also benefits from the rear-yard addition, and picks up valuable square footage, while the third bedroom lies at the front of the home in its original size and configuration.

Outdoor kitchen 

Outdoor kitchen and patio
The backyard is open and grassy, contains a few trees at the perimeter of the yard and contains a shaded patio area off of the rear bedrooms. An outdoor kitchen with barbeque, sink and fridge sits under the shaded patio, and an above-ground space sits under a trellis toward the rear of the yard.

Homes for sale in Torrance don’t seem to last long, and this one, despite its three-quarter of a million dollar price tag and non-contextual renovation is predicted to be a hot seller by Redfin. There’s great potential to restore this home, and hopefully some of those missing clerestories will get put back.

Check out the full listing on here: 18802 Fonthill Avenue

Or here: 18802 Fonthill Avenue

1 comment:

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