Interior designers Karen and Guy Vidal moved quickly when they found a corner home north of Los Angeles overlooking the glimmering Silver Lake reservoir, the views of that are coveted (much less as ocean views, but houses by the reservoir are much less expensive). So even though the open home that they fell in on one Sunday was for a “stucco box using zero charm, small windows and thick carpets,” Guy says, they decided to take a leap of faith just to be close that water.
“It was ugly,” he explains. “We went, and no one was there. Nobody wanted to buy it. There just the broker sat there. The price had fallen from $599,000 to $549,000. We saw a chance to get a home on the lake, and also we didn’t wish to miss it. We made an offer that day.”
The updating process didn’t move so fast. The couple spent annually simply figuring out the layout whilst tinkering with architect Ana Henton, then almost six more years working out the kinks, such as how to bring light into the darkened interiors. Enormous windows weren’t enough, so that they needed to shake out five skylights to decorate a second-floor addition.
in a Glance
Who resides here: The Vidal family
Location: Silver Lake area of Los Angeles
Size: 3,286 square feet; 4 bedrooms, 4 bathrooms
The budget skyrocketed and, ironically, although water had influenced the few to buy the house in the first place, a different kind of water almost ruined it. 1 rainy winter Guy needed to wake up at two a.m. and 4 a.m. to drive over to the home and check the tarps were secure so rain wouldn’t leak onto the original red bamboo flooring. Then the hole-in-the-ground swimming pool threatened to overflow and flood the home, so he needed to siphon off the water using a garden hose into the road.
The labor of love paid off, and the few can finally appreciate their hard work — and water-facing view.
Actual African redwood veneer covers numerous phenolic resin panels on the exterior, creating a exceptional wood grain design that’s virtually maintenance free — no painting or oiling needed. “We’re designers, therefore we like to use new material and experiment with things,” Guy says.
The home turned into a stucco box “without a personality or personality,” Guy says. “The small windows created the interior really dark.” The couple added large windows and multiple skylights to decorate the space.
The Vidals completely altered the floor plan from basically a one-story home into a split level using four floors. The living area is located on the bottom degree; a dining area, library and kitchen are on the second degree; the next degree is a big main bedroom; along with the fourth degree contains the kids’ rooms.
The insides are “modern and comfy, not cold,” Guy says, achieved using midcentury modern furnishings and bright, colorful fabrics and art, the majority of which comes out of local artists.
A vintage screen helps split the main living space from a pub area.
Painting: Alexandra Wiesenfeld; sofa: custom designed by Design Vidal
“We like white walls and lots of colors,” Guy says. Karen’s favorite colors are pink and orange, so these come up a lot. The couple purchased the drapes on a visit to India.
Bar: InHouse; sculpture with birds: Neal Taylor
Guests enter the house in the living room degree. A staircase leads up into the dining area and kitchen space.
The entryway cabinets, such as the majority of the storage components in the house, are powder-coated steel. “Many folks wouldn’t understand till they touch it,” Guy says. “As a designer, Karen is out there, and also this home embodies all the things folks wouldn’t dare to do.”
Painting: Alexandra Wiesenfeld
The library is off the dining area and was originally one of 2 bedrooms in the home.
The kitchen was previously a small galley that combined a bathroom and laundry area. The Vidals opened the distance into a large kitchen space.
Karen always desired a semicircular booth such as the one her grandmother had. This one is custom made with an orange and pink fabric-covered back along with a seat made from car upholstery in a custom colour. “It is a throwback to the diner era,” Guy says. “We do not have a formal dining area. We have this.”
All of the light fixtures in the house were created by glass artisan Lianne Gold. The red oak floors are original to the home, that was constructed in 1937.
The kitchen island features pink powder-coated-steel closets. “We wanted something that’s classic,” Guy says. “These never have to be painted. They are very heavy duty.”
The counter is exactly the exact same material found in science laboratories. “It is kind of cool,” Guy says. “They are heat resistant, stain resistant and very durable.”
Hitter: American Clock Company
The Vidals collect vintage glass vases from the 1930s through the 1960s and exhibit them all around the home.
Aside from a new coat of paint, the guest bathroom keeps most of its original 1937 layout, including the ribbon of metal that wraps round the wall just above the cabinets.
Custom made stencil designs in the couple’s kid’s space produce a “Moroccan moderne look,” Guy says.
The desk is a custom made powder-coated-steel design.
Artist Patricia Callicott created the glass mosaic in the daughter’s bathroom. The cupboards can also be powder-coated steel. “We like to have things that are modern but do not look dated very fast,” Guy says. “We didn’t want folks to say ‘Oh, that’s so 2005’ or ‘2010.’ We created the metallic cabinets. There’s not a single scratch on them and they’ll last forever.”
Lianne Gold created the bedside lights from vintage Italian glass from the 1940s.
Bed: habit; painting: Michael Illes; bedspread: Isaac Mizrahi for Target
Guy keeps his garments in a custom created powder-coated-steel unit along the wall. A bubble chair hangs in a landing area that contributes to Karen’s walk-in closet. “We watched the chair and thought it was cool; we pictured ourselves sitting in the chair and reading and looking at views of water,” Guy says. “We do not use it as far as we thought we’d”
The Vidals often eat dinner outside at a vintage marble table that’s “very, very heavy,” Guy says. The seat chair was hand made from tree branches by a local carpenter.
Gold also made this playground-style rocking squirrel, which can be bolted into a small foundation in the floor.
After attempting several times to have real sod and squandering a lot of money, grass, landscaping materials and water, the Vidals installed synthetic turf. “It looks real [and] feels good to lay on,” Guy says. “You can wash it by spraying it down. It drains really well. We’re quite happy with it.”
The hanging chairs were hand made from woven rope in India.
A front deck overlooks the Silver Lake reservoir, the entire body of water that convinced the Vidals to buy this home.
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