May 3, 2012

Inside the House: Robert Rodriguez's Before and After

A Fashion Designer's Beverly Hills Transformation

Real Estate
The Original Hillcrest House The New Landscape The Old Facade The New Facade The Original Living Room Today's Living Room The Old Staircase The 2012 Staircase The Office/Library of Old Today's Workplace Then the Trend was Tile ... ... Now It's Marble Today's Indoor-Outdoor Living Living Outdoors Bright Dining The Original Hillcrest House

We all know Beverly Hills is known for its “before-and-afters” – some good, some bad.

But I’m not referring to that kind of before-and-after. This is Bungalux, so I’m talking houses.

Fashion designer Robert Rodriguez’s 7,000 square foot three bedroom house in the Beverly Hills “Flats” came on the market this week for just under $10 million and I took particular note. Why? One of my clients had written an offer on the house when it was on the market in 2009 and I had been obsessed with it at the time, thinking it was a juicy renovation project on one of Beverly Hills’ prime streets.

The original 1920s Spanish was designed by noted Los Angeles architect William Gage. Though Gage wasn’t as famous as his counterparts like Wallace Neff and Paul Williams, he was selected to design perhaps the most famous monument in Beverly Hills: Beverly Hills City Hall. For those who haven’t seen it it’s definitely worth a look (or a Google if you’re not in Los Angeles).

My client ended up deciding not to purchase the house, but it did go under someone else’s knife. I thought I’d feature this property as today’s Inside the House because I suspect our readers are going to be divided on the renovation. Truthfully, I am.

While I like the open, airy feel of the “new” house, there is a part of me that feels like the iconic Spanish was totally lost in the remodel. But then again, maybe the renovation reflects how we live now. Inevitably my clients in all price ranges want open floor plans with large rooms. They like kitchens that spill into living areas so they can watch TV and talk to their families while they cook. They want indoor/outdoor living, not only in Los Angeles but elsewhere in country. I think this is the result of the fact that we’re so conscious of being out of the sun for health and aging reasons now so we’re looking for “safe sun” indoors. To that effect, old Spanishes, while one of my favorite architectural styles in Los Angeles, often feel dark. After all, we have air conditioning now, so we don’t need to stay cool in dark adobe.

And so that’s why I’m torn. But I also think this one of my favorite Inside the House features because this house is a great example of how architectural trends change to suit the people who live in architecture. The Hillcrest house featured above lost a lot of its original 1920s bygone-era charm, but perhaps it was perfectly done for the way we live now.

I’d love your comments on this spectacular piece of property – old and new – and, as always, click over to the listing below for more photos. In this case we feature around forty pictures of this special home.

And See More Photos Here ...


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