The Westgate Residence project is a complete, whole house renovation of a 1948 home located in the Brentwood area of Los Angeles, CA. The objective was to architecturally update the building through the use of new materials, spatial definition and openings–without increasing the overall square footage or building envelope. Making the most of the existing house, we created new openings for windows, doors, and skylights and removed unnecessary partitions, which allowed for the main area to feel as one large space yet contained within it, smaller and more intimate zones.  Details are so important in a smaller home as you notice all the little touches.

“To them {the city} if it’s not permitted, it doesn’t exist. Fortunately and unfortunately, you inherit whatever is there already. You don’t always know the ramifications of that until the project starts.”

-Kurt Krueger

Urban Oasis with Privacy Inside and Out

The design Krueger Architects created inspires togetherness with a direct connection to the outside in this whole house renovation.  The couple loves entertaining and wanted an open space with flow.  Starting at the front, to extended the living space outside, the front yard was enclosed to create a courtyard. Security was an important factor to consider, so Douglas fir wood slats were used for fencing around the new courtyard. It was built at such a height so that those on the sidewalk level cannot see in, but those at the higher courtyard level can see out.  Douglas fir was also used to replace the stucco siding of the exterior of the home and clad the garage door.  The fencing and the siding were all stained a warm natural tone to create a cohesive loo.  

The couples loves living near Brentwood’s commercial area, and being close to their favorite shops and restaurants in this bustling area of Los Angeles; however, they wanted to minimize the noise.  In the front courtyard, we added a water feature to create white noise for calm and relaxation.  The gentle cracker from the fire pit, when it is in use, has a similar effect.  The team at Krueger Architects looked for other opportunities to diminish the ambient noise of the urban setting. Along with insulating the walls and windows, tall bamboo and wandering vines, along with thick hedges ring the edge of the property creating a sound buffer. 

When you open the front door, the dark tones of the wide plank wood flooring and the custom cabinetry create a moody and sophisticated feel to the space.  The style of the cabinetry is replicated throughout all the spaces of the home including the entry, kitchen, bathrooms, bedrooms, and office.  When a home has a smaller footprint, creative storage solutions must be incorporated into the design, but are also an opportunity to bring stylish elements in that elevate the overall composition.  White, flat panels doors are used on the cabinetry in asymmetrical placements to punctuate the darker wood tones and bring visual interest. 

A white panel artfully conceals the television in the living room by sliding to the side on a hidden track to be viewed.  To separate the living room from the dining room and kitchen, the custom-built has see-through display shelves, which help to create zones without being closed off. By being open,  light is also allowed to bounce around the space.  Skylights and more windows were incorporated into the existing bones of the building to further lighten the rooms. A custom, 90 degree, frameless, large format window was installed at the corner of the kitchen.  A system of sliding glass doors that extend nearly the entire side of the exterior dining room wall can be open to create a direct connection for indoor-outdoor living and have the added benefit of drawing in the breeze.

A gourmet kitchen incorporates professional-grade appliances and has a special tile backsplash.  Inspired by an Italian tile, our design-build team, custom fabricated a natural stone using the waterjet technique.  This created a stunning focal point in the large kitchen, and we were able to use this same technique in the bathrooms, and on the fireplace surround.  Small details are what matter in any home, and in this home, they reinforce the modern, yet warm and functional California aesthetic. 

Working with the City of Los Angeles on a Renovation with an Un-permitted Extension

The previous owners had built an extension on the home. It did not show in the city’s plot plan and there were no permits on file. The city wanted the extension, about 20 percent of the house, torn down. Krueger Architects met with the city to share the overall vision and plans for the home.  It was clear the design was conscientious of not disturbing the look and feel of the neighborhood.  Although the home’s footprint could have been expanded on the small, 50’ x 100’ site, we were advocating for keeping the existing smaller footprint and were not proposing other extensions.  Neither were we going to increase the ceiling heights when the roof was renovated from the termites. Krueger Architects was able to envision a design and construction possibilities within these parameters and make it beautiful and functional for the owners. Taking all that into consideration, the city accepted Krueger Architect’s proposal and the home owners were allowed to keep the extension. 


Before and After

From the Blog

More News on the Blog About this Project
California Architect, Kurt Krueger featured on Houzz

“We hired Krueger Architects to remodel our home and were thrilled with the result. Our home was transformed from an unremarkable midcentury house into a beautiful modern home. We constantly get compliments on our house and are happy to have contributed something positive to the neighborhood. Kurt Krueger is very meticulous and works hard to make sure that every detail of the design works both inside and out. There is literally no corner of the home that hasn’t been thought through! I particularly enjoyed working directly with him to select the furniture and furnishings for our home. Kurt was there during every stage of the design and construction process and was constantly seeking ways to improve the job. I would recommend Kurt for anyone who is interested in great design and an enjoyable experience from an architect who will give your home the same level of care and attention as if it were his own.”


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