They loved Silver Lake’s laid-back, family-friendly vibe, so they made an offer on a 1920s hillside property with attractive Tudor lines and a leafy backyard whose views stretched all the way to the Hollywood sign. But there was a catch: It needed a complete overhaul. Realizing they were in over their heads, they called their good friend Meghan Eisenberg, an interior designer who’d worked at Joan Behnke & Associates and had just opened her own studio. Eisenberg helped them find an architect, Jeff Troyer, who proceeded to gut the property. Now, those delightful Hollywood sign views can be enjoyed from the pool deck, adjacent grassy lawn, and the upstairs balconies, too. —Paolo Singer
Seamless Hilltop Indoor-Outdoor Living
Barbara Bestor knows her way around a historic California property. Over the years, the principal and founder of Los Angeles–based AD100 firm Bestor Architecture has been the mastermind responsible for restorations and sensitive additions to 20th-century gems such as John Lautner’s 1956 Silvertop—a feat of engineering in Silver Lake known for its UFO-like concrete roof—and Rudolph Schindler’s 1946 Roth Residence, where she renovated the carport. So perhaps it wasn’t such a surprise when Bill Macomber and Annie Weisman Macomber—he’s a producer at Fancy Film; she’s a writer and producer of shows like Desperate Housewives and Physical—called to say they had purchased and renovated Raphael Soriano’s 1936 Lipetz House, but they needed more space.
As California architects have long understood, the best room in a house can be outside. And that emphasis on indoor-outdoor living was instrumental to this home, where decks are installed on the front and back, the living room is doubled in the pool area, and glass walls can open up to allow easy movement between in and out. “The house feels porous in the best way,” Weisman Macomber says. “There’s little separation between inside and out.” —Hannah Martin
A Dining Cabana in Santa Monica
Not even a modern California retreat can conceal the Midwestern roots of Kathy Taslitz, an interior designer and artist. When describing her and husband Matt Grode’s dream home—that is, one that could be comfortably shared with family and friends, the Chicago-raised decorator relies on one of the heartland’s greatest cinematic scenes, quoting Kevin Costner’s character in Field of Dreams: “This was one of those, ‘If you build it, they will come’ moments.”
While the palette was kept intentionally neutral indoors, a rainbow of colors awaits beyond the expansive retractable doors—a signature Backen element employed in the living room and the upstairs sitting room to foster indoor-outdoor living. “Having lived in Chicago most of my life, there’s nothing that makes me happier than being able to open those doors and bring the outside in,” Taslitz adds. —Mel Studach