Back in 2016, when Los Angeles architect Stuart Magruder bought a new family home for himself and his wife — plus their two energetic kids and a duo of dogs — this bungalow in the up-and-coming Hyde Park area probably seemed like a bizarre choice. The tiny, 1940s-era structure was single story, with just two bedrooms and one bathroom, and had fallen victim to a less-than-stellar ’70s remodel.
Today, courtesy of a renovation and expansion by the founder and principal of Studio Nova A Architects, the residence maintains a semblance of historic integrity, while simultaneously showcasing a wealth of modern tweaks. Most obvious is an asymmetrical second-story addition that tops half the existing first floor. Up there are three all-new bedrooms and two baths, for a combined home total of four bedrooms and three baths (one of the downstairs bedrooms was converted into a den). On the lower level, the fully updated kitchen opens seamlessly to the den, and a fruit tree-filled backyard offers city lights views.
To make the home more sustainable, Magruder insulated every wall, floor and the the roof. Per the listing, he also prepped the place for solar power — there’s reportedly room for up to 32 panels — and an electric car charger. As for the home’s exterior, its cement plaster walls, cedar plank rain screen, and metal windows and roof are mostly maintenance-free, much like the Xeriscape front yard.
Perched high atop a hill and hidden by mature trees, the private and eco-friendly oasis is accessed via a steep driveway flanked by an equally steep set of steps. In the first-level foyer, the feel of the original ’41 bungalow is immediately apparent; cozy living and dining spaces are highlighted by a wood-burning fireplace boasting the original mantle and a red brick surround, an original bedroom — which could also serve as an office, with its shelving unit — a full bath dressed in colorful tile, hardwood flooring, arched doorways and a classic bay window.
This level also features a den connected to a sleek gourmet kitchen outfitted with dual sinks, a magnetic induction cooktop, convection oven and spacious eat-in peninsula; both spaces open to the grassy backyard, which hosts mature orange, Meyer lemon, Hass avocado and edible fig trees; rose and camellia gardens; and a custom two-level play structure.
An attractive floating, wooden staircase leads to the light-filled second-floor addition, which sports a landing filled with built-in bookshelves, and a primary suite with a view deck, walk-in closet and an en-suite bath. Two more bedrooms and an additional bathroom also are found on the level.