The Architect's Blog

Long Beach Remodel Highlights Architectural Process



Some of my staff informed me recently that our website needs to showcase more photos of completed projects, since the ones that are currently on the site represent only a very small percentage of the work we’ve done. In an effort to do so, we did a photo shoot at one of our completed residential architecture projects. While we were there, it dawned on me that the home we were photographing would make a great case study to explain how we approach many of our residential remodel projects.

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The clients for this particular project were a young, budget-conscious couple with one child. They had recently purchased their grandmother’s home. Like many of our residential projects, this home had a history. The main part of the home was a post-WWII structure that had been built reasonably well according to the standards of that day and age. There was a later addition to the home that was not built as well. The combination of outdated and poor construction, along with multiple window and door styles, mismatched materials, small and cramped spaces, poor lighting, a difficult-to-access outdoor space, and an odd flow, all conspired to make the home feel a bit like a mobile home.

Right from the beginning, we knew that budget considerations meant we would need to use as much of the existing house as possible, but architectural considerations dictated that we would have to take down some walls to make the Long Beach home feel more open. Let me just interject here: I’m not an advocate of making the entire living area into one large open space, as has been the fashion since the 1980s. In my opinion as an architect, you do this at the expense of small intimate spaces that are more human in scale. In this particular remodel, we were able to create a balance between an open floor plan and human scale spaces that worked well. The end result was a home that is comfortable and flows well, but also references the compartmentalized past of the home.

Having grown up in Southern California, I have a fondness for the outdoors. In all of our Long Beach residential architecture projects, we look for ways to strengthen the connection between the interior and exterior of the home. In the case of this home, we replaced a nearly inaccessible stucco courtyard with an intimate family room that connects to a covered patio.

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To tie the detailing of the new and original areas of the home together, we replaced all of the mismatched doors and windows, opting for the more crafted charm of the original 1940s home. Heather, our interiors person, carried this crafted look throughout the home when selecting finishes and cabinet styles. We were also able to improve the home’s lighting by introducing more natural and LED lighting.

We are so pleased with how this Long Beach residential remodel turned out, and even more so because we have happy clients who are now enjoying their “new” home. If you are in need of the services of an architect in the Long Beach area, contact us at M. Grisafe Architect. We look forward to the opportunity to discuss your project with you and how we can design a space that suits your family’s lifestyle.

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