By Nora Burba Trulsson | Houzz
Even though the rotting, crumbling 1912 cottage on this Hollywood Hills property was beyond saving, Colin Rhys saw a golden opportunity for the site. As the principal of Xanadu Group, a design-build firm, he knew he would be able to build something new that would make the whole endeavor worth it. So he scooped up the property and set out to create a bright and airy home complete with his own backyard ceramics studio.
Houzz at a Glance
- Location: Hollywood Hills
- Size: 4 bedrooms, 4 bathrooms plus a guest studio
- Who lives here: Colin Rhys, the principal of Xanadu Group, a design-build firm
AFTER: Rhys honored the previous home’s rooflines, scale and street-facing-window sizes when he designed and built the new two-story home. “I tried to stay true to what was there and what was in the neighborhood,” he says.
Cuban royal palms flank the new garden wall and gate, which are illuminated at night by antique gas lamps.
The home’s elevations were partially inspired by the light and airy plantation architecture Rhys was drawn to during travels to the Caribbean.
An ipe-wood deck and planter boxes, filled with yellow sweet potato vines, surround the house. Rhys used Dunn-Edwards’ paint here: Whisper White for the exterior trim, Cool December for the siding and Shallow End for the operable shutters and eaves. How to Give Your Home’s Exterior Just the Right Amount of Blue.
A former gallerist, Rhys gave the home plenty of space for displaying his art collection and used skylights to flood the interior with daylight. The entry opens to a spacious living room, where custom windows were sized to replicate those in the original house.
The living room accommodates Rhys’ vintage Wurlitzer baby grand piano. The large painting behind the piano is by Mariana Lopez. The stairs lead to the second-story master suite and library. The hallway leads past guest bedrooms and bathrooms to the kitchen and the dining and great rooms.
A vintage Moroccan rug and seating by Minotti anchor a conversation area in the living room. The ceramics on the coffee table and next to the fireplace are works by Rhys. Bring Your Home Design Up to Date With Contemporary Furniture.
Painting on left wall: Mark Chariker; lithograph above console: Cecily Brown
The great room, part of the kitchen and dining space, overlooks the backyard and pool deck, as well as the small guesthouse. Fleetwood glass walls slide open into pockets to allow unobstructed access to the outdoors. Rhys created the blown-glass objects on the coffee table.
Sectional: Minotti; coffee table: Camerich; white stools: CB2
The kitchen’s custom cabinetry is made of a flat lacquer finished with wax, for a subtle sheen that fits with the white marble countertops.
Appliances: Miele; faucet: KWC
The second-story master suite opens to a balcony that overlooks the backyard. Recessed, motorized shades provide privacy.
One of Rhys’ ceramic pots graces the Camerich coffee table.
The master bathroom includes a walk-through shower that connects to the balcony. A frosted-glass sliding door provides privacy to the outdoors, as will bamboo plants that will reach the second story upon maturity. Honed limestone was used for the flooring, countertop and integral sink, and the cabinets are custom.
Faucets, showerhead: Dornbracht
BEFORE: The home originally had a large, deep swimming pool that ate up much of the backyard.
AFTER: The new home includes a wraparound deck and balcony that link both floors to the outdoors, and a landscape that includes a new, smaller pool and a raised spa. The guesthouse, which doubles as Rhys’ ceramics studio, was built on the site of the original single-car garage. Great Spring Project: Update Your Deck.
Behind the guesthouse, Rhys nurtured the property’s old redwood tree back to life, watering it and trimming dead branches.
White outdoor furniture: Philippe Starck for Kartell; woven outdoor furniture: Restoration Hardware
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