Photo by Jimmy Cheng Photography, original photo on Houzz

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The original house was the ranch style “you see all over Southern California,” architect Lauren Moss says. Her clients, one of whom works at home, wanted to open up the floor plan and modernize the house — and make sure the ceiling heights would accommodate the husband’s tall stature. The new design features an architectural geometry that highlights views of the nearby hills and natural landscape.

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Houzz at a Glance

  • Who lives here: A couple with college-age kids
  • Location: Sierra Madre
  • Size: 2,231 square feet
  • Designer: Moss Yaw Design Studio

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Because the house is close to a popular hiking trail, one of architect Lauren Moss’ first moves was to change the positioning of the driveway, which allowed her to add a concrete-paver walkway that doubles as patio space and create an enclosed entry that the couple requested for privacy. The big front window lets in abundant natural light, while natural landscaping along the street keeps passersby from peeking in.

The home is clad in stucco and clear-grade cedar. The red front door is tucked into an outdoor foyer with natural landscaping. The exterior wall sconce at the entry is from Hubbardton Forge. Red Front Doors That Make Your Home Pop.

The front door opens onto a wood screen that separates the foyer from the dining area and study. Floors throughout the house are a narrow-plank white oak with “very little grain or movement, so it has a monolithic feel,” Moss says.

The geometric entry screen panels are by Lightwave Laser (pattern Barcelona) in a custom teak veneer. “The entry screen provides a sense of privacy for the dining and study areas, which are open to each other, and creates interest at the front entrance,” Moss says. Screens and Room Dividers for the Entryway.

“A new shed roof above the great room allows for a dramatic sloping ceiling and new clerestory windows for access to light and mountain views,” Moss says. The gas fireplace wraps around the corner to anchor the great room and kitchen.

The corner fireplace, with exposed flue (both metal painted black), visually grounds the open floor plan and connects the kitchen, entry and living spaces, “employing an architectural language of exposed structural steel, clean interior finishes and open glazing,” Moss says.

A structural metal post, also painted black to echo the fireplace flue, anchors the area between the kitchen and study. Industrial Glass pendant lights from West Elm suspend above the island.

The wood cabinets are teak and topped with engineered quartz. Custom wine storage was carved out of one end of the large L-shaped island, designed to provide the couple with plenty of counter space for meal preparation.

The L-shape also helps define the kitchen area. “In a significant departure from the existing typical single-level ranch home plan,” Moss says, “we opted to remove most of the interior partitions to create a great room configuration with an open kitchen, and spacious living and dining spaces.”

A powder room includes a Vertigo spiraling pendant light from Corbett Lighting and a wall-mounted vanity by Villeroy & Boch.

The designers added 400 square feet to the existing house, in part to create a larger master bedroom. High ceilings, clerestory windows and sliding doors out to the back give the room its airy feel.

The master bath “is pretty simple and straightforward,” Moss says. The shower was created with oversize panels of framed glass. The floor is porcelain tile. Dark walnut cabinets bring in warmer tones and are topped with engineered quartz. Designer Bathroom Tile Ideas.

“We took cues from the surrounding foothills, topography and Southern California’s modernist architectural legacy in developing a design solution that not only met the needs of our clients but responded to the environment architecturally,” Moss says. “The modern ranch aesthetic reflects a scale, material palette and exterior detailing appropriate to the project site.”

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