The gravel courtyard next to the master bedroom can also be accessed from the front driveway, just past a sliding gate. A car can drive over the gravel to the detached garage in back, or the space can be used as an outdoor living area. A new EcoSmart outdoor fireplace enhances the outdoor living experience and ties in with the massive indoor fireplace. A sliding wood gate can open or close off the courtyard from the front of the house.
The hall between the kitchen and dining room is part of the 800-square-foot addition McMahon built on to the original 1,200-square-foot house, which also includes the new master bedroom and second bedroom. As the home was designed to make the best use of available space, most rooms, including the hallway, feature built-in storage and nooks. Additionally, the rooms feature a lot of windows and access to livable outdoor spaces to increase the rooms’ usability and expand their perceived size. “We wanted to live large,” McMahon says.
On the other side of the fireplace, the open living room flows into the kitchen and adjacent dining area, with the private bedrooms in an addition at the rear of the house. McMahon renovated the home with an open, yet adaptable design approach. “The spaces are easily adjusted,” he says. For example, the dining room can be closed off to create a bedroom. The dining room could move to the current living room and the living room could move to the front sitting area, with the ceiling fans and light fixtures all easily moved to correspond to their proper use. “It’s sort of an Ikea approach to flexible living,” he says.
AFTER: The home’s new facade greets the street at much the same scale as it did before, with McMahon preserving the footprint and general California bungalow appearance he originally appreciated about the house. In fact, it’s even more modest than the original street view, as a former enclosed room is now a walled patio in front. “We felt that the 50-foot lot really deserves a more sympathetic scaled one-story home,“ McMahon says of their 50-by-150-foot lot. The driveway, which connects to a detached garage in the backyard, also doubles as an entry path. Concrete pavers are used by cars and humans, and they are also pet friendly, McMahon says. To add a little more green to the space, and also give their two dogs a place to run, they installed a front-yard lawn, which survives off drip irrigation for two to four minutes a day. A small reflecting pond cools and lightens up the front room, and also gives the dog a place to play and cool off.
sliding panel reveals a window running along the floor of the master bedroom that looks out to the backyard pool. “This clever window was completely the architect’s idea,” Fuller says. “I was a little suspicious at first, but it’s such a neat little surprise and it’s really pretty at night when the pool is all lit up.”