Living in Southern California means sunny days, outdoor entertaining and maybe enjoying an ocean view or gazing at the mountains. While reviewing many of the most popular home tours we published this year in the Saturday section, there was one common thread they all shared: They welcome the light indoors.
There were homes with floor-to-ceiling windows and lighter tones, there were raised floors that boost the view, and rustic materials that bring warmth inside. There were cottage-style homes and Spanish-inspired… but what resonated most with online readers was a style that fits in well with outdoor living: Midcentury Modern.
Given that light combined with great weather is such a permanent feature in the region, it also helps to highlight the views from a one-floor house to a condo overlooking downtown and from Palm Springs to Malibu. Here are 11 of our most popular homes:
A restored Midcentury home in Palm Springs
Keith Zabel and Randy Shemaitis bought the 1960 tract home built by developer Jack Meiselman in the Sunmor neighborhood and transformed it from an “ugly duckling” to its Midcentury roots while updating the kitchen and bathrooms.
The cottage-style home of Tom Balamaci and Patrick Wildnauer is what real-estate fairy tales are made of. They found a house in the Wilshire Vista neighborhood that they loved just enough to not require major renovations and with enough outdoor space — a must for Southern California. With the help of interior designer Amalia Gal, they added quality products, vintage pieces and bargains to reflect their style.
Restaurateur Paul Hibler (Superba Food + Bread, Pitfire Pizza) and realtor Tiffany Rochelle purchased a bungalow on a coveted Venice “walk-street” and commissioned Kulapat Yantrasast to build a home that embraces the neighborhood and balances indoors and out with floor-to-ceiling glass windows on the first floor and more privacy for the second floor.
Southern Californians have been used to their green lawns, but now that we have gone through a drastic drought, many have transformed their front yards to withstand the heat and save water. We have been asking readers to submit their yard transformations and Carmel McFayden and Frank Donner’s new yard in Woodland Hills was our most popular.
Actress Aleksa Palladino and cinematographer Needham Smith III renovated their dated 1960s condo by elevating their kitchen floor to enjoy the sunrise from their wall-to-wall windows wrapping around their living room.