Pro Portfolio: Century-old cottage gets a modern addition


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Every Monday, we post a recently built, remodeled or redecorated home with commentary from the designer. This week, we focus on the remodel of a century-old cottage.

Goal: Modern renovation with an emphasis on indoor-outdoor living.

Location: Echo Park.

Architects: McShane Murnane, Project M Plus, with project architect Geoffrey Elander. Structural engineer: Jeff Chen, Grimm & Chen Structural Engineering. General contractor: Chris Torres of Artisan Building Contractors, (323) 241-2181.

Project M Plus description: Steve Clima, a senior production manager for Trina Turk, wanted to bring his dark, cramped old cottage into the new century. His priorities: opening and modernizing the rooms, creating a proper master suite and improving the home’s connection to the outdoors. We added two bedrooms and a full bathroom, nearly doubling the original 788-square-foot home to 1,407 square feet.


With a small lot and a tight budget, we changed the building from a square to a u-shape to allow the existing kitchen to maintain its natural light. We created a courtyard that works as an additional living room and added four ways to access the outdoors.

The picture at top shows the new master suite toward the back. It has high ceilings, a clerestory window that invites the setting sun inside and an indoor-outdoor fireplace set behind glass. The guest room in the foreground has a wraparound window that looks out onto a newly created outdoor area. Skylights in the hallway, which was also widened, further enhance the feeling of spaciousness.

To see inside the house, keep reading ...

The guest bedroom looks out to the landscape through the column-less corner window.

The master bedroom has solid oak flooring and a high ceiling that makes the room feel more spacious.

The master bedroom’s indoor-outdoor fireplace is set behind glass. On the other side of the fireplace is an outdoor sitting area.

The master bathroom has a curbless steam shower and rain head. The tile is Bianco Carrara polished marble with 3-by-6-inch subway tiles on the walls and 2-inch hexagon tiles on the floor.

The master bathroom has a double vanity by Modern Bathroom with a Carrara marble countertop. Bathroom faucets are made by Grohe.


The updated kitchen has a cork floor and IKEA cabinets with CaesarStone quartz countertops. The stove is Bertazzoni, and the other appliances are Jenn-Air. The tile is recycled glass mosaic from Oceanside Glasstile.

The dining area has the Glass Links chandelier from Z Gallerie. In the background, a widened corridor with skylights and a glass door keep the interior well-lighted and connected to the outside.

The pool, installed in 1956, was taken down to the gunite, replastered and finished with 3M Colorquartz. The homeowner later added a wood deck and new concrete coping. In the corner: a gas-fed fire pit with crushed glass.

-- Lisa Boone

Photo credits: Peter Wintersteller

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