Going Mobile : No one ever said a trailer has to look unsettled. The fact is, once in place, most never move again. Some people give a final-destination look to homes that are only technically still on wheels. : THE CUSTOM-HOME LOOK

Madine and Rolly Pulaski haven’t been shy about making architectural changes to their mobile home: They wanted to take advantage of its oceanfront location and give it the personality of a custom home.

It did help to have an architect in the house.

From top to bottom, Rolly--an architect with P/A + Inc. in Newport Beach--has devised ways to give the home a look of permanence and style.

By visually and physically opening space with windows and by removing walls, the Pulaskis gave the home in the El Morro Beach Mobile Home Park in Laguna Beach a spacious feeling that is the antithesis of claustrophobic “trailer” living.


The home, which the Pulaskis bought a year ago, is basically two 12-foot-wide coaches joined by a 60-square-foot room addition to create a 1,700-square-foot living space.

That’s where the basics stop.

“I embellished the ceiling with soffits, recessed lighting and crown moldings,” he said. “Those details take away from the flat, ‘blah’ ceiling look, define the spaces better and make the original ceiling seem higher.”

On the floor, Mexican pavers and coir carpeting were installed.

Because the home is on a hill with a panoramic ocean view, Pulaski added large plate-glass windows coated to repel the sun and keep the house cool.

He says the kitchen is the heart of a home and the place where everyone congregates, so the wall that boxed in the kitchen and separated it from the living room/dining room area came down.

Pulaski drywalled the whole house--including the long, narrow room addition made by a previous owner. He added both drywall pilasters and ledges beneath the windows.

“Where the pilasters are were once small structural posts, but I enlarged them with drywall to add architectural interest and dimension. They frame the view; they don’t obstruct it.”

The pilasters and ledges are strictly aesthetic, but they do give the feeling of thick walls and a heavy ceiling. In fact, the ceiling is the original metal one--just embellished.

Changes to the exterior included painting it dark gray, adding window boxes to scale and putting white lattice work around the bottom. The changes create a sharp, visual contrast and take away from the boxy look of the home.

The entrance was moved from the front to the side, and exterior pilasters were added along the side wall to give a feeling of depth.

Despite these changes, the Pulaskis’ home could theoretically still be hauled off the lot, because the tongue to tow it is intact. You won’t spot it easily, though--it is out of sight and mind, resting under a small sitting area with an ocean view.