"I DIDN'T have a contractor," film producer Lyndall Hobbs says, cruising through a front succulent garden that reminds her of her native Australia. "I did it all myself because I figured I knew better -- even though I had never done anything of this scale before."
The result? Workers toiling for months while Hobbs and her 12-year-old son retreated to various parts of the house as renovations moved from one space to the next.
"We lived here for five months in rubble, with plastic over the windows and everything ripped out down to the dirt," Hobbs says of the L.A. house, which sits off Mulholland Drive near Laurel Canyon. When the work was complete, she had added a breakfast banquette and TV nook off the kitchen at one end of the house, opened the living room in the middle, and perhaps most important, expanded her pool deck in back. Now guests of her frequent summer parties have more room to take in the panoramic Valley view.
In a fairly short span, a quaint Spanish-style home was transformed into an industrial-tinged, midcentury-flavored retreat that is a portrait of its owner. A peek into Hobbs' world, described in her own words: