Canyon house
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Hillside home in Hollywood is remodeled to capture views

Canyon house

High in the hills of Hollywood, the recently remodeled home of Kendall and Scott Watson offers panoramic views of downtown Los Angeles and Wattles Garden Park. 

 (Ricardo DeAratanha / Los Angeles Times)
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Despite drop-dead gorgeous views, the 1992 hillside home featured a series of small windows and sliding glass doors that actually blocked the views.

 (ANX / Aaron Neubert Architects)
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Architect Aaron Neubert gutted the home and opened the living level to embrace the city and park. 

 (Ricardo DeAratanha / Los Angeles Times)
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A carved travertine handrail in the entry was inspired by the handrail at Levitated Mass at LACMA.

 (Ricardo DeAratanha / Los Angeles Times)
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Sleek travertine floors create an ideal racetrack for Dean, 6, left, Reed, 3, and Sloane, 4.

 (Ricardo DeAratanha / Los Angeles Times)
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A view of the kitchen before the remodel. Architect Aaron Neubert blew out the walls to open up the spaces. He also removed the windows to give homeowners on both sides of the property line some privacy. 

 (ANX / Aaron Neubert Architects)
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The new kitchen features a cantilevered walnut island made from walnut planks.  "We were trying to find consistency for the entire house,” says architect Aaron Neubert of the walnut. “The built-in components should speak to each other." 

 (Ricardo DeAratanha / Los Angeles Times)
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Neubert decided to add walls of glass and blow out the partitions on the second floor, allowing the kitchen, living and dining rooms to function as one long living area. Standing in the kitchen today, the couple have a comprehensive view through the house and to the views beyond.

 (Ricardo DeAratanha / Los Angeles Times)
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Despite opening up all the walls on the second floor living area, the dining room still feels separate and distinct.

 

 (Ricardo DeAratanha / Los Angeles Times)
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The Spillray cluster pendant from Axo is a colorful and fun addition to the dining room.

 (Ricardo DeAratanha / Los Angeles Times)
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Before: The home’s many terraces were difficult to access.

 (ANX / Aaron Neubert Architects)
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The original windows viewed from the outdoor terrace.

 (ANX / Aaron Neubert Architects)
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From the terrrace, the homeowners can see through the house.  

 (Ricardo DeAratanha / Los Angeles Times)
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Before: There was no gate or security. The stairs were perpendicular to the street so you walked directly to the front door from the curb.

 

 (ANX / Aaron Neubert Architects)
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A new courtyard creates a private exterior room where the family can relax and read on a teak bench by John Dunne. “We wanted the architectural experience to start gradually,” says architect Aaron Neubert of the new entrance. 

 (Ricardo DeAratanha / Los Angeles Times)
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Outside the window, a Japanese maple tree softens the modern architecture and casts dramatic shadows on the interiors.

 (Ricardo DeAratanha / Los Angeles Times)
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Travertine floors extend inside and out. Rather than have multiple finishes, the homeowners wanted a uniform experience. 

 (Ricardo DeAratanha / Los Angeles Times)
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The 1992 house before the remodel. 

 (ANX / Aaron Neubert Architects)
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A new steel blade fence offers privacy from the street.

 

 (Ricardo DeAratanha / Los Angeles Times)
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Working with John Dunne, Neubert created a powdercoated aluminum awning at the entrance to the house that gives the entry greater definition.

 

 (Ricardo DeAratanha / Los Angeles Times)
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On the third floor, Neubert installed a roll-up door on the backside of the garage so the kids could play on the deck. There, they bounce on a trampoline, shown here. 

 (Ricardo DeAratanha / Los Angeles Times)
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Kendall Watson chose “Birds and Butterflies” wallpaper by Schumacher for the second floor powder room as a fun surprise. “I wanted to inject some playful color,” she says. “It needed a pop." 

 

 (Ricardo DeAratanha / Los Angeles Times)
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A view of the third floor before the remodel. 

 (ANX / Aaron Neubert Architects)
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And after. To capture the richness of the scenery, Neubert opened the living room to the views, provided access to decks on multiple levels and opened the house by establishing views through the interiors and beyond. 

 (Ricardo DeAratanha / Los Angeles Times)
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The original staircase was dark and uninviting. “It felt like a monotonous fire escape,” says architect Aaron Neubert. “It was like a staircase that goes nowhere,” adds homeowner Kendall Watson. “It led to a stucco wall." 

 

 (ANX / Aaron Neubert Architects)
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The new stairway is the heart of the house. The monolithic stairway is now a glass fishbowl, composed of travertine and walnut floors, window boxes and a convenient bench where the kids can sit and put on their shoes. 

 (Ricardo DeAratanha / Los Angeles Times)
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Glass and walnut stairs lead to the second floor. The custom pendant light is by Omer Arbel for Bocci.

 (Ricardo DeAratanha / Los Angeles Times)
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Reed, 3, and Sloane, 4, try out  the travertine stairway. 

 (Ricardo DeAratanha / Los Angeles Times)
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The original master bathroom on the ground floor. 

 (ANX / Aaron Neubert Architects)
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All of the home’s bathrooms had to be updated,  including the master bathroom. 

 (Brian Thomas Jones )
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The master bathroom. 

 (Brian Thomas Jones )
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The master bedroom on the ground floor features panoramic views of Wattles Garden Park and downtown Los Angeles. 

 (Brian Thomas Jones )
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“We loved that it had unobstructed views of downtown and Wattles Park,” Kendall Watson says. “And knowing that no one would be able to build in front of us.” 

 (Ricardo DeAratanha / Los Angeles Times)
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On a clear day, you can see forever. 

 (Brian Thomas Jones )
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