Home on the ranch

Arlet Davoodian says weekends at home with her husband Harach are like a spa vacation.

Their Ranch-style house was built in 1959 on a hillside above Oakmont Country Club in Glendale. It's typical of the ranch-style design — one story and L-shaped with a hallway linking the dining room, kitchen, guest bath and bedroom. Windows along the hallway look out onto the pool and patio. Graceful trees around the yard's perimeter offer privacy for sunbathing or entertaining.

It's one of the homes on the Glendale Historical Society Fall Home Tour, "Adobe to Atomic: Glendale's Ranch Heritage," on Oct. 3.

"It's mid-century modern with Asian influences," Harach Davoodian said.

An Asian character greets guests at the front door, and the handles on the built-in cupboards in the sitting room and dining room have Asian designs.

The Davoodians bought it in 2001 from relatives of the original owners, Arlet Davoodian said.

Upon entering the home, the living room is off to the left and the sitting room is straight ahead. The two-sided fireplace accommodates both rooms. The sitting room has sliding glass doors going out to the pool and another set on the opposite wall leading to a Japanese patio and garden.

When both sliders are open, a breeze streams through.

"We found the architect's sketches of the garden, which had fallen to disrepair, and we had it restored," Harach Davoodian said. "A stone lantern was refinished, and bamboo plants were added."

A table with four chairs is placed in the center of the garden, and is an intimate place for coffee in the morning, Arlet Davoodian said.

"On the weekends I can stay home, and there's an indoor/outdoor feeling, like we're on vacation," she added.

The couple have upgraded some of the home's features, but tried to maintain the feel the original owners instilled in the home, they said.

They replaced the carpet in the living and dining rooms with bamboo flooring and window treatments. The original tile in the hallway was refurbished.

The kitchen has the original stainless-steel oven and broiler, and the couple added a stainless-steel refrigerator and dishwasher.

"I like to maintain the style of the original owners, Cora and Wendell Wall," Arlet Davoodian said. "I always ask myself, 'Would they have liked this?' They kept it so nice."

Her husband has added his own touch to the walls of the home by hanging his original acrylic abstract paintings that have Picasso influences.

This year's home tour celebrates the diversity of ranch houses in Glendale, organizers said. Each of the homes has the signature elements of the classic ranch style — long and low massing and a visual and spatial connection to the outdoors.

The Davoodian home was chosen because it has the basic elements of the ranch-style design, but also has heavy influences of mid-century modern design, said John LoCascio, president of the Glendale Historical Society.

"That combination makes it a very interesting house," he said. "Plus the master bath is a knockout. It has a step-down tub, and the tile, fixtures, sinks and cabinets are all original. It is surprising it has survived intact for more than 50 years."

Tickets will be available for sale the day of the tour at 10:30 a.m. at one of Glendale's original ranch homes, the historic Casa Adobe de San Rafael. The Casa Adobe, built in 1871 and restored in 1932, is the starting point of the tour.

Atomic in the tour's name refers to the combination of ranch style with mid-century modern design, LoCascio said.

"The 1950s were [called] the atomic age," he said. "When you get the 1950s-looking houses with groovy mid-century detail, it is still a ranch house, but it is referred to as 'atomic ranch.'"

The historical society offers the home tours to show people the variety of exceptional architecture in Glendale, and to help give them an appreciation for the kinds of houses that are in town, he said.

"When people learn about architecture and appreciate it, they are more interested in protecting it," LoCascio said.



What: Glendale Historical Society's 2010 Fall Home Tour — "Adobe to Atomic: Glendale Ranch Heritage"

When: 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. (last tours start at 3:30 p.m.) Oct. 3

Where: Tour starts at Casa Adobe de San Rafael, 1330 Dorothy Drive, Glendale

Cost: $20 society members; $30 nonmembers

Contact: http://www.glendalehistorical.org

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