What $ 2.7 million buys you in California

During a recent renovation, this house was reinvented by the designers of Bowen Architecture and byrdesign, who took over the elements commonly found in a late 19th century house: milk glass pendant lights, intricate woodwork, a bookcase with floor-to-ceiling shelving – and gave them a modern twist.

The property is in the heart of Silver Lake, a few blocks north of a stretch of Sunset Boulevard where there are cafes, at least two ramen restaurants, and a handful of taco trucks. Less than a mile away is Silver Lake Dog Park and the trails that wind around Silver Lake Reservoir. The Dodger Stadium is 10 minutes away by car; driving into downtown Los Angeles takes 15 to 20 minutes.

Cut: 2,972 square feet

Price per square foot: $ 907

Inside: A paved path leads from the sidewalk to the wide front porch, where a wooden and glass door opens to a foyer with a checkerboard floor covered with tiles imported from England.

Through an arched doorway to the right is a living room with white oak herringbone floors, windows facing the street, and an ornate cast iron mantel from the 1870s.

Beyond the foyer is a family room with more oak floors. It connects to a bright kitchen with marble counters and appliances built into custom cabinetry. The dining room, off the kitchen, has herringbone oak floors and a glass door that opens to the back yard.

A small hallway off the fireplace leads to a guest bedroom large enough to accommodate a queen-size bed. Next to it is a bathroom with hand finished plaster walls, hexagonal blue tiles and a shower behind an arched door.

From the hall, a wooden staircase with hand-turned balusters leads to the second floor. At the top of the stairs is a large bookcase with floor-to-ceiling bookcases.

At the end of a hallway that extends from the library is the master suite, which has an old-fashioned clawfoot tub in the bedroom, between the bed and the Juliet balcony; a cupboard with custom-made storage; and a bathroom with gold hardware, a marble vanity and tiled floors. Closer to the library are two roughly equal sized guest bedrooms which share a bathroom down the hall with a combined tub and shower.

The staircase continues up to the third floor, where the designers took inspiration from the traditional Parisian attic to create a sitting area with built-in reading nooks and an open space large enough to hold a sofa and dining table. Behind a wooden door is the house’s fourth bathroom, which has a claw-foot tub and porcelain vanity unit.

An independent studio with wood floors and high ceilings is accessible from the backyard.

Outdoor space: From the dining room, exterior steps lead to a large backyard with a wooden deck, a paved patio, and a central gravel space framed by drought tolerant plants and mature trees.

Taxes: $ 33,684 (estimated)

Contact: Jacqueline Cahen, Boussole, 310-200-3480; compass.com


Most of the houses in this neighborhood, known as Kensington, were built in the late 1920s like this one. It has retained its original facade and many interior details, including tiles and woodwork. The property is approximately one mile from Adams Avenue, where popular sites can be found including a historic cinema, an organic grocery store and a park with a branch of the public library.

Two college campuses are easily accessible: the University of California, San Diego is 20 minutes away and San Diego State University is about a 15-minute drive. Interstate 8 and Interstate 15 run through the neighborhood, and downtown San Diego is a 15-minute drive away.

Cut: 2,853 square feet

Price per square foot: $ 929

Inside: From the sidewalk, a long driveway leads to the front door, flanked by palm trees.

To the left of the entrance hall is a living room with a fireplace, beamed ceiling and French doors that open to a family room, a space that could also serve as a dining room or playroom.

To the right of the front door is a home office which was once the dining room. The new dining room is in the center of the first floor, with graphic Spanish tile flooring and folding glass doors that open onto the patio; formerly an exterior porch, it was enclosed by a former owner.

Next to the dining area is an updated kitchen with cherry wood cabinetry and stainless steel appliances including a Wolf stove. Next to the dining room is also a powder room and a cupboard, both with original crystal door handles.

The cast concrete staircase leading up from the foyer is original, as is the wrought iron banister. At the top of the stairs is a bedroom with a window overlooking a palm tree in front of the house; next to it is a green and black tiled bathroom with a separate tub and shower framed by arches.

To the right of the landing is the master bedroom, which has a Juliet balcony overlooking the back yard and a walk-in closet with the original stucco walls and new built-in shelving.

Down the hall is a third bedroom large enough for a double bed and a desk. Directly across from the hall is the fourth bedroom, which has another Juliet balcony. A black and white tiled bathroom is also on this side of the house.

A long covered balcony in the hallway offers views of the neighborhood.

Outdoor space: A patio running along the back of the house, paved with Saltillo tiles and framed in brick, has space for a dining table and sofa. A built-in barbecue sits on one side of a large wooden pergola; a stone fountain is on the other side. A sunken area with a built-in bench provides additional seating, and there are more palm trees across the grassy courtyard. The detached garage has two parking spaces and there is room for three more cars in the driveway.

Taxes: $ 33,120 (estimated)

Contact: Kate Milke, Coronado Island Realty, 619-933-5319; coronado-realty.com

Like many towns in the region, Corte Madera was once a hub of lumber industry activity (its name roughly translates to “cut wood” in Spanish). Today, it’s popular with Bay Area residents seeking a small-town atmosphere less than an hour from downtown San Francisco.

This house is in the Madera Gardens area, approximately half a mile from Neil Cummins Primary School; a college and a high school are also nearby. Corte Madera Municipal Park, a green area with a children’s playground and skateboarding area, is around half a mile away, and various shops and restaurants are around a five-minute drive away.

Cut: 2,150 square feet

Price per square foot: $ 1,253

Inside: A low wooden fence separates the courtyard from the sidewalk and a paved path leads to the Dutch gate opposite. From the entrance hall, hardwood floors extend into a living room with a fireplace flanked by built-in shelves and cabinets; sliding glass doors that open onto the backyard; and an adjoining bonus room with heated tile floors. Pocket doors separate the bonus room from a bedroom with access to a side patio.

Across the living room is a dining area that faces a newly remodeled kitchen with an oversized center island, custom cabinets with quartz countertops, and new appliances including a Wolf stove. A hallway from the kitchen leads to a utility room and storage room and a door connecting the house to the attached garage.

A powder room off the entrance hall has a pedestal sink and wallpaper printed with blue birds.

A glass door in the living room connects the entertainment areas to the bedroom wing. Immediately to the left is a bedroom with wooden floors and a mirrored wall cupboard. A few steps beyond is the master bedroom, which has access to the rear patio and an en-suite bathroom with slate floors and a walk-in shower topped with white subway tiles. Opposite the master suite is another bedroom; the bathroom next door has a white vanity and a combined tub and shower.

Outdoor space: A brick patio surrounds the house, providing plenty of space that can accommodate outdoor dining tables and cooking supplies. The back yard is flat, with planters and mature trees lining the perimeter and a hot tub in one corner. The garage has two parking spaces and a storage space.

Taxes: $ 33,684 (estimated)

Contact: Jason Lewis, Golden Gate Sotheby’s International Realty, 415-971-6868; sothebysrealty.com

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