Dwell contributor Kelly Vencill Sanchez profiles the story of couple Tyler and Margaret Lemkin, who purchased a 1950s home designed by legendary Southern California modernist Richard Neutra. The 1,925-square-foot house is perched in the Crestwood Hills enclave of Brentwood near downtown Los Angeles. But the home needed a lot of updating.
The home’s interior was dark, and nearly every surface was covered in pink: pink carpet, pink paint, pink wallpaper, pink draperies—even a pink ceiling. Obscuring the back patio was an A-frame structure that enclosed the pool—itself a later addition—while a pergola over the front door also blocked the light.
At the nearby Getty Research Institute, the couple found photos of the home when it was originally built, which inspired the design for the restoration. First, they got rid of everything pink. Sanchez writes:
Stripping away the dated decor heightened the interior’s transparency—from room to room as well as to the panorama just outside. The Lemkins then turned their attention to the interior woodwork. The built-ins in the master bedroom were in good condition, but the cabinetry in the dining area had all been pickled. Whenever the couple hit a snag during the renovation, they turned to color photos of Neutra’s Staller House—which was built just a year before the Adler House, though on a far grander scale. Livability also guided their sensitive update of the bathrooms as well as the kitchen, where blue Formica counters were replaced with crisp white quartz and a skylight was added.