Off the Boards: Laguna Remodel

Posted on by Lauren Moss

Another phase off the boards for an ongoing project in Laguna Beach...

A while back, we wrote about the importance of the entry in residential design, with a few insights into how you can easily update your home without extensive renovation.

So, for this recently completed exterior renovation, we took a few of our own cues and made some changes to the exterior and entry systems that gave the home a new more modern feel, while addressing repair and maintenance issues at the same time. To see more of the original renderings and images, check out the project's design page or the previous post.


The idea here was to open up the visual access to the interior courtyard and pool area from the main entry. Visitors walk down a stair from the street to reach the front door- a very common configuration for hillside homes, which is sometimes referred to as 'upside down'. Since there's another stair inside before visitors reach the main living space and the beautiful, expansive view, we thought we'd provide a nice area to stop and enjoy the experience of moving through space before heading onward and inward to the main destination.

This involved redesigning and replacing the existing entry door and window system with a new asymmetrical configuration. Since the original design had commercial double doors, we were able to make the main door larger, with smaller, fixed windows to the right of it. The addition of an oversized door pull gives a sense of monumentality that wasn't there before.


A new layer of smooth stucco, in a brighter white was the most extensive component of the exterior renovation, with the entire 3-story home receiving a hand-troweled treatment to create a more contemporary feel. Additionally, at this entry space, we removed several planter walls and an exterior counter and sink that weren't being used, added the pebbles to maintain a sense of separation, and sourced a new wood bench, adding function and softness to the hardscape. To add further interest to the area, we added a stone cladding to the low wall that stretches along the length of the pool, and changed all the planting to work with the new palette, featuring bamboo and azaleas.


The Buddha adds a bit of the homeowners' personalities to the updated exterior, while creating further visual interest with the stone texture and variation in height. Finally, new light fixtures and lacquered planters bring some bling to the new entry, which is now, a much more inviting one...


As always, thanks for stopping by, and have a great weekend...  MYD