Friday, December 15, 2023
HomeReal EstateA Tiny L.A. Bungalow With the Soul of a Cotswolds Cottage

A Tiny L.A. Bungalow With the Soul of a Cotswolds Cottage


Earlier than Los Angeles was a tangle of vehicle-choked freeways, it supported one of many largest electrical railway techniques on the planet.

Streetcars scuttled between the town heart and freshly constructed neighborhoods, just like the dreamily named Ivanhoe, a growth a number of miles northwest of downtown. Within the early twentieth century, employees — a lot of them workers of native movie studios — would emerge from their little bungalows and take the flights of hillside steps main right down to the trolleys.

In the present day, Ivanhoe is named Silver Lake, and lots of the bungalows have disappeared. However one which survived managed to search out its method into the devoted palms of the actor Charlie Carver.

In 2016, Mr. Carver noticed an inventory for a one-bedroom home inbuilt 1903, among the many oldest within the neighborhood. Set on an oasis-like tenth of an acre, the 755-square-foot home (not together with the loft transformed from an attic) was catnip to real-estate builders keen to tear it down and substitute it with one thing greater.

“I used to be shocked I used to be in a position to make a suggestion that the vendor would entertain,” stated Mr. Carver, 35, whom Wisteria Lane habitués could keep in mind as Porter Scavo, considered one of Felicity Huffman’s twin sons on “Determined Housewives.” (His an identical twin, Max Carver, performed his on-screen sibling, Preston.) Extra lately, he starred as Cowboy within the revived stage and movie variations of “The Boys within the Band” and had a number one position in “American Horror Story: NYC,” which dramatized the serial killings of homosexual males in Nineteen Eighties New York.

Fortunately for Mr. Carver, the vendor was an architect who revered the bungalow’s historical past and was pleased with the enhancements he had made. Rejecting 23 gives from builders, he bought the home to the actor for $783,000 (lower than he would have gotten from the opposite suitors, however greater than Mr. Carver had proposed, after an inspection turned up basis issues).

When it got here time to embellish, Mr. Carver discovered his muse in Garance Rousseau, an inside designer he met by way of Max. Within the first autumn of the pandemic, the three had shared a cottage on a sheep farm close to Bathtub, England, with leisure to savor the eccentricities of the native Cotswolds antiques outlets.

Again residence, Ms. Rousseau, 27, helped Mr. Carver graft Cotswolds-cottage allure onto the bungalow. Embarking on her first mission as a solo designer, she noticed her job as “asking the home what it needs to be.”

She started by smoothing a number of the tough spots: the window and door moldings of various widths (now made uniform); the lounge’s clumsy structure, which minimize a diagonal path from the entrance door to the kitchen (now made much less awkward by way of the strategic placement of furnishings); the paint colours that didn’t really feel fairly California (now made brighter).

She additionally helped Mr. Carver combine furnishings and artwork items inherited from his father, Robert Martensen, a doctor and biomedical historian, who died in 2013 at 66. (Mr. Carver, who was born Charles Carver Martensen, has written about dropping his surname after studying on the age of 11 that his father was homosexual. He himself got here out as homosexual in 2016.)

Among the many trove is a fertility statue from Papua New Guinea in the lounge, an vintage Japanese tansu chest that serves as a bedside desk and a classic writing desk used for eating, though it’s “a bit of slim and a bit of quick,” Mr. Carver stated.

At one level, the actor indulged his paternal Danish roots with a visit to Copenhagen, the place he purchased Rope sofas made by the furnishings firm Normann Copenhagen that Ms. Rousseau insisted on reupholstering in a gentle, rust-colored cloth from Belgium. She believed the textile would stand as much as Mr. Carver’s poodle combine, Homer. (She was proper.)

She additionally discovered a chair prototype by a Danish cabinetmaker, which was restored and recovered in a Pierre Frey bouclé. “Every part in the home feels prefer it has a bit of little bit of age to it,” Mr. Carver stated.

Together with the kitchen home equipment. To take away the outdated range that got here with the home would have meant taking out a window or wall, Mr. Carver stated. And his giant magnet assortment, to which he most lately added Paris Hilton’s new album, adheres firmly to the outdated fridge’s steel door.

Ms. Rousseau up to date virtually every little thing else, making use of her tremendous eye for colour. The kitchen’s open cabinets had been fitted with sliding doorways and stained a light-weight honey. The cream-colored partitions had been coated in Farrow & Ball’s Dayroom Yellow, the colour of sunbeams.

Within the main-floor bed room, the partitions are actually Farrow & Ball Oval Room Blue. Below the roof eaves, the loft house was replastered and painted heat white.

All in all, the renovation price about $75,000, together with new energy-efficient lighting all through the house.

“I’m a lighting nut,” Mr. Carver stated about his lavatory sconces, curvy sheets of glass and perforated steel. He’s additionally a conservation nut who’s blissful to not be beholden to {the electrical} grid, because of the photo voltaic panels on his roof.

Having found that his property is zoned for 2 homes, Mr. Carver desires about including one other constructing. For now, he stated, the diminutive dwelling is excellent for a lone inhabitant who’s in Los Angeles solely 65 % of the 12 months.

“I can lock it up and provides the keys to a pal,” he stated. “It’s so manageable.”


Dwelling Small is a biweekly column exploring what it takes to guide a less complicated, extra sustainable or extra compact life.

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