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Before and After: A Summery Bungalow in Topanga, California, Redone by an LA Designer

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Before and After: A Summery Bungalow in Topanga, California, Redone by an LA Designer

July 30, 2021

The song that looped in my head while admiring this California project was The Mamas and the Papas’ “Twelve Thirty.” That was inspired by LA’s Laurel Canyon in the 1960s, and this redone bungalow is in Topanga, but still: Both evoke for me laid-back, retro California summer.

The bungalow is the work of LA-based designer Tamar Barnoon, whom we’ve gotten to know over the past few years as a stylist, a set designer for film, and, most recently, a designer of furniture and objects (see her work via Made in California: A Curated Collection of Handmade Furniture from Honeyed Figs). Of this project, she writes: “My minimalist client found this wonderful 1800-square-foot Topanga home, tucked away in the trees. It had been expanded over the years from a small cabin but had been done in pieces, and the work left it feeling disjointed.”

Tamar’s approach, she says, was to “strip the house back to its warm cabin roots, embracing the handmade feel of the original structure and its relationship to nature.” The result is a cabin that’s snug but airy, rustic but minimal, with plenty of warm wood detailing and generous doors that open to the garden.

Take a walk through (and scroll down for some glimpses of the dark space before).

Photography by Laure Joliet.

After

&#8\2\20;my client was very conscious of keeping the place feeling airy and 9
Above: “My client was very conscious of keeping the place feeling airy and organic and wanted to embrace natural, organic materials and textures wherever possible,” writes Tamar. Here, the redone living room extends into a simple deck.
the team fully renovated the first floor, creating one continuous hallway to cr 10
Above: The team fully renovated the first floor, creating one continuous hallway to create a “more natural flow” through the space, as Tamar writes. The low-slung sofa is a Maralunga by Vico Magistretti in its original leather. “I used a mix of vintage Italian and modern handmade wood furniture pieces throughout,” Tamar adds.
&#8\2\20;we also unified interior architectural details, highlighted the vi 11
Above: “We also unified interior architectural details, highlighted the views with simple wood windows, and exposed the original wood framing on the doors,” Tamar writes. The living area features dark wood beams and the original terra cotta tile floor.
into the redone kitchen, with oak millwork by la based eb joinery. 12
Above: Into the redone kitchen, with oak millwork by LA-based EB Joinery.
the kitchen is a warm material mix of oak, marble countertops, and copper fixtu 13
Above: The kitchen is a warm material mix of oak, marble countertops, and copper fixtures. Wood-framed windows look out at the garden.
a custom copper panel extends behind the range. 14
Above: A custom copper panel extends behind the range.
the oak millwork continues in a neat and efficient workspace opposite the u sha 15
Above: The oak millwork continues in a neat and efficient workspace opposite the U-shaped kitchen.
Above: Simple summer details. Of the cloth, Tamar writes: “I bought this fabric a few years back and kept some in my kit because it was just so, so lovely. This curtain was made from one of these pieces I saved.”
the dining nook is outfitted with the 0\2 trestle table by eb joinery and a vin 18
Above: The dining nook is outfitted with the 02 Trestle Table by EB Joinery and a vintage flat-weave rug (both available via Honeyed Figs). The rush-seat chairs are vintage from Amsterdam Modern.
&#8\2\20;we updated the bathroom, kitchen, and laundry with a warm, neutral 19
Above: “We updated the bathroom, kitchen, and laundry with a warm, neutral palette and played with texture of material to work alongside the existing original warmth of the home,” writes Tamar. The millwork in the laundry is done in non-toxic, formaldehyde-free birch.
ease of living: brooms, bags, and summer hats are corralled on one of many peg  20
Above: Ease of living: Brooms, bags, and summer hats are corralled on one of many peg rails throughout the bungalow.
linen bedding, a woven seat chair, a hanging basket, and subtle wood trim make  21
Above: Linen bedding, a woven-seat chair, a hanging basket, and subtle wood trim make up the pared-back bedroom.
the redone bath (scroll down to see what it looked like before). the lighting t 22
Above: The redone bath (scroll down to see what it looked like before). The lighting throughout the house is a mix of vintage Italian and Allied Maker designs.
the bath features fireclay tile, a niche for storing products, and a window wit 23
Above: The bath features Fireclay tile, a niche for storing products, and a window with unobstructed views of the outdoors.
Above: Unobtrusive cabinet cut-outs in the bathroom vanity (left) and custom linen storage (right).
into the garden. 26
Above: Into the garden.
an upscale picnic table tucked under a tree makes for a cool spot for summer di 27
Above: An upscale picnic table tucked under a tree makes for a cool spot for summer dinners outdoors.

Before

the bath, before work began. note the original terra cotta tile in the backgrou 28
Above: The bath, before work began. Note the original terra cotta tile in the background.
the previously dark and cramped laundry room. 29
Above: The previously dark and cramped laundry room.

Take a look at a few more projects by Tamar Barnoon:

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