A Renovated California Tudor Tailor-Made for Modern Life

Los Angeles design company Bungalowe turned a cramped 1920s Tudor home into a modern sanctuary perfect for a family. Take a tour to see the dramatic transformation.

August 05, 2020

Photo By: Shade Degges Photography

Photo By: Shivani Reddy

Photo By: Bungalowe

Photo By: Shade Degges Photography

Photo By: Shade Degges Photography

Photo By: Shade Degges Photography

Photo By: Shade Degges Photography

Photo By: Shade Degges Photography

Photo By: Shade Degges Photography

Photo By: Shade Degges Photography

Photo By: Shade Degges Photography

Photo By: Shade Degges Photography

Photo By: Shade Degges Photography

Photo By: Shade Degges Photography

Photo By: Shade Degges Photography

Photo By: Shade Degges Photography

Photo By: Shade Degges Photography

Photo By: Shade Degges Photography

Photo By: Shade Degges Photography

Photo By: Shade Degges Photography

Photo By: Shade Degges Photography

Photo By: Shade Degges Photography

Photo By: Shade Degges Photography

Photo By: Shade Degges Photography

Photo By: Shade Degges Photography

Photo By: Shade Degges Photography

Photo By: Shade Degges Photography

Photo By: Shade Degges Photography

Photo By: Shade Degges Photography

Photo By: Shade Degges Photography

Photo By: Shade Degges Photography

Photo By: Shade Degges Photography

Photo By: Shade Degges Photography

Photo By: Shade Degges Photography

Photo By: Shade Degges Photography

A New Vision

For their first design project, Bungalowe took on this home in the Eagle Rock neighborhood, 15 minutes from downtown Los Angeles, and transformed its cramped square footage into a four-bedroom, four-bath, 2,996-square-foot sanctuary perfect for a modern family. Bungalowe owners and husband-and-wife team Karan and Sapna Aggarwal bought the Eagle Rock neighborhood home in 2018. The old house, perched on a 20,000-square-foot hillside lot, was in need of renovation to accommodate a family’s 21st century lifestyle. "The house was solid, but it was small," Sapna Aggarwal says. "The original square footage was 1,608 square feet, but that included an enclosed patio."

A Design-Minded Family

Husband and wife Bungalowe designers Karan (right) and Sapna Aggarwal (left) and their baby Nischay.

Before: Ready for Renewal

The mustard yellow, textured stucco house had a portico across the front that hid the homes's classic Tudor lines. In addition, the attic under the steep gables was unfinished. "There was a bunch of existing square footage, we just had to finish it. That gorgeous architectural space under the roof, those crazy angled spaces were always there, but never utilized."

Simplicity Is Everything

Narrow windows flank the gas fireplace in the living room. Black wall sconces complement the clean lines of the windows, hearth and mantel.

Form and Function

French doors in the small den lead to the back yard. "We call it the den, but it can be a playroom, a sitting area, a work area or just for hanging out," designer Sapna Aggarwal says. "We really focus on allowing form and function to come together."

Step Up

Original narrow-plank hardwood floors throughout the house were replaced with new wide-plank flooring. "I wanted a nice, warm floor that was inviting and gorgeous but doesn't draw your attention. It feels like it belongs," Sapna Aggarwal says.

Go With the Flow

Open space flows through the arched doorways from the living room, through the dining room and into the kitchen/den area. French doors allow plenty of light into the dining area.

Fit for a Family

The designers’ plan called for removing interior walls and reconfiguring space to open up "super-tiny" rooms into spaces that are open and inviting. "We were really able to work with our team of architects and engineers and make it a super-open, functional space that would fit a really good-size family," Sapna Aggarwal says.

The Long View

A large island provides a comfortable work space in the kitchen. The open plan from the living and dining area through the kitchen and den means plenty of light and space, and allows clean sight lines to the backyard.

Kitchen Revision

The old kitchen had dark plank and beam ceilings and cabinetry and tilework that made the space feel heavy. "It had a very early '90s vibe," Sapna Aggarwal says. "That was a night and day difference from what we wanted for our house today," she says of the clean, bright new kitchen space.

Custom Kitchen

Millwork and cabinetry in the kitchen are handcrafted and custom-made for the space. The large island is whitewashed oak; the ebony-stained built-in designer pantry showcase is handcrafted and custom made.

All in the Details

Display shelves in the kitchen add visual interest to the spacious marble stone counter tops and backsplash. “As a wife and mother, I understand the value of a home that truly takes into consideration the people who live in it,” Aggarwal says. “We focused on that more than anything else with every little detail of this home.”

A Bit of Cozy

The bay window kitchen nook with bench seating is a cozy place for breakfast or a quick meal. “We kept the bay for the character. We wanted to have different hangout and dining options,” Aggarwal says.

Space and Light

Two windows were added to provide more of a sense of space and light in the downstairs guest bedroom. The black iron canopy bed echoes the windows’ clean lines. Aggarwal partnered with Annie Carolin of Pride of Place to set the stage and showcase the home’s features. “I had a very clear vision of the style I wanted the house staged in, and she did an excellent job bringing the vision to life,” Aggarwal says.

Indoors Meets Outdoors

French doors in the downstairs master suite lead to a wooden deck. Natural hues and a rattan light shade in this room hint at a seamless transition from indoors to out. “Given the fact that we are in California, we wanted to create that indoor/outdoor lifestyle, building something that allows truly living indoors and outdoors,” Aggarwal says.

At-Home Getaway

The designers re-imagined a storage area behind the detached garage as a private studio/office. “With everything that’s going on in the world, we felt like it was very important to include this detached studio that can be a home office or art studio, whatever you need,” Karan Aggarwal says in a video by Acme Real Estate.

Space Master

Careful placement of walls, doors, cabinetry and fixtures in the upstairs master bath made the best use of the space created by the angled ceilings upstairs. A new dormer opened the room up with more space and light.

Luxury Defined

A glass-walled shower and an oval tub hint at luxury in the bath for the downstairs master suite. The black-white scheme throughout the house is softened by the natural wide-plank hardwood floors.

Step Outside

Double doors in the upstairs master bedroom open onto a rooftop deck that overlooks the back landscaping. “We truly wanted to build in indoor/outdoor living on this beautiful 20,000 square foot lot,” Aggarwal says.

Classic and New

The clean lines of the exterior carry over inside. Bungalowe collaborated with Nicole Palczynski of Los Angeles-based VEIN Design to create a modern design with classic Tudor lines. “We wanted to create the character inside to match the outside to bring it to its full potential,” Aggarwal says. Interior archways mirror the peaked gables of the exterior design. Crisp black and white appointments provide a modern touch.

Open and Welcoming

The new, open floor plan allows for an ideal sense of flow through the living space. The large grid window in the living room, replacing a single-pane picture widow, allows a view of the front lawn and sends light flowing throughout the house.

Storage and Showcase

The ebony handcrafted built-in kitchen pantry provides closed cabinet space and a glass-front cabinet and open display shelves: “Plenty of storage to keep everything that you need tidy and organized,” Aggarwal says.

Under the Eaves

The steeply pitched roof of the house means a 13-foot vaulted ceiling upstairs, which was originally unfinished attic space. Furnishings in the front upstairs bedroom mirror the crisp lines of the casement window.

All the Angles

Ceiling angles in the former attic presented design challenges, but also opportunities, Aggarwal says. “It was very tricky space to lay out. Really tall, vaulted ceilings are nice but don’t allow for enough head space.” Two dormers were added during construction to create better flow in the rooms and add more available head space, she explained.

Tucked In

Open space under the peaked front roof was the perfect place to tuck in a tub and shower in the new bath. Matte black fixtures and black trim repeat the black and white color scheme of the rest of the house.

Soft Touch

Satin brass lights above the mirrors, door and drawer pulls, and the fixtures for the shower, tub and double sink in this bath provide a softening contrast to the sharp, clean lines of the black-white color theme.

Private Luxury

The original house had two baths that Sapna and Karan Aggarwal described as “bathrooms that no one would consider bathrooms today.” The renovated home has baths in each of the two master suites as well as two shared baths, one upstairs and one down. The downstairs master suite includes a black and white oval soaking tub.

Warming It Up

Touches of luxury in this downstairs bath include satin brass fixtures, sconces and hardware that enhance the warm tones of the glazed zellige tiles on the shower walls. Natural wood accents throughout the house keep the crisp black and white color scheme warm and inviting, Aggarwal says.

Above It All

The rooftop deck off the upstairs master bedroom is a perfect setting to enjoy designer Jonathan Froines’s hillside landscape. “It was really important for us to feature the 20,000-square-foot lot, and it was as important for us to create the outside areas to speak to the inside areas as well — a cohesive indoor/outdoor situation,” Sapna Aggarwal says. “Our goal is on form and function, to bring them together to create spaces that are not only beautiful, but highly useful.”

In the Wash

The laundry area off the main downstairs hallway includes a utility sink with matte black fixtures, marble stone countertops, and a large cabinet and closet for storage.

Out of Hiding

Previous owners had added a portico across the front of the house to form a cover over the driveway, obscuring the homes’s classic Tudor lines. The portico and carport were removed during renovation to showcase the clean lines of the pitched roofs.

Looking Back

Patchwork additions -- an enclosed patio and another room at the back of the house --were removed and re-imagined. “We pushed it out and it’s more cohesive now,” Aggarwal says. Double doors allow access to the backyard from the den.

Right Outside the Door

The lower deck just outside downstairs master bedroom and the roof deck from the upstairs bedroom are two of the functional outdoor living areas added in the renovation. A private hiking trail in the back yard leads to the picnic area.

Belong Together

Steps from the driveway provide easy access indoors to the dining area and kitchen. Crisp white paint with black trim on both the house and garage bring the structures together visually.

Hilltop Dining

Landscape design partner Jonathan Froines used landscape ties and gravel to carve out an outdoor dining area, one of several functional outdoor spaces around the home. Froines’s curated yard space includes garden beds, hillside plantings, and grassy areas that children and pets can enjoy.

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