Serving Larchmont Village, Hancock Park, and the Greater Wilshire neighborhoods of Los Angeles since 2011.

Buzzworthy Open Houses this Weekend

Buzzworthy Villa Abbondanza at 535 S Norton Avenue is open this weekend from 2-5pm, both Saturday and Sunday (photo from

Earlier this week, we saw two Buzzworthy houses that will be open this weekend. The first, Windsor Square’s Villa Abbondanza, at 535 South Norton Avenue  and listed at $2,699,000, is a rare opportunity to purchase a wonderful historic house with a spectacular garden. The word “Abbondanza” means abundance in Italian, and was given tongue-in-cheek by the husband referring to the exuberant garden, filled with colorful plants, which can be viewed and appreciated from virtually every room in the house. It could also have described the wonderful energy of the colorful house filled with family life for many years.

Colorful living room with French windows that bring the front garden inside. (photo from MLS.Com)

Built in 1923 by Golden Age architect Marshal P. Wilkinson, Sr., the home was renovated by the current owners in 1989 with Tichenor and Thorpe Architects. The garden is the work of owner Cheryl Lerner, who created one of the first front gardens in the neighborhood.

Ahead of her time, Lerner took out the lawn in 1989 and installed climate-appropriate plants that transformed the space from a bland, water-thirsty lawn to a stunning garden that has been widely published and showcased on tours. And, more personally, she extended the family’s usable space on this very narrow lot.

Lerner told the Buzz that the time she spent studying in Italy inspired her to create a colorful garden that nurtures the soul for her home and family. Her color palette inside and outside the house was influenced by Henri Matisse( for his color combinations) and the Shakers (who used deep, strong colors with white).

Courtyard garden with mosaic tiles from the Judson Studios. (photo from MLS.Com)

Lerner said she considers herself “an assembler” more than a designer or decorator.  She described her work as “curating” objects and spaces for the home and garden.  Lerner is someone who figures out what works and designs spaces, both indoor and outdoor, which both invigorate and soothe. There’s so much to see in her garden…and yet, it’s incredibly calming. (Full disclosure: this writer was the fortunate beneficiary of Lerner’s curatorial efforts when we recently opened our house for a garden tour.)

Alert: This is not your typical gray-and-white staged open house! But it’s a must see if you love gardens and outdoor living!

Here’s your chance to have a Larchmont address! 122 S. Larchmont Blvd. is open Saturday and Sunday, from 2-5 pm (photo from

Switching gears a bit — here’s your chance to have a Larchmont address! If you’re like us and covet the idea of living on Larchmont Boulevard, and you’re looking for a house with good light, this one is for you.

122 South Larchmont, listed at $2,499,000, is a 3 bedroom, 2 bath Country English home tucked behind a hedge and gate between First and Second Streets in the Windsor Square Historic Preservation Overlay Zone. The house was built in 1923 but has been updated and renovated. It was recently sold to the current owners, who have decided to move on to larger quarters, according to listing agent Jill Galloway.

Living room with Batchelder fireplace. (photo from
Designer kitchen with historically appropriate finishes.

There’s room for improvement in the front garden and the back yard but, in both cases, there’s ample space for a great designer to help you make your own spectacular Villa Larchmont!

Shady trees and hedges hide the front garden at the moment but there’s space to create something more interesting. (photo from
The backyard features a pool and dining area.(photo from


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Patricia Lombard
Patricia Lombard
Patricia Lombard is the publisher of the Larchmont Buzz. Patty lives with her family in Fremont Place. She has been active in neighborhood issues since moving here in 1989. Her pictorial history, "Larchmont" for Arcadia Press is available at Chevalier's Books.

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