Situated on two lots, totaling more than 18,000 square feet, this traditional home in Windsor Square has been completely reimagined by Drew Scott of HGTV’s Property Brothers. With the approval of the Windsor Square Historic Preservation Overlay Zone (HPOZ) board, the front of the house and the view from the street have been preserved. Scott and his team of designers and contractors painstakingly recreated many notable architectural details of the home, including the wrought iron balconies in the front, the interior wood stairway and wrought iron railing, stencilled beams in the former dining room (now a study), and a hand painted barrel ceiling in the former library (now the dining room). It’s nice to see the efforts to preserve interior features of the house — especially since, according to some neighbors, much of the house was in terrible disrepair and many details had been lost over the years of neglect.
The 5 bedroom, 6.5 bathroom house has been completely rebuilt, quite literally, from the ground up, according to realtor Kennon Earl, who kindly gave us an in-person tour on Friday afternoon. (We wore masks and refrained from touching anything.) There’s a new foundation with all new electrical and HVAC systems, plus top-line technology, including solar power and home automation. Panels throughout the house let you adjust lights, music, temperature, etc. all with a touch of a button. No expense seems to have been spared, and kitchen appliances include a 60″ AGA stove with five (small) ovens. There’s also a second kitchen and laundry in the permitted Additional Dwelling Unit (ADU), which has its own private entrance. And there’s an outdoor kitchen off the family room, a sweet playroom in the attic, a workout studio, a sauna, and a two-car garage accessible from First Street.
Scott, who lives nearby, has designed a renovation that seems to genuinely care about the neighborhood’s traditional architecture. The project seems to embrace the HPOZ rather than fight it, which is nice, and all the new square footage was added in the back of the house. The project could have been much larger had they chosen to develop the unusual second lot that was never developed. So it’s up to the buyer to create their own idea of a compound, or build a second home that could be sold off. (We could also envision a lovely pool and garden in that space.) Right now, the second lot is a staging area for construction materials. At one point, we were told by nearby residents that it had been home to some coyotes, who enjoyed the dense underbrush.
We appreciated the effort to modernize the floor plan but keep some of the charm of an old house with nooks and cozy small rooms. The interior designer team commissioned a lovely mural on the second floor hallway, which is nice and wide, and features a sunny, comfy window seat that invites you to curl up with a book. Designed as a turnkey project, more than $300,000 of furniture, decor, and custom window treatments are also available for purchase, should the new owners like to keep them. The style is decidedly current, with lots of beige, grey and white, and there are one or two nods to the popular “hotel” style of interior design — like the giant tubs and peek-a-boo panels in the master bathroom, which open up to the master bedroom — but for the most part the house feels like it belongs in historic Windsor Square.
The newly installed front landscape is California climate friendly. The backyard is still a work in progress, but according to Earl, should be completed soon.
At $6,999,000 the house is indeed pricey, but Earl explained it’s one of the largest parcels (18,800 square feet) in the neighborhood, and the only one with an empty buildable lot included.
Below are some photos from the website as well as a link to a virtual tour. Enjoy!