By Julie Lasky
Altadena, Calif. | $1.699 Million
Ian Mackinlay, a Scottish-born architect, adapted the design of this house from one his client admired in Hawaii. He built it on a knoll in the foothills of the San Gabriel range, on a private road that goes directly into the mountains. Hiking trails can be found down the street, and the house offers views of downtown Los Angeles, less than 20 miles southwest.
2,701 square feet
Price per square foot: $629
Indoors: Inspired by his tropical model, Mr. Mackinlay used mahogany in the paneling and glass-fronted built-ins, and cork on the kitchen floors. The roof is a composite with a rock surface that refracts the sun’s rays.
The two-level house is an ell, with the front door at the bend. From the slate-floor vestibule you enter an open-plan living and dining area with a wall of glass and other windows, a vaulted, beamed ceiling and an offset fireplace of white-painted brick.
Sliding doors in the dining area lead to an enclosed porch described as a meditation room. Another door opens to the kitchen, updated a dozen years ago with quartzite counters, stainless-steel appliances and mahogany-stained cabinets. (The meditation room connects to the kitchen, too.) Instead of a backsplash, the wall above the sink and surrounding surfaces has a ribbon of windows looking out to the front yard.
Taking a hard right at the front door brings you to a glass-walled corridor opening to three bedrooms. The vaulted master is first, with beams, mahogany floors and an en suite bathroom with a stand-alone glass shower. The two guest rooms that follow flank a hallway bathroom with a tub. A door leading to the carport is at the end of the corridor.
Just before the master is a staircase that descends to a family room almost 32 feet long, with polished concrete floors and a fireplace. The room could be divided into different seating areas and one end could be used as an office. The lower level also has a bathroom with a shower, and a large workroom.
Outdoor space: A large deck with expansive views wraps around the house, from the living room to the meditation room. A separate patio with an outdoor grill is reached directly from the kitchen. On the other side, the master bedroom opens to a long, trellis-covered patio with a firepit. Downstairs, the family room walks out to a partly sheltered area with a fountain, and another covered space adjoins the workshop. The 0.59-acre property also has raised vegetable beds (with a nearby deck) and a seating area down the slope that centers on another firepit.
Taxes: $14,731 (2018)
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