October 3, 2017

A Historic Horse Stable Transforms Into an Elegant Family Home

  • By: Camille LeFevre, Houzz

This story first appeared in Houzz; read the original here.

This Pasadena, California home's original stable was built in 1930 as part of the John S. Cravens estate. But over time, the estate was subdivided. The stable was a caretaker’s home for a while, then other owners renovated the structure. After the current owners purchased it, architect James V. Coane was brought in to virtually rebuild it and bring it back to a more authentic historical state. “Many of the original materials were removed, repaired, and reused, while modern necessities were seamlessly added in,” Coane says.

All of the stable’s original bricks were removed, cleaned, and reinstalled; above the brick is stucco. The existing backyard pool was reshaped and a spa was added. The pavers in the home's backyard are poured-in-place concrete with turf in between. A low brick wall provides an edge to the pool area. Landscape architect Jon Pride worked with Coane on the outdoor component of the project.

Related: Wine and bar cabinets to fit any space.

Modern Architecture: Vintage Modern: Midcentury Architectural Photos at USC

Devotees of Midcentury Modernism have a brand-new batch of goodies to view. The University of Southern California recently digitized its Architectural Teaching Slide Collection, which consists of more than 1,000 images that show both famous and more obscure Modernist buildings in a different light.

House at a Glance

  • Who lives here: A couple of empty nesters
  • Size: 4,000 square feet (371.6 square meters)
  • Location: Pasadena, California
  • Architect: James V. Coane of James V. Coane & Associates

Furnishings in the home's formal dining room include a Thomas O’Brien silver leaf chandelier. The design team added wainscoting to create a more finished period look, Coane says.

The stable's traditional kitchen has stainless steel floating shelves, a farmhouse sink, cup pull hardware, full-inset maple cabinets, Crema Marfil marble countertops, and a stone backsplash. Adjacent to the kitchen is a vaulted-ceiling breakfast nook with a wrought iron lantern chandelier. Its tile is a mosaic of mini-bricks in beige, tan, and brown.

All of the windows in the home are a mix of grids—for a traditional aesthetic—and plain panes that provide a clear view of the home's gardens. The breakfast nook, which was added on to the stable, “has a conical roof with beams that meet at a perfect point,” Coane says. A family room off the kitchen provides comfortable seating and windows with views to the herb garden, which lies outside the back door.

Needless to say, the layout of the property was designed to enhance the owners’ love of cooking and gardening with private outdoor dining areas and an herb garden with trellises.

Upstairs in the master bedroom, the existing ceilings were too low for comfort. The design team raised the roof, creating a new roofline. A dormer window with a built-in window seat ideal for reading was also added to the home. The simple master bath continues what Coane calls the home’s “cottagey kind of feel.” Before moving here, the clients lived in a grand Italianate house, and they “wanted this house to be warm and more intimate.”

The second-level laundry room features stone hexagon tile, Victorian-style wallpaper, white-painted beadboard cabinetry, and black pulls and countertops that give the room a modern farmhouse feel. “We found an artisan who makes leaded glass and had windows created in a few special places throughout the house where they’re a surprise,” Coane says.

This contemporary take on a traditional Pasadena stable is sure to inspire its homeowners for years to come.

By: Camille LeFevre, Houzz

Have a story idea that might be interesting and engaging for a national audience? Read our Contributor Guidelines and email us at editorial@savingplaces.org.

More posts by guest authors (170)

More than 12,000 years of history are written throughout the sacred landscape of Bears Ears National Monument in southeastern Utah. Tell your lawmakers to support the Bears Ears National Monument Expansion Act and protect this special place.

Take Action