Historic House Remodeled With New England Style

When a family moved to Los Angeles, Jeff Troyer Associates created a home full of the New England charm the owners grew up with. The historic 1938 ranch house was remodeled for modern-day living while retaining original details and fixtures throughout.

Cottage-Style Entrance Adds Charm to Ranch House

Cottage-Style Entrance Adds Charm to Ranch House

With a white picket fence covered in vines, this single-family ranch house in Los Angeles has all the charm of a country cottage. A brick pathway leads visitors to the front door, while a traditional roof provides shade from the California sun.

Photo by: JWT Associates

JWT Associates

What did your clients want?

The clients were East Coast transplants who grew up in New England and moved to L.A. They wanted the feel of an older New England home, which is not easy to find in L.A. They ended up finding and falling in love with an amazing home built in 1938 in an older neighborhood called The Oaks. The home’s floor plan was mostly original, but had been changed slightly over the years. The exterior of the home was in good shape, but the interior rooms were choppy and didn’t flow.

They bought the house knowing they were in for a big project. The clients and I clicked immediately, and the chemistry was there from the first meeting. Over the years I have learned that chemistry and clicking with clients is very important because in the end the project will turn out so much better. 

How did you maintain the home's character?

This 1938 home had charm and lovely antiques inside that we wanted to save. Every piece of furniture, wood, trim and corbel was removed from the home, cataloged and saved to be used again throughout the home. The exterior windows are original and windows that were taken out were reused throughout the home, like a transom window that allows for natural light to come into the bathroom. In the master bath there is another reused window that looks from the vanity to the shower. 

Ranch House With Cheerful Exterior

Built in 1938, this single-family ranch house is located in The Oaks, a historic neighborhood in Los Angeles. Though the interior was recently reconfigured for a new family, the exterior is original to the home and is as cheerful as ever with a picket fence and blue shutters. 

Photo By: JWT Associates

Cottage-Style Entrance

With a picket fence covered in vines, this home has all the charm of a country cottage. A brick pathway leads visitors to the front door, where a traditional roof provides shade from the California sun. 

Photo By: JWT Associates

Closet Becomes Cozy Reading Nook

Just beneath the stairs, a renovated closet with plush pillows becomes the perfect place to read and relax. To the left, a small door leads to a playroom for the kids. 

Powder Room With Antique Mirror

Positioned above the marble-topped vanity, a gilded antique mirror adds depth and dimension to this transitional powder room. As a result, the space feels larger and more luxurious. 

Photo By: JWT Associates

Intimate Dining Room

Separated from the kitchen by a large arch, this dining room is clean, white and spacious. A large woven area rug softens the floor, while a wooden table and chairs create an intimate dining space. 

Kitchen Complete With Breakfast Bar

Beneath a large archway, two wooden stools and a counter create a cozy breakfast bar. While filling up on brunch, guests can enjoy a front-row view of the open kitchen. 

Kitchen Island For Extra Storage

Previously used in a chemistry lab, this antique table now serves as a large kitchen island with plenty of space for meal prep and storage. 

Show-Stopping Backsplash

To bring the outdoors inside, designer Jeff Troyer chose green subway tile for the backsplash in this open kitchen. The tile adds a playful pop of color and contrasts nicely with the farmhouse sink and cabinets. 

Breakfast Nook With Built-In Buffet

With a built-in buffet and two metal chairs, this bright breakfast nook offers plenty of seats for guests. A corner shelf above provides extra storage for cookbooks. 

Photo By: JWT Associates

Home Office

By using floor-to-ceiling wood paneling, designer Jeff Troyer differentiated this home office from the rest of the house. A traditional wooden desk paired with a leather sofa and woven rug give the space a collected look. 

Photo By: JWT Associates

Office Includes Bohemian Accents

Where a traditional desk and chair offer space for work, two bohemian rugs keep the office comfortable and relaxed. 

Photo By: JWT Associates

Gold Hardware Shines in Master Bath

In this master bathroom, gold hardware glitters against a sea of white walls and wooden drawers, making the space feel luxurious. Sconce lighting and an antique mirror help the room stay bright and well-lit for morning rituals.

Photo By: JWT Associates

Rain Shower

Sleek subway tile, gold fixtures and a large rain shower would make anyone long for this luxurious spa bathroom. 

Eclectic Library

Located just off the hall, this eclectic library boasts an impressive floor-to-ceiling bookshelf that's perfect for storing books and displaying prized possessions. An antique sofa and armchair adorned with bohemian accents give the room a collected feeling. 

Living Room

Clean white walls and a vaulted ceiling give this living room a spacious and airy look. The real star of the space, though, is the blue velvet sofa, which ties the design together and provides seating for guests. 

Photo By: JWT Associates

Guest Bathroom

With a single-vanity and private shower, this guest bathroom is ideal for friends and family who visit over the weekend. White subway tile and a black mosaic tile floor achieve an energetic yet sophisticated look.

Photo By: JWT Associates

Hallway Features Writing Desk

Situated at the end of a crisp white hallway, an antique writing desk brings character and charm to a newly-renovated home. 

Photo By: JWT Associates

Kids' Bathroom

Hand-painted Moroccan tile becomes a playful point of interest and adds movement to this kids' bathroom. Without drawers beneath the floating sink, the room feels larger and more open.

Photo By: JWT Associates


In this mudroom at the back of the house, a long wooden bench provides a seat where kids and guests can remove and store their shoes. Shelves and hooks help this space stays as organized as possible.

Photo By: JWT Associates

Private Backyard

Although located in Los Angeles, this single-family home seems more country than urban with it's lush garden. A brick pathway cuts through through the backyard, while a picket fence keeps the space quiet and private. 

Photo By: JWT Associates

What was your biggest obstacle?

Making sure we kept the renovation under the codes of the L.A. building department and The Oaks homeowners association, while also achieving the goals we had set with our clients. We were limited to an addition of 500 square feet or less. Because of this we had to change the floor plan to make the house more efficient and added a master bedroom in the attic that was 499 square feet. Filling in the existing attic was considered an addition, but because of the 500-square-foot restriction, we were unable to use all of the space. Every square foot had to be used.

What inspired this design?

My inspiration throughout this project was to retain the existing character of the home while creating a floor plan that works for a modern-day family. It was important to the clients to have the children in eyesight while in the kitchen and living room, so we needed to open the rooms to one another. There is a threshold between each room that defines each space, and keeps them individual, but they are still open to one another.

How did you add color to the kitchen?

Transitional Kitchen Boasts Green Backsplash

Transitional Kitchen Boasts Green Backsplash

Green subway tiles adds a playful pop of color to this transitional kitchen, contrasting nicely with the white farmhouse sink and cabinets. A large window and pendant light ensure that the room is airy and bright, no matter what time of day it is.

Photo by: JWT Associates

JWT Associates

I wanted to go with a classic look that would look like it was original to the home. The green backsplash tiles are ceramic and each tile has a high level of variation in color due to the firing process when they are made, giving the space character. There is a huge window in the kitchen that shows off some of the mature trees in the yard. I feel the green tiles bring the outdoors in and give the space an organic feel. I also love the blue cabinets and how they pair well with the green tile.

What is your favorite feature?

Closet Becomes Cozy Reading Nook

Closet Becomes Cozy Reading Nook

Just beneath the stairs, a renovated closet becomes the perfect place to read and relax. Plush pillows keep the space cozy and comfortable, while shelves below help the books stay organized and out of harm's way.

Photo by: JWT Associates

JWT Associates

My favorite feature is the stairway up to the second floor. We redid the stairs and took advantage of the space under the stairs to build a reading nook with book and toy storage. The small door to the left of the reading nook is a playroom for the kids. It leads to the art studio on the other side of the stairs and the clients said this is the kids’ favorite room in the home.

How did you choose the vanities and kitchen island?

Some of the pieces that we used were already there when the clients purchased the home. Since the clients wanted to reuse old furniture, I redesigned a desk already in the house, found a vintage sink and made it into a bathroom vanity. One of the other bathrooms has a copper sink that the homeowners found and had once been used in a train car. The kitchen island was purchased from an old school in Ohio and had been previously used in a chemistry lab. When the clients came across it they immediately knew it was what they had been looking for, because it had the exact dimensions needed for that space. In every room of this house there is something with an interesting story, giving this home character and life.

What do the beams in the living room add?

The beams in the living room were originally floor joists in the attic of this home. We needed to take them out to renovate, but decided to reuse them decoratively in the living room. The beams were not sanded or stained and they are completely original. So original that they even have notes from the home’s carpenters still written in blue pencil on them.

Why did you use blue-and-white tile in a bathroom?

Patterned Tile Adds Movement to Kids' Bathroom

Patterned Tile Adds Movement to Kids' Bathroom

Hand-painted Moroccan tile becomes a playful point of interest and adds movement to this kids' bathroom. Without drawers beneath the floating sink, the little room feels that much bigger.

Photo by: JWT Associates

JWT Associates

The tile seen in the kids’ bathroom was from Morocco and hand-painted. It was extremely complicated to put together and we had to order and number every piece to make sure we got it right. While it looks like a simple pattern, it was hard to put together and took a lot of work.

How do you pair antiques with modern-day style?

It’s all about keeping the detailing of the house simple. You can mix up the furniture as much as you want, but keep the original crown molding, baseboards and wall boards simple, craftsman-like. You can mix older antiques that are more ornate, but allow the house to be a good backdrop. 

What “hidden gems” are in your design?

I tried to add nooks (a breakfast nook, reading nook, front mudroom) where someone could read and have quiet time to themselves. I differentiated these spaces with stained wood, in contrast to the rest of the home, which is painted white. Differentiating the spaces with a darker color is something you would see in a home from the ‘30s. 

Keep Reading

Next Up

Contemporary-Style Historic Home Remodel

Designer Sarah Dippold gave this broken-down historic home a second chance, using contemporary style while still keeping many of the original features intact.

Historic Home With Modern Flair

Designer Andreas Charalambous gives this historic D.C. townhouse a modern makeover, while still preserving the home's rich character.

Historic Home Gets Family-Friendly Makeover

A historic house in Savannah, Georgia, got a family-friendly makeover thanks to Carter Kay's smart design. The home's coastal-meets-traditional style features natural materials paired with a neutral color palette and raw elements to create an organic feel throughout.

New Home Draws on Historic Spanish-Style Design for Instant Charm

Hugh Jefferson Randolph created a brand-new Spanish-style home inspired by historic 1920s charm thanks to salvaged materials, natural textures and natural finishes. A white palette lets these details truly shine.

Custom Craftsman Details Help New-Construction Home Fit Into Historic Neighborhood

Combining custom touches such as Craftsman millwork, salvaged wood and antique furnishings in thoughtful ways, Houston designer Jamie House helped a newly constructed home fit into a historic neighborhood -- without adding significantly to the cost.

Small Cottage Remodeled for Growing Family

Barley|Pfeiffer Architecture remodeled a 1940s one-story cottage to meet a growing young family's changing needs. A second-story addition, better flow throughout the home and much-needed updates brought the home into the modern day but in line with the historic neighborhood's aesthetic.

Home Remodeled Into Entertainer's Dream

A homeowner dreamed of a showcase-worthy home built and designed for entertaining. Design team Addison Bruley created a home perfect both indoors and out for hosting every occasion imaginable.

Family Home Has New-French-Country Style

Luxe fabrics, colorful wallpapers and heirloom furnishings give this custom-built family home European flair. Designer Kate Duckworth created a design based on the homeowners' love of France with an eye on a warm family home perfect for entertaining.

Connecticut Country House for All Seasons

Chango & Co. renovated a beautiful Colonial home to make it a celebration of all the seasons, bringing the outdoors in through the inspired use of color, fabrics and textures, and unique art and accessories.

Award-Winning, Urban-Infill Home in Historic Neighborhood

Tasked with creating a new home on a tiny lot in a historic neighborhood under demanding architecture codes, Cavin and Claire Costello found creative uses for space and common materials. The result is an award-winning design that's caught the eye of many Phoenix homeowners, who now want some of the same features in their own houses.

Jeff Troyer Associates

Contact Me
Jeff W Troyer Associates
www.jefftroyer.com AIA 3523 Beverly RIdge Drive Sherman Oaks, CA 91423 310-800-2930