A Disciplined Approach – Clear Oak by Woods + Dangaran
In this considered restoration of a quintessential Los Angeles midcentury home, Woods + Dangaran designs a geometrically striking home that moves into the 21st century while acknowledging its past. A dwelling that interacts beautifully with the landscape, Clear Oak is simultaneously controlled, cohesive and timeless.
“We instantly felt we could improve it but that we could also preserve it,” says Brett Woods, Founding Partner at Woods + Dangaran. Located just west of Beverly Hills, Clear Oak is a refreshing departure from the contemporary mansions that line the streets. “When we first saw the home, you could feel it had a presence, and unlike many homes in Los Angeles, it had this courtyard leading up to the entry and the classic hallmarks of a great example of modernist architecture,” says Brett. As such, Clear Oak retains much of its original structure and character, which is what the client also wanted.
A courtyard leading up to the entrance acts like a decompression zone before one reaches the front door, so, immediately, there is an oasis-like feeling. Upon entering, an intimate, dark and moody den awaits, showcasing how remarkable a room can be without a view. There is a formal sitting area to the right that is more bright and complete with warm-coloured furniture and retro décor. The dining room has been relocated to be in close proximity to the kitchen, which enables an outdoor connection to the terrace. The interior design of this culinary space also captures a wealth of natural light and features generous proportions.
Private zones are restrained and maintain a strong connection to the outdoors. The main bedroom is positioned at the rear of the house and is furnished with custom pieces and cabinetry, imbuing it with beauty and a sense of cohesiveness. The bathroom makes one feel worlds away with views of the hills, pines and garden beyond, and there is an enhanced visual connection to the outdoors thanks to a large window and skylight above. Each guest bedroom also has a private outdoor space to unwind and relax. A narrow, three-foot hallway that leads down to the office space has been restored – typical dimensions of a midcentury modern house – and the experience is elevated by the introduction of a glass wall system and water feature outside.
The way Clear Oak interacts with its surroundings is equally as captivating as the interior design. An expansive retaining wall creates an outdoor fireplace area, while a double infinity pool expands the backyard space. The scale and clean lines of the home’s structure take a backseat to the landscape so that the beautiful pine trees and valley remain the focal point. The interior design also incorporates plenty of glass to invite an ample amount of natural light into the residence, while materials such as travertine add warmth and depth to help offset the home’s pavilion-like nature.
By preserving the original architecture of the midcentury modern house and adopting a disciplined approach, Woods + Dangaran design a home that seamlessly blends with the landscape it sits upon. “Midcentury homes are such a part of the fabric of Los Angeles. We feel a responsibility when restoring them to ensure they are still around for another 60 or 70 years,” says Brett.