Originally constructed in 1914, the Electric Avenue residence was initially used as a private changing house for beach-goers visiting Venice Beach & Amusement Pier. The south side of the property previously housed a second structure presumed to be identical to the still-standing home, but this cottage was demolished in the 1970s and lots were tied to create the boundaries that exist today.
Purchased by the current owners in 2011, the less than 800sf derelict cottage was in serious need of upgrades, deemed by many as a teardown. With a very limited budget, the proposed plan called for making as few structural changes as possible while creating a large impact on the efficiency of the home. This cost effective strategy included reconfiguration of the kitchen and bathroom to open up the living space and allow bathroom access to both small bedrooms in the home, and a large deck addition to increase circulation around the property and serve as an extension of the living room outdoors. Further, a two-sided gas fireplace was installed in lieu of the traditional wall heaters used in many Venice Beach homes, providing heat to the entire house. The second phase of the project included re-grading a portion of the yard to allow for a sunken driveway and finally a third phase reimagined the garden into a private tropical oasis with local landscaper Travis Brooks.
The resultant home is a small but highly efficient and inviting space, keeping with many of the original charms of the Venice Beach Craftsman style, but employing modern upgrades and comforts, all within tight budgetary restrictions.