Contemporary home is new but keeps Larchmont scale

| April 27, 2023 | 0 Comments

The third time is the charm for this growing family which recently moved into its almost dream home in Larchmont Village.

THE NEW DESIGN has massing similar to other bungalows in the Larchmont Village neighborhood.

The couple completed interior remodels at their first two homes. This new one, a 1929 bungalow found for them by Realtor Ali Jack, was just what they were looking for.

“It was in a very deteriorated state and needed serious TLC,” said homeowner Danielle Rago.

“It gave us the opportunity to build something new and different… We were also planning on starting a family and had fallen in love with the Larchmont neighborhood.”

The project also gave Rago, cofounder of This by That, a public relations and advisory agency for progressive architects, the opportunity to work with one of her favorite clients, architects Claus Benjamin Freyinger and Andrew Holder of The LADG. They maintained the original home’s quadrant layout and took off from there.

A surprise design element of the home is a stainless steel column rising from the backyard swimming pool to support an overhang.

STAINLESS STEEL support column rises from the pool to support an overhang wrapped in asphalt shingles.

“Interesting,” is how Rago and her husband Darren Hochberg described the concept when it was first presented to them. “It’s definitely a point of interest. It’s a fun place to put it,” Rago said of the beam rising from the water.

They saved half of the original home’s existing footprint and used the same foundation and framing to build additions to the front and back of the northwest and northeast sides of the house.

The original 1,426-square-foot home was reconfigured into a 1,950-square-foot three-bedroom house and accessory dwelling unit (ADU).

The result, on Plymouth Boulevard, was recently featured in the March/April cover story of Dwell Magazine.

Other features of the finished house include preserving the massing of the front of the house to keep in line with the neighborhood, and the addition of a vaulted, double-height roof in the center of the home above a striking all-white quartz kitchen — the heart (and hearth) of the home.

OUTDOOR / INDOOR living is featured throughout the property.
Photos above by Marten Elder

Rather than have a fireplace, family and friends gather around the kitchen, explains Rago.

The home has open spaces with indoor/outdoor living and sustainable landscaping. While city constraints prevented the couple from increasing the square footage by much, privacy is increased by putting the bedrooms in front of the house and living areas towards the rear.

Common materials found at Home Depot like stucco, plywood and asphalt shingles are used in an unconventional way — the shingles wrap the underside of the roof and create a dramatic overhang.

More outdoor living was added by converting the existing garage into the ADU. A folding glass wall opens to the backyard for entertaining.

Danielle Rago, Oliver and Julian with Melrose.
Ilene Squires Photography

The result?

The perfect home for the couple and their two children — 3-month-old Julian and nearly 3-year-old Oliver — and a Maltese named Melrose.

Spring Home Tour

The home will be part of AIA/LA’s Spring Arch Tour Fest on Friday, May 19, at 9:30 a.m. Rago and her architect Freyinger will lead the tour.

Tickets go on sale soon at

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Category: Real Estate

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