Period, historic neighborhood homes are Dennis Smith’s specialty

| May 2, 2013 | 0 Comments
HOME on June St. underwent a major remodel to bring back to its 1923 glory.

HOME on June St. underwent a major remodel.

Contractor and designer Dennis Smith bought a fixer upper on S. June St. and bit by bit brought the Spanish-style residence back to its 1923 glory.

Modern touches include a six-foot by six-foot skylight showering a once-dark entryway with light.

Salmon paint was stripped from an original wrought iron railing staircase after Smith purchased the property six years ago.

The ceiling, in what is now a downstairs office, had a massive hole that reached the second-story roof.

The home had been neglected by tenants and the owner for years before Smith drove into the courtyard in his ’54 Chevy truck.

Today its smooth-coated white stucco exterior, tile roof and Mediterranean landscape give it a traditionally classic look.

ADDITION includes family room and kitchen, designed and built by Dennis Smith.

ADDITION includes family room and kitchen, designed and built by Dennis Smith.

He knocked the interior down to the studs and added a two-story, 1,800 square foot addition in the back.

The addition includes a  kitchen with white cabinets and honed Calcutta marble countertops and a family room overlooking the spacious garden.

The master suite above features his and her walk-in closets and his and her shower next to a free-standing tub.

“You can’t tell where the addition is,” he says, pointing to the walls adorned with four layers of crown molding.
Seamless additions are his trademark.

A second fireplace was uncovered beneath plaster in an upstairs bedroom. Built-in cabinetry by Smith—who once owned a custom furniture shop—and a white oak floor stained dark is throughout the 6,400-square foot house. It is home to an entertainment lawyer and his screenwriter wife and their three children.

MARBLE  countertops were honed, oak floors are stained.

MARBLE countertops were honed, oak floors are stained.

A kids-size office with three chairs and play area is next to the kitchen. A maid’s room and bath is off to another side. A bar area features a wine fridge for whites, another for reds.

Clearing the landscape of brush and trees let more light into the house. An olive tree remains, and a Mediterranean-style garden was designed by Paul Robbins.

Smith relocated from New York, where he studied at Parsons School of Design, and began in a graphics design firm.

L.A.’s sunny weather beckoned and he gravitated to the outdoors. He worked on commercials and video work, until the first of his four children was born.
He honed his historic preservation skills in another historic neighborhood: Spalding Square, where, he and his wife, Realtor Jackie Robin Smith, bought a bungalow years ago. Eight more historic flips followed.

“Every door, window and molding is custom made,” he says of his projects.
“He has an eye for it. He’s able to design spacious, beautiful and functional homes. He has that gift,” says his assistant of five years Claudia Pizarro.

Projects in Hancock Park include a 1924 home built by architect Gordon Kaufmann, who designed Greystone Mansion.

Like most of his remodels these days, it is within a short drive from his S. Rimpau Blvd. home.

He’s busy at work on another home on S. June St.

“Any project I get to design is fun for me,” he says.

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Category: Real Estate

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