A Well Needed Makeover, Mid-Century Modern ‘Smith House’ on Market for $3M

A Mid-Century Modern jewel in L.A.’s Brentwood neighborhood is known by the rather unassuming name of the Smith house. However, the home’s architectural pedigree belies its bland moniker.

Lauded for its clean lines and unique build, the home has been featured in just about every significant design magazine and website in existence. Now the classic residence can be all yours for a cool $3 million.

The house is an iconic slice of ’50s ingenuity.

“Periodically there comes to light a building that—whatever its other merits—seizes the attention by the way it exemplifies or dramatizes some aspect of modern architecture,” Architectural Review stated. “Such a structure is the hillside house in California by Craig Ellwood.”

The home was completed in 1958 by Ellwood, a California modernist architect who was famous for his minimalist steel-and-glass designs. He designed the Rand Corporation’s headquarters in Santa Monica, the trademark “bridge building” spanning an arroyo at Pasadena’s Art Center College of Design, as well as a couple of Case Study homes.

As with most decades-old homes, the Smith house was in need of an update when the current owners bought it in March 2017 for $1.72 million.

But befitting a home with a prized pedigree, the owners didn’t call just the first contractor to show up on Yelp. Former Ellwood associate James Tyler was brought in to do a meticulous restoration that has the architectural community going gaga.

The house sits on a 9,680-square-foot lot and measures a modest 1,550 square feet. It has two bedrooms, two baths, and generous deck space. It’s marked by minimalist interiors with maximum right angles, floor-to-ceiling walls of glass, and an island fireplace with a brick wall in the living room.

Tyler kept the original design intact, while carefully freshening up the finishes, especially in the kitchen.

The home, located in the Crestwood Hills area of Brentwood, was built on a hillside, with one wing jutting out over a canyon. At night, the lit-up home appears to be floating in air. From the inside, residents can see city views down to the Queen’s Necklace area of the Santa Monica shoreline.

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