A patio is born.
BEFORE: The tired, bland, and bare-bones 1950s ranch house on a cul-de-sac in Westchester, California, needed help. The front door was behind the garage at the center of the L-shaped house. To reach it you had to sidestep through a breezeway between the house and garage and then cross an entry area that had all the charm of a desolate alley.
AFTER: The tower identifies the entrance to a distinctive new patio and colonnade leading to the front door. Surrounded with columns, peach-colored stucco walls, a timber trellis, and a lightweight Spanish tile roof, the space is now a vivid and welcoming outdoor room, part of a comprehensive exterior remodel. New stucco for the entire house and garage came to $7,000, including labor; the house's new MaxiTile roof cost $24,000, including labor.
DESIGN: Larry Brisley, architect (Manhattan Beach, CA; 310/939-1221), and Jim Gelfat, architect (Culver City, CA; 310/836-9932)
CONTRACTOR: David Hahn, Santa Clarita, CA (661/251-3222)
COLUMNS: Precast concrete, $500 each, including labor
TRELLIS: Rough-sawn wood, about $1,300, including labor. Paint: Mesa Tan by Dunn Edwards (888/337-2468)