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In front, still the look of an English cottage. In back, two roomy new gabled wings.

House of seven gables? Almost. The existing gables at the front of this 1920s-vintage house in West Los Angeles provided the inspiration for a way to organize an addition at the back. Owners Dorothy and Thomas Hines wanted to add two children's bedrooms and, off the master bedroom, a new porch, without violating the house's English-cottage character.

Santa Monica architect Barton Phelps used the gable forms as a way to separate the children's new wing from the porch. One gable covers the new lattice-browed, southwest-facing porch and extends part of the roof line beyond one end of the master bedroom. In Southern California's benign climate, this screened porch is usable most of the year.

The other gable caps the new bedroom wing. Stacking the bedrooms to form a two-story tower and turning them 45 [deg.] allowed Phelps to preserve most of the back garden. The angle increase the impression that this is a separate structure, giving the children the feeling of being off in their own little cottage.

Inside are two differently shaped rooms for two independent personalities: octagonal below for the boy, rectangular above for the girl. The corners of the upper bedroom cantilever 2 feet over the lower room. The tower's windows face away from the porch, preserving privacy for both children and parents. Phelps remodeled the children's former tiny rooms into one open study, which doubles as the entrance to the tower.

Between the two new gables lies a small outdoor landing with steps angling down to the garden.
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Date:Nov 1, 1984
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