Though measuring just 1,216 square feet with two bedrooms, two bathrooms, this classic mid-century by architect William Wallace Reid feels bigger. Perhaps that’s because the classic Southern California style interiors are just the beginning for this Santa Monica residence. Located just half a mile from Los Angeles public Will Rogers State Beach, the home is set on 5,530 square feet of hillside property and offers a variety of lush outdoor meeting spaces.
Fences and trellises provide privacy for the numerous indoor and outdoor meeting rooms.
Reid was born in Los Angeles in 1917 to an early Hollywood power couple. His father, silent film actor Wallace Reid, was once dubbed “the screen’s most perfect lover,” and had supporting roles in two major DW Griffith films: The Birth of a Nation in 1915 and Intolerance in 1916. Reid’s mother, Dorothy Davenport, began her career as Actress, but eventually became a screenwriter, director, and producer. As a child, Reid starred in 10 films between 1920 and 1943. He later became an architect and spent much of his career designing apartment buildings and apartments in Los Angeles. The compact home at 229 Amalfi Drive in Santa Monica is one of the earliest single-family homes in Reid’s career. In 1953 he designed the striking mid-century for himself and his wife Paula.
The main living area has a marble-clad fireplace and sliding glass doors that open onto the adjoining outdoor terrace.
The sloping roof line enables individual, angled cliff windows that bring light into the interior.
Viewed from above with a Google Maps satellite perspective, the apartment is in the shape of a windmill with slanted shapes extending out of the house in multiple directions. Since the south-facing house is at an angle to the street, the outside spaces protrude at the front, back and sides of the building and feel more integrated into the interior.
The master bedroom has a glazed wall overlooking the main deck. Pull-down blinds block the sunlight and ensure privacy.
The original carport has been converted into an extension that serves as a family room with built-in shelves.
Inside, exposed ceiling beams and light wooden floors provide warmth. Seamless transitions between outside and inside make the interior appear spacious.
Private outdoor spaces branch off from the front, back, and sides of the home.
“You have these cliff windows under the sloping roof, which extend over the entire perimeter of the house,” says real estate agent Frank Langen, partner of Deasy Penner Podley. “It’s a really important quality that makes the home unique.”
Directly in front of the kitchen is a terrace with a pizza oven and a gas grill clad in Jerusalem stone.
The sloping back yard carves terraced walkways to the street below, leaving plenty of room for lush greenery.
An outdoor seating area near the kitchen is an ideal place for entertaining.
For example, right next to the kitchen is a private terrace with a pizza oven and built-in grill, which is shaded by a centuries-old eucalyptus tree. On the other side of the house, the main deck is between glazed walls in the living room and master bedroom. At the rear, the property slopes down to two different levels of gardens.
The house is being sold furnished, including the vintage cabin and the Saarinen table in the kitchen (pictured above).
The house has seen a few changes since it was first built. The former three bedroom, two bath configuration has been remodeled to create a larger master bedroom and bath, and the carport has been converted into an annex that now serves as a family room. In a redesign overseen by Amazing Grace Design for the current owners, the original stucco cladding was replaced with Jerusalem stone, reminiscent of the exterior of the nearby Getty Museum.
A second bedroom is flooded with light thanks to the strategically placed cliff windows.
“This is the third house I was involved in in the last 10 years and that Wally designed – they called it Wally,” says Langen of the architect, who died in 1990 at the age of 72 when the kit airplane, that he was driving crashed Santa Monica Bay. “This house has been given a new life,” Langen continues. “And Wally still respects it.”
Located just half a mile from Will Rogers State Beach in Los Angeles on a hillside lot, the 1,216-square-foot home offers a variety of outdoor meeting spaces.