Before/After: Interview With Malibu Home Renovator + Swoon-Worthy Gallery

We featured this Malibu home a few weeks ago on our blog and now we are back with a story to tell! What could have easily been a teardown, this home was instead reimagined by the buyer as a beautiful canvas to create a stunning renovation. Our very own Courtney Poulos represented the buyer, knowing there was potential here to create something magnificent!

The work on this home was done by Rania Alomar of Ra-Da, a West Hollywood boutique design and architecture firm. The Los Angeles Times did a full feature on Alomar and this home, where they really dug into the details of the design process. Read the full article here. We particularly love this design-savvy quote directly from Alomar and The Los Angeles Times:

“A pink bathroom is kind of a ’50s icon,” said Alomar. “This was a small area that we felt could really be playful.” The room’s pink subway tiles were “surprisingly hard” to source, she added. The blushed walls contrast well with an eggplant ceiling and brass accents.

We, on the other hand, want to offer the story of the buyer. Perhaps his interview will spark inspiration for all the would-be renovators out there. Prepare to be wowed by the before/after photos below – enjoy!

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What inspired you to renovate a home?

After our youngest graduated high school we were ready to downsize from the big family home we built in Hermosa Beach. We had done some restorations in the past and liked the idea of a new project, and we fell in love with the smaller 50’s ranch homes that are around Point Dume on those big acre lots. We hoped to restore one with full respect to the original, but also in the spirit of, how would this same design be built and finished today?

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Did you have any surprises along the way / what was the most challenging aspect of your renovation?

Well, the house was in really rough shape when we bought it because the previous owner had begun some changes that the city didn’t allow, so we took it on mid-construction and began again. There were unexpected structural repairs we ran into, as well as all the engineering that had to be done to bring the house up to modern codes. One tricky part was retaining the exposed beam ceilings in the living room that were part of the original design, but also meeting the energy requirements that came with rebuilding the roof structure. We ended up using rigid insulation on the exterior of the ceiling (under the roof) in that area of the house — but that of course changed the roof level noticeably next to the rest of the house, so we ended up adjusting the roof over the garage to match, even though there is no insulation in the garage at all. Crazy hassle but it makes a big difference in how the place looks now.
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Most exciting part of renovating?
A number of neighbors, and friends of the original family who lived there have stopped by to compliment the project, and they all comment how nice it is to see that old house getting love again. That’s been really rewarding, and it’s why we enjoy doing remodels. Giving an old house the respect it deserves is really giving back to the whole neighborhood.
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What is your favorite room or detail in the finished product?
The big living room/dining room space has a great feel with the terrazzo and fireplace and walnut paneling. It’s a relaxing spot to look out at the property and trees, and with the folding door that opens the back wall to the deck and pool it has a really easy indoor/outdoor flow. The pink bathroom is pretty rad too.
b70e8db8d0825b1e19ea04d738ed8c21If you could give one piece of advice to people interested in renovating, what would it be?
Know the “splurges” at the design phase that make the space yours, then when reality hits and you’re cutting costs later you’ll be clear what to protect. For us it was the terrazzo floors and the soapstone kitchen counters, we substituted in lots of areas as we went along, but those were always untouchables that make a big difference in how the place feels.

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