While the drywall was off, the team also took advantage of the open access to redo the electrical wiring and install new insulation to make the house more comfortable.
The original gravel roof was bowed and sagging with deep overhangs and little insulation. Allen Associates replaced the roof and decided to fur it up to straighten sagging areas and allow electrical and plumbing to access hard-to-reach spots. The team chose a standing-seam metal roof in a dark gray color with rain chains instead of gutters and added 3 1/2 in. of rigid insulation, which had a noticeable impact on the home’s comfort level.
The owner wanted to reface some of the exterior in stone, but Santa Barbara sandstone was not the right aesthetic. She found a local supplier of coral stone from the Dominican Republic, which became the material for the surface of the exterior patios, walkway to the front door and stone veneer on the front faade.
For the front entry, the owner wanted a mahogany door with vertical slats in keeping with the tropical ambiance. Initially, the team thought it would have to be custom made, but Cronshaw found a stock door at a local supplier that fit the bill perfectly and set the precedent for mahogany on the bifold doors.
“When you work on a full-house remodel with such a small space, the timeline becomes really compressed for custom-built items such as the bifold doors, cabinets and master bedroom units,” says Cronshaw. “Organization is critical. We had to make sure lead times were set well in advance so products arrived on time and work didn’t come to a standstill.”
To keep the clean, simple lines on the inside, the team left the 2 by 6 tongue-and-groove ceiling from the 1950s exposed, refinished it and added track lighting in key areas.
Limestone was selected for the door sills in the kitchen and bathroom. The owner wanted a detailed seahorse coat of arms, the house address and name of the villa carved in limestone as well. On one of his trips to Bali, Cronshaw found a master carver who performed the intricate work in two weeks for a reasonable price. He brought them back and inlaid them into the entry gate’s plaster wall.
When the $480,600 remodel was finished, the home was still a compact 1,627 sq. ft. but felt much larger. Mendro says that it’s refreshing to see the trend toward maintaining existing structures and smaller living spaces. “Sustainable practices have people adapting existing homes to their needs rather than expending the energy to create something new. This is a great remodel and demonstrates the shift in focus from a bigger home to smaller but of better quality.”