Windows were also repeated for visual continuity. Morey added two windows on each side of the front arched balcony, one above the entry door and a third around the corner into the entry. The windows are clad aluminum outside and dark-stained pine on the interior.
The custom railings for the balconies also lent definition below the pre-existing arched windows at the back of the house. An open patio existed, formed from second-story extensions supported by brick columns. The commercial-looking design was square with no elements to visually tie the two protruding extensions together. Morey created elliptical arches in the patio’s overhang to bring softness to the monolithic architecture.
Morey Construction Group also added wood-stained rafters to recall the Tuscan theme and create a courtyard feel when walking out of the dining area’s new oak French doors onto the patio. Rafter tails around the overhang are larger than typical 2 by 4 boards and have a half-round profile. In reality, they are faux caps to limit maintenance, but keep the architectural look.
New bifold mahogany doors in the family room open onto the patio to create one large indoor/outdoor room twice the size of the family room alone. The mahogany — sourced from Ecuador — is the same wood as the front door and the garage doors and also frames a new family room window looking onto the patio.
The creation of an inviting outdoor living area was a huge consideration. “The weather in Long Beach is so wonderful that you can spend 90 percent of your time outside, and the owner did just that. It was really important to provide an area that was both comfortable and stylish,” Morey says.
The 15- by 30-ft. patio includes a fireplace, television, ceiling fan and recessed lighting over outdoor living furniture adjacent to the family room and a barbecue area outside the dining room.
To keep costs under control, the remodel did not initially include a new roof. The owner had installed a lightweight concrete tile that resembled shake material, but the view from the street contrasted sharply with the Tuscan style architecture of the rest of the design. The owner asked Morey Construction Group to provide a solution to mitigate its appearance. In their design, the company put a tile cap on the outside edge of the fascia. The visual trick worked well and was about to be installed when the neighbor to the east trimmed his huge sycamore tree. Suddenly, the full side of the house was visible, and it became clear that the roof had to be completely replaced. Lightweight clay tile roofing now graces the top of residence.
The $351,600 remodel took six months to complete. “In the end, thoughtful details allowed us to give the owner what he desired with a very slight amount of additional square footage,” notes Morey. “The residence went from an unremarkable house to one that now has a very distinctive, refined character.”