The old saying that beauty is only skin deep but ugly goes clear to the bone, may be too strong a statement to apply to how Bob and Marty Mahan viewed the exterior of their home in the Emerald Bay area near Laguna Beach.
Still, with its 1950s modern styling, the exterior of the house didn't seem appropriate to their collection of antique furnishings. The house is in a gate-guarded development in one of the most desirable locations in California, and the interior layout was basically sound.
Architect Paul Bozarth, 557 Sturgeon Drive, Costa Mesa, created a series of before-and-after perspective sketches to show the Mahans how they could alter the exterior of their house most economically.
"Quick perspective sketches such as these are an important service that an architect can provide for a client," Bozarth explained. "These sketches clearly show the owner what the finished product will look like. The eye sees in perspective, while most architectural drawings are drawn in elevation."
The architect suggested replacing large single-pane fixed glass windows with French doors and bay windows, installing wood shingles over the existing wood and stucco walls, attaching wood railing on the existing square-section metal railing, putting in herringbone brick paving at the front entry deck and installing a monumental new brick entry stairway.
Inside the house, Bozarth suggested new flooring and carpeting, a coffered entryway ceiling, new wall coverings.
As the sketches accompanying this column illustrate, the suggested changes transform the house. The work is being done in phases, something that Bozarth suggests to all his residential clients.
"Some owners decide to go ahead and do everything at once, but phasing a job is more comfortable for most homeowners," he said. "So far, the Mahans have made several changes in the design and have spent about $20,000," he added.
"They are taking their time with the work, but the French doors, the brick deck paving and the new wood railing have already improved the appearance."
Bozarth is right about architectural drawings; few people without construction or design training can visualize the changes that are contemplated through plan views or elevations alone.
Even better than sketches are simple cardboard or construction paper models. I know several architects who routinely make models of major remodeling jobs for their clients.