When Paul and Rhonda Bozarth were looking for a house early in 1985, they sought a house that could be remodeled to provide Paul Bozarth with a home office for his architectural practice.
They found what they wanted at 557 Sturgeon Drive, Costa Mesa: A 1960s-vintage four-bedroom tract house with a large bonus room and bathroom all by itself on the second floor. Since many of his clients come to his home for plans to remodel their houses, it seems logical to Bozarth to practice what he preaches about remodeling.
One of his first changes after they bought the house in April, 1985, was to add a french-door entry at the base of the stairs leading up to his office, creating access for clients without having them go through the kitchen.
"Our next major project was to remove the wall separating our living room and kitchen," he explained. "The space on either side of the wall was useless in terms of furnishing, so taking out the wall is giving us the room to create a much-needed formal dining room."
Bozarth believes in designing remodeling plans to be done in phases, as a client's finances and needs permit.
In his own house, he has plans for taking out a wall and windows in his entryway and installing french doors, with one large french door opening to the formal dining/living room and a pair of french doors opening to a family dining room/kitchen.
"In a later phase, a curving wall will be constructed of glass block to separate the kitchen/informal dining area from the living room/formal dining area," he added.
The kitchen itself is due for a major remodeling effort in the future, Bozarth said. When the french doors go in, the existing pantry and a counter area will be replaced by a built-in desk and a new pantry.
Above the desk will be bookshelves and compartments for mail, reducing clutter in the kitchen. A new island unit in the center of the kitchen will contain a second kitchen sink, space for a microwave oven, a trash compactor, additional cupboard and food preparation space and an eating bar.
The exterior, currently pale green, will be painted a pale peach with white trim. The asphalt driveway and concrete front walks will be redone in brick. A gated brick arch will be added to the entryway with an intercom system, allowing the Bozarths to screen all visitors.
The last major project will be to expand the tiny master bathroom, with dual sinks and a separate toilet area.
"When I was in junior college, I took a tour of architect Richard Neutra's project house in Silver Lake," Bozarth said. "I was impressed with the very creative features he had designed into his home and ever since, I hoped to some day be able to test my ideas on our own home. On a much smaller scale, of course, I plan to experiment on our house, using forms, textures, details, products and colors that my clients can use in their own homes."