It was your quintessential nondescript condo, complete with 'cottage cheese' ceiling, particleboard cabinets and hollow-core doors," says CBS News correspondent Bill Lagattuta of the Santa Monica condominium he purchased nine years ago. To transform the standard-issue space, Lagattuta hired husband-and-wife architects Susan and David Frisch of Frank & Frisch in Burbank. (Frank is her maiden name.) The resulting redesign, with its tranquil palette, sleek furnishings and sculptural detailing, fulfilled Lagattuta's dream of owning a "sophisticated urban dwelling by the beach."
Every aspect of the home was transformed, from small interior appointments such as the air-conditioning vents, oven hood and medicine chest doors to larger architectural elements such as walls, windows, doors and the fireplace. To create a feeling of heft and permanence, the architects doubled the thickness of the existing 6-inch center wall, which runs the length of the condo. They then cut out and lit niches to display Lagattuta's eclectic pottery collection. Along the living room window wall, a soffit hides sunscreens that camouflage bland aluminum-framed windows. And hollow-core doors, jambs and baseboards have been replaced with solid cherry. "We wanted to give the condominium a totally custom look," says David, whose firm specializes in fabricating metal furnishings and finishes such as the steel-wrapped entry door and copper and blackened-steel fireplace.