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Exotic woods grace home and guest house

March 29, 2009|Dinah Eng

A variety of woods give warmth to a contemporary-style house just blocks from the Mid-Wilshire museum district.

Designed by owner Janna Levenstein, the house was originally a 1959 bungalow that was gutted for renovation and completed in 2007.

The two-bedroom, 2 1/2 -bathroom house features an open kitchen and living area with built-in cabinets and a skylight.

"The inspiration for the house came from wanting to use a lot of exotic woods," says Levenstein, who used wenge, teak, zebrawood and Afromesia for built-ins including cabinetry, shelving and a bench around the living room fireplace.

"I feel like this is my own mini-compound. The wall of the house dividing the two homes was built as a non-bearing wall so that if anyone ever wanted, they could connect it to the front unit and create a three-bedroom house."

Levenstein says the house has frequently been used as a film location, and served as the architect's house in the HBO series "Tell Me You Love Me."

A front unit can serve as a guest house, but Levenstein uses it as her office and media/studio space.

In both houses, an iPod dock, integrated into the wall, funnels music into all rooms; eco-smart fireplaces burn denatured alcohol; and a smart house system allows remote control of the air conditioning, heating and sprinkler systems.

Greenery and black bamboo surround the house for privacy. A two-car garage with built-in desk, cabinetry and washer-dryer hookups sits at the rear of the property.


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2 homes, 1 lot

Location: 856 S. Spaulding Ave., Los Angeles 90036

Asking price: $1,395,000

Previously sold for: $1,045,000 in January 2006

Size: There are a total of three bedrooms and 3 1/2 bathrooms in 2,200 square feet in the main house and guest unit.

Lot size: 5,488 square feet

Additional features: Charcoal-colored oak flooring, Bosch cooktop and ovens, Fisher and Paykel dish drawers, built-in film projector in guest house cabinetry.

Around the neighborhood: In 2008, 83 single-family homes sold in the 90036 ZIP Code at a median price of $1,057,000, according to MDA DataQuick, a decrease of 13.7% from 2007. Last week, 45 single-family homes were listed for sale in this ZIP Code, ranging in price from $729,000 to $2,249,000, according to

Listing agent: Jan Horn, Coldwell Banker Architectural, Beverly Hills, (310) 777-6220

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