With Big-City Style
Located in one of Los Angeles’ most desirable neighborhoods, and in the coveted enclave of El Medio Bluffs … a 20-minute walk in this beautifully landscaped neighborhood brings one to Palisades Village and the center of town.
It’s not uncommon for parents to wax nostalgic about the freedoms of their childhood: allowed to roam unsupervised is a gift that one yearns to bestow upon their offspring. But, given Los Angeles’ 469 square miles, that wish can feel like a pipe dream. It seems impossible to navigate the city without a car, tethering kids to their parents’ availability. So an ideal house is one that ranks high on the scale of walkability, and has access to everything a family could want—large supermarkets and small specialty shops, movie theaters, cafes and restaurants, great schools, tennis courts, beaches and hiking trails—all within a mile of its location.
This residence would be located on a small, lightly traversed street in a quiet neighborhood, with friendly residents committed to the beauty and safety of their road and homes that rarely change hands, gifting children a setting within which to cultivate independence.
This intimate and inviting home would have a clapboard exterior to instantly draw all eyes and, while traditional in style, offer all the conveniences of modern open-plan living: sliding doors that fully expose the interior to the exterior, a pool and a sauna, capacious closets, en-suite bedrooms and a kitchen fitted with state-of-the-art appliances. It would support both large-scale entertaining and the day-to-day activities of a busy family. It would also have a mother-in-law suite on the first floor for guests, and a separate home office.
The Cape Cod-influenced house at 554 Muskingum, located in Pacific Palisades, grants this wish. “This property’s quiet street, location on the bluff, grand feeling and centerline design upon entering is extremely enticing to the Palisades buyer,” says real estate agent Ryan Jancula of My Westside Home. “Add in a stunning wine display, pool and spa, and outdoor living room, and this design brings huge value to the next owner.”
Located in one of Los Angeles’ most desirable neighborhoods, and in the coveted enclave of El Medio Bluffs, specifically, a 20-minute walk in this beautifully landscaped neighborhood brings one to Palisades Village and the center of town. There’s no need to take the car to a doctor appointment, or lunch with friends; not as one becomes a convert to the meditative and physical benefits of walking.
In such a neighborhood as this, children are quick to relish their newfound freedom, joining their peers heading to Palisades Charter High School, while adults in the family discover the area’s myriad parks and basketball hoops while on a morning walk with the dog. Sundays are time to bond as a couple or a family en route to the market. It’s hard to resist Bountiful Bakery’s offerings; and children are likely to call out their orders for Denise’s sweets, a surefire weekend tradition.
Arriving home, one’s canines bound across the home’s long length from their favorite spots in the sun, accompanying one to the kitchen with happy barks. Not to worry about clumps of grass or dirt clods marring the look of the home’s elegant dark floors; extended to the exterior with tiles, the hardscape amplifies the home’s seamless flow, indoors to out. Fleetwood doors that separate the backyard from the family room and the kitchen are rarely closed: everyone in the house will rotate to their favorite spots throughout the day, and friends are likely to be astounded with how much time family seems to hang out together.
Traditional details, like moldings and wainscoting, meld with high ceilings, creating a space that is at once modern and classic. A spacious pantry is a boon when you live in a home designed for entertaining. Whether it’s friends who come for brunch and decide to stay for dinner or the posse of children destined to gather here, it seems that this house will be the place where everyone congregates.
When the rare moments for more formal occasions arise—a business dinner, cocktails with new colleagues—this home is equal to the challenge. Whether the committee decides to make this year’s school fundraiser a standing room-only drinks party or a sit-down dinner, everyone agrees that this home provides the perfect setting. Community, family, and friends—these are the indispensable pieces that add up to a place that feels like home. And not just any home. Yours.
Photographs by Paul Jonason