Barbie’s Dream House: A Robbie Adobe Remodel

Located in the foothills of North Tustin, an unincorporated community with winding, hilly streets lacking sidewalks, curbs and streetlights, 1341 Foothill Boulevard exemplifies the landed, Californian idyll of possessing a house existing in the city and countryside simultaneously; a ditch crossed by a pair of small concrete bridges, allow access to the generous, sloping lot—a setting at once isolated, and yet commanding a view past Tustin, South South Coast Plaza, and Fashion Island, out to the Pacific Ocean and Catalina Island beyond. This property, specifically its location, setting, and size, enables you to build a Barbie’s Dream Home for yourself, and this dream home will be one tailored to this lot, and built out of flotsam and jetsam of my inspiration files.

Yet, the property already posseses a few advantages I already admire, such as the semi-circular driveway, which assists with the parking situation, the fact that the front of the home is oriented westward, instead of the back of the house, so as to create a more interesting, site-specific engagement between the home and its surrounding lot.

And the features I would consider include adding subterranean parking or garages buit into the south-east hillside, the pool brought forward onto the street-facing portion of the property, with everything leveled, terraced, and hedges so as to maintain both the privacy and the views. A rooftop deck, depending on the style and situation of the home, could also be a desireable option for the home. Perhaps even a basement theater could be incorporated into the new plans. An elevator would be a given, of course.

With so many options, where else to start except for the very best—designed the manner of Wallace Neff, as a magnificent Andalusian manor home transported onto a Southern California hillside. Why not build a home so connected to its setting, elevation, and grounds? To build a house incorporating enfiladed indoor/outdoor spaces is of the utmost importance, and Neff’s “The Enchanted Hill” designed for Fred Thomson and Frances Marion, wonderfully commands both its own landscape as well as framing its own impressive views out to the sea.

La Collina, located in Beverly Hills and designed by the architect Gordon B. Kaufmann, is another example of Spanish Colonial Revival style architecture that would easily fit the site.

Another Neff, this one Italianate in style and located on Bel Air’s Bellagio Road, is designed with curving walls, on a lot similar in circumstance to the lot located at1 341 Foothill Boulevard, and commands a certain playful formality.

Black Point, the H. H. Rogers estate was located in Southampton, New York and designed by the architectural firm of Walker & Gilette in 1916. I am quite enamored with the entry spaces, both interior and exterior, and the large, open rooms, allowing for easy transitions between private and public spaces within the home and gardens.

Onadune, located in Southampton, New York, reveals a “cottage,” shingle, eastern-seaboard look for the new home for 1341 Foothill Boulevard.

Located on Summit Drive in Beverly Hills, this Scott Mitchell designed home reveals a clear, open floor plan that enables the spaces to be multiuse, functional, and expand or contract based on the occasion. This home also showcases extensive landscape design elements that you can view from beneath the generously wide rear covered loggia.

David Adler’s Port of Call, designed for William McCormick Blair house on Crab Tree Farm in Lake Bluff, Illinois, also provides a wonderfully storied, varied, and established take on traditional New England building methods and applied on a much larger scale that is still able to allow for intimate moments and spaces within and around itself.

With so many choices, I feel it would have to be a blend of a Southern California friendly style with plentiful windows and disappearing doors complete with an infinity pool overlooking the grounds and city lights below.

1341 Foothill Boulevard is currently listed for $1,250,000 by Kimberly Harvey of Seven Gables Real Estate. The current home on the property includes 4 bedrooms and 2.5 bathrooms within 2,255 square feet on a roughly 33,500 square foot lot.

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