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Manhattan Beach Duo Build Massive Dream House

Manhattan Beach Duo Build Massive Dream House

PHOTOGRAPHY BY KARYN MILLET

An empty nest often means an opportunity to downsize, but one Manhattan Beach couple chose to take a completely different tack. “We decided to build our dream house after the kids grew up,” says the wife. “They have a large and growing extended family,” explains interior designer Chris Barrett of her clients, “and they wanted to build a house that was more responsive to their needs right now.”

A new house, yes, but in the same much-loved spot where they had lived for 26 years. So the couple carefully deconstructed their shingled two-story home (donating any reusable materials to nonprofit groups) and incorporated the empty lot next door, which they previously used as a yard, to build a thoughtfully designed new structure. This “vertical village,” as architect Grant Kirkpatrick calls it, would expand to host visiting family and shrink back when the homeowners were alone.

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