Before & After: A Hollywood Hills Makeover

Having grown up in a household filled with preservationists, I was raised to believe that there is no house or building too far gone for a little TLC. Because of this, it always warms my heart when I hear stories of people who have taken it upon themselves to refurbish a home that would otherwise be deemed unsalvageable. One of these stories recently dropped into our inbox, courtesy of interior designer and artist Alexandra Becket. When Alexandra and her husband stumbled upon this cottage in the Nichols Canyon neighborhood of Hollywood Hills, they fell immediately in love with the home’s vaulted ceilings with original hand-chiseled wood beams. Although the 1949 home was in serious disrepair and most landowners would have simply demoed it, the couple decided to give it a second go at glory and revive its charming “storybook cabin” feeling—with a modern twist, of course. Check out all of the photos of this amazing renovation and more information about its process after the jump! —Max


Although the exterior of the cottage was in very poor condition when Alexandra and her husband purchased the home, the couple wanted to maintain its overall feeling. They did so by replacing the former Shaker-style wooden siding with HardieShingle Staggered Edge Shinges in their “Evening Blue” color. Although not actually cedar wood, the new shingles are weather and fire resistant—a definite plus. The front door is painted Benjamin Moore’s Merlot Red, a striking compliment to the cottage’s blue shingles.

To open up the main space and bring more light in, the couple tore down the wall separating the living room and the kitchen. The living room’s fireplace was rebuilt using brick salvaged from the previous patio. The interior paint color is Benjamin Moore’s Acadia White. The schoolhouse pendant lights in the main living area came from Rejuvination. Kitchen cabinets and sink from IKEA, kitchen island and dining table set from West Elm. Vintage kilim rug in the living room from Amadi Carpets.

Bathroom faucets from Grohe, shower hardware from Hansgrohe. Bathroom sconces from West Elm.

The furniture throughout the house is mostly vintage, collected by the couple over the past few years. A few of the items (namely the screen-printed pillows in the office and the Joshua Tree painting in the bedroom), though, were made by Alexandra herself! Check out more of her work here.

  1. I was looking at this place and thinking, “This has ModOp written all over it.” So it turns out it that it was! ModOp does house flips in LA. I’m impressed like always, and while something other than white walls is generally more interesting, for a flip, I think it’s a smart choice. It’s the easiest thing a potential buyer can change and provides a “blank canvas”.

  2. Vanessa says:

    Gosh, I wish I was this talented. Great job! By the way, I have driven across town for a little blue toilet like that. It’s a cutie.

  3. ccr says:

    I agree with Laura…”I was really sad to see that they replaced the storybook trim and cedar siding that really gave the house its character.”

  4. Kylae J says:

    This is mind-blowing. What a transformation! I love it

  5. Debra says:

    Did I miss the name of the wood flooring??? Beautiful…I want those!

  6. Francesca says:

    Love how the removed the wall by the fireplace and the cement with brick trim on porch.

  7. imdb says:

    Wow! Bought for $450k; sold for $789k a year later! Great job. The add says it’s hardwood maple flooring.

  8. Really, really loved your siding choice. The before and after photos are dramatically different. My husband and I are doing something similar to our home using James Hardy fiber cement siding. Look forward to your other posts!

  9. Tommy says:

    Is that James Hardie cedar siding on the blue exterior?

    1. Alexandra says:

      Yes Tom, It’s Hardie Board, Shaker Shingle Style!

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