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Touring a Playfully Bold Architectural Home in Mar Vista

Welcome to House Calls, a new feature in which Curbed tours the lovely, offbeat, or otherwise awesome homes of regular Angelenos. Think your space should be featured next? Drop us a line with a few photos and details about your place.


Photos by Wonho Frank Lee

Through an awesome chain of events, we got an opportunity to snag a photo tour of the Alan-Voo Residence, a former AIA/LA tour house that's only gotten better (and more colorful) with time. Outfitted with 1,000 square feet of additions by architect Neil Denari, the house (1,000 square feet before the add-on) looks deceptively traditional from the front and cheerfully modern inside.

Who lives here?
Rhonda Voo, fine artist
Eric Alan, creative director

What are the stats?
4 bedrooms. 2.75 baths. 2,100 square feet.

What did it cost?
We bought the house 25 years ago (!) for $335,000.

How long have you been here?
We've lived here for 25 years. Moved in when Rhonda was pregnant with our first child. We raised three children here, always remodeling after we had another kid. Our Neil Denari remodel took place 8-plus years ago. Next week, we're taking our youngest to start college at Bard in NY, and will begin a new phase in the house ... as we become (gulp) empty-nesters. WTF!

What's the best feature?
The artistry of Neil Denari's genius.

What's the worst feature?
Still looking forward to doing Phase Two of the Denari design, so that the front of the house matches the back. We plan on building up (a studio for Rhonda), building out (an integrated patio connecting the dining room to a garden), and building down (a jacuzzi/spa).

What do you love and/or hate about the neighborhood?
After 25 years, our neighborhood is changing in front of our eyes: cafes, restaurants, the Expo Line. It's fantastic!

What's your approach to decorating?
Modern, uncluttered, meaningful objects. We want objects and furniture inside to be as beautiful as Denari's architecture.

Any crazy/interesting stories about your place?
We went from living in Peewee's Playhouse to an uncluttered Denari home after we participated in a UCLA Anthropological study documented in the book Life at Home in the Twenty-First Century.

How'd you end up here?
25 years ago, it was by far the best deal we could find for a family in West LA. We rode the 1990s property bubble, took advantage of the equity we accrued.

If you could have any living situation in LA, what would it be?
During the Denari remodel, we rented a house a block away from Sawtelle. That was fantastic.


· House Calls [Curbed LA]