An architect reimagines a cramped Manhattan Beach bungalow into a minimalist marvel for his sister
Meet a modern family.
- Written byEliza Krpoyan
- Photographed byLauren Pressey & Steve King
Older siblings oftentimes know what’s best, but when Edward Ogosta’s sister Alison Goad hired him to be her architect, she had to trust that her younger brother might know better.
“Ed has a style that’s unique and minimal,” Alison says. “You go to his house and definitely feel more calm when there’s less in the environment.”
Alison’s home, which she purchased with her husband, Jeff, 22 years ago and shares with their three children, was a 1950s Manhattan Beach bungalow at its capacity. Ed helped them achieve a simpler life and more square footage.
“There’s something to also be said for a cozy home with lots of photos and warmth,” shares Alison on the feeling they wanted to maintain. To achieve a sense of coziness they kept the original size of the small bedrooms, which allowed them to use the addition for gathering and entertaining spaces.
“Before, with the little cramped bungalow, they could have maybe 10 people over and it would feel crowded. Now they can have 30 people and it still feels spacious,” says Ed, who lives nearby and visits often. “The house fades in the background. It’s just a frame for these events and life activities that she and her family have now.”
Since opening his eponymous firm in 2011, Ed has specialized in residential design, creative workplaces and inventive commercial spaces. Among his traits are creating spaces that optimize natural light. His work is reminiscent of artists like James Turrell, who engages with light and space.
“Every inch of the house does something. It works for us.”
The kitchen features 14-foot ceilings with clerestory windows that drench the home with natural light. The cabinets are straightforward white oak against a white quartz countertop.
The linear space flows through the built-in dining nook, where the wall is textured with white oak vertical slats, and through the living area. Both ends of the area feature folding glass doors that allow the space to open to an outdoor deck with a kitchen, dining area and fire pit on one end and a front patio on the other end, featuring concrete site walls and landscaping for privacy. To calm the echo from the tall ceilings and make the environment warmer, they added softer elements such as area rugs and pillows.
Because Ed has been going over to the Goads’ house for many years, he knew what some of their needs were. In addition to ample entertaining areas, the family needed storage. Ed created a lot of usable storage that keeps the home faring toward minimalism.
For instance, the long, dark grey banquette in the dining nook houses all of Alison’s entertaining plates and China. “Some people like to display, but I like them tucked away so there are less things out,” she says.
The same goes for her kitchen appliances. She has them plugged in and hidden inside a cabinet. They’ll open the cabinet, use the appliances and then shut the cabinet. There aren’t any appliances on the counters.
“Every inch of the house does something,” says Alison. “It works for us.” Some parts literally work for the family; the house features solar panels on the roof and produces all of the energy it consumes.
The material palette was limited to concrete, oak, drywall and white walls on the exterior. “My feeling is that you can always introduce color and pattern in the decor because that’s easily changeable,” explains Ed.
Though the sparseness of the project was a welcomed adjustment, one item Alison was unwavering about was having color in the powder room. “She wanted it to encapsulate this area of Manhattan Beach,” says Ed. Together they shopped for tile and found a beautiful bluish option from Heath Ceramics that’s inspired by the colors of the ocean.
“[That space] is actually one of everybody’s favorite rooms. Consistently, when people look at the photos, they love that tile. Now clients ask me for a room like that on other projects. It’s a subtle kind of color with some pattern, but it really makes a more special space even though it’s very tiny.”
The siblings agree that the best part of the renovation is Alison being able to enjoy the space and entertain larger gatherings. Ed describes his sister as someone who’s very social, involved in the community, loves to cook and loves to entertain.
“Oftentimes with clients, after they’ve moved in, you keep in touch but they live in their home and you don’t participate in that—because it’s not your house,” explains Ed. In this case, he is invited to his sister’s house often and sees how the house is used, the different qualities of light and different times of the family life.
“It’s really great to see that the space really works,” he says. “It’s so rewarding to see her living in the way I think she’s always wanted to live.