These Minimalist Prefabricated Homes Maximize Indoor / Outdoor Living
Ask any artist or designer and they’ll tell you: Coercion is fertile ground for creativity. The art of building a house, especially as a prefab, with its standardized design elements that optimize both materials and labor, is no exception. Take, for example, two inventive prefabricated residences designed and built by Connect homes in Los Angeles, which “couldn’t be more different,” says Jared Levy, co-founder and designer of the company’s projects, but they came from the same customer-defined parameters: “Both wanted a clean, contemporary design, and better indoor / outdoor flow, ”says Levy.
When Los Angeles-based jewelry designer Nancy Newberg initially installed a Connect 2 prefab above her freestanding garage, her plan was to use the 640-square-foot space as a guesthouse. She chose the one bedroom and one bathroom model and personalized it with the addition of a covered patio. Soon after completing the project, his son Nick returned to town after graduating from college on the East Coast, and he became the first resident to test the space. “We have always shared a passion for mini-homes,” says Nancy. “It seemed like the perfect place for Nick to start his life in LA”
ADU also seemed like the perfect place for Nancy to try out more of her decorating ideas, having completed a spectacular new build designed by Marmol Radziner for herself and her husband on the same land. “The goal was to create a cozy little treehouse nestled on the hillside,” she says of the property’s touch of singing. They painted the exterior black and brought in bleached wood for the floors and ceilings. Levy adds, “The main house at the Newberg is a Spanish Mediterranean-style house covered in beautiful off-white plaster, so our sleek black wooden cabin couldn’t create more contrast.”
Nancy opted for a larger than usual sliding door that opens the living room and kitchen onto the covered deck module to the outside. It was a personalized touch that would eventually surprise even Levy himself, proof of the uniqueness of each prefab. “Opening those doors and stepping out onto a covered patio surrounded by the treetops was quite an intoxicating moment,” says Levy. “I didn’t want to leave.”
Across town from West LA, Michelle and Brian Duff, along with their two children and two dogs, had grown too big for their ten-year-old home, but they still loved the neighborhood. The 1,920 square foot Connect 6T model gave the family the flexibility to stay put while switching to a contemporary design with more space. “We love clean lines, natural light and openness,” Michelle says. The fact that the four bedroom, three bathroom home came together with minimal disruption to their lives and the neighborhood was a welcome bonus. They signed the papers in August and were moved to their new space less than a year later.
The fluid and simple floor plan encourages the young family to live the same way. A monochrome palette allows artwork and textiles to take center stage – pieces from favorite California artists such as Tony Manzella, Alex Cave and Blockshop Textiles enliven the walls.
Sliding glass doors open to the wrap-around deck, which offers plenty of space for outside seating and dining. When closed, the oversized sliders still offer lovely views of the landscaped courtyard. “Our dogs love to watch the neighborhood through all the generous windows, hence the dog noseprints,” laughs Michelle.