From guesthouse to grandeur
Bruce and Patty Drown bought a quaint one-room guesthouse in the Belmont Heights neighborhood of Long Beach in 1982 for $50,000. The house was at the rear of a 6,350-square-foot lot, and had a yard extending to Granada Avenue.

A builder by trade, Bruce Drown added a second story, which gave the couple a bit more elbowroom. Then he added a full kitchen, living room and den. Five years later, he contacted architect Randy Morris and together they built a Santa Barbara-Mediterranean style addition.

Today, the peach-colored home, no longer owned by the Drowns, still stands out in a neighborhood dominated by historic Craftsman and Spanish-style homes dating to the early 20th Century.

A light flagstone walkway flows between stucco columns supporting an open-beam trellis at the entry. The columns and flagstone continue inside the living room, dining room and through a breezeway, which connects the addition to the original structure. Patios extend off both sides of the breezeway.

"One of the things Morris told me was 'The windows are the eyes of the house,' " Drown said.

Several sets of French doors -- 12 altogether -- have arched windows above them. With 11 skylights in all, the house has an abundance of "eyes" and areas where sunlight can stream through. In the living room, the raised fireplace has a door trimmed in brass and copper. The chimney rises up almost 20 feet to the highest point of the vaulted ceiling.

With the exception of the original custom wood cabinetry, the horseshoe-shaped kitchen was recently updated. The floor consists of large Italian porcelain tiles set on a diagonal.

Spread over 1,000 square feet, the master bedroom and bathroom take up the entire second floor above the original structure. With a 15-foot ceiling, the open space feels like a loft. A concrete Mission-style fireplace with a small sitting area anchors the space. A Kohler tub trimmed in small black tiles appears to float on a granite floor.

Although not completed, the rooftop deck has areas to sunbathe and offers 360-degree views.



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