When Taylor and Jim started their home search, their “Must-Haves” included a renovated space on the Westside filled with natural light, private outdoor space, and off-street parking. As luck would have it, they stumbled on this renovated 50s gem in the heart of Mar Vista. Tucked behind a wooden fence and dense podocarpus hedge, the residence is one of four single-story homes in an intimate Tenants in Common community. As their home hits the market, they describe living in this setting and the perks of their neighborhood.
Taylor: “We were in Venice living in a two-bed, two-bath apartment right behind Felix off of Abbott Kinney, and we decided that we needed to move. Jim was returning to graduate school, and we would soon only have one income. We needed to move somewhere where we could have a lower monthly payment than our rent. I loved our apartment. So did Jim. I said the only way I’m leaving this amazing apartment is if we buy something equally amazing. We started looking, and we stumbled across 4227 S Centinela Ave. We fell in love.”
Two separate structures hold four nearly identical homes behind the gated entry. Taylor and Jim occupy one of the front residences with exclusive use of a yard. The couple redesigned the yard with a mature Eureka Lemon tree that fruits year-round for cocktail garnishes, while an herb garden and mature landscaping offer enhanced privacy and lovely summer shade.
Taylor: “When it’s sunny out, the yard is where I eat a lot of lunches when working from home. The tree provides great shade. I also get to look at all the blossoms indicating where the lemons will grow. I also spend a lot of time sitting on the bench while grilling food outside. We host many intimate gatherings and small dinner parties; when we have a larger group of folks over, it’s a very indoor/outdoor experience. We’ll open up the front door and the windows. If there’s a football game on, you can turn on the TV and see and hear it while enjoying the space in the front yard. Having a yard opens up the house.”
Inside the one-bedroom, one-bath opens to the living room. Here, large south-facing windows frame leafy views of the established yard. The couple installed a Samsung Frame TV that blends into the curated gallery wall, expanding the living space and allowing viewing of Ru Paul’s Drag Race or games on the Nintendo Switch. The dining area sits on one side of this space before entering the kitchen.
While renovating the kitchen, the couple moved the washer and dryer to the garage. This made room for creature comforts like an oversized sink, additional cabinetry and shelving, a dishwasher, and more counter space to hold an espresso machine. The bedroom features a spacious closet with built-in storage above and below. The ensuite bathroom is adorned with modern hexagonal charcoal tile on the floor, and white subway tile surrounds the shower/tub.
Jim: “There’s great morning light. I’m an early riser, so I’ve seen all seasons of the light. In the mornings, you see the sunrise reflecting into the living room. I meditate in the living room, so it’s a nice way to ease into the morning. In the afternoon, the kitchen gets bright. The light throughout the day is quite lovely. We rarely turn the lights on during the day, if at all.”
Taylor: “We’ve optimized every area of this space. The storage we installed in the garage allows us to rotate clothes into the closet in the main house and keep stuff that we don’t use as frequently in storage, like rain jackets, winter coats, ski gear, and suits or tuxedos. We put an exercise bike in the garage and park our Vespas there, too. We also park our car behind the garage due to the ample space. We have pretty ample parking space, which is nice. Last night it was raining so I didn’t want to go to the gym. I went back to the garage and did a Peloton ride. It’s a luxury of how we set things up.”
The property is near hot spots like Hatchet Hall, Ginger’s Ice Cream, and Lodge Bread. Taylor says, “We can walk to at least three coffee shops within 10-15 minutes. Menotti’s Coffee Stop is a 5-minute walk away if I need to get a quick coffee. On longer walks, I like to pop into The Boy & The Bear.”
Taylor: “It feels like it’s a neighborhood on the rise. It’s fun to see all the homes that are getting renovated. I think the proximity on the West Side, freeway access, and closeness to Playa Vista, Venice, Santa Monica, Marina Del Rey, and Culver City are attractive to many people. I go on runs in the evenings. My favorite run ends at Burton Chace Park. I sit on the bench, watch the boats come in, and look at the sea lions. That’s something I’ll definitely miss about this place.
The list price is $615,000, with monthly HOA dues of $133.75, which includes gardening, insurance, and garbage. See this home at 4227 S Centinela Avenue at the first open houses on February 10th and 11th, 2024, from 1 to 3pm.