Mountain Views News     Logo: MVNews     Saturday, March 10, 2012

MVNews this week:  Page 15



 Mountain Views News Saturday, March 10, 2012 

One Of A Kind: Featuring unique homes and gardens and the people who create them. Story and Photos by Chris Bertrand




Nearly invisible behind the gates of this Spanish Colonial Revival 
estate, reigns a serene retreat of extraordinary character in South 
Pasadena. Covered in the rustic clay tiles of the period, this 4809 
square foot estate sprawls in an L-shape, offering privacy for each 
bedroom with its own or a shared bath.

Building on the beautiful bones of the home, the current owner 
undertook an enormous top to bottom update in 1995. Maintaining 
careful deference to the style and period of the home, she gutted 
much of the home, starting with the un-glamorous yet very 
necessary systems of the home, including electrical and heating. 

In each step, the seller says, there was never a compromise to the 
integrity of this beautiful diamond that required a fresh face and 
a serious polish. The distinctive doorknobs, for instance, were 
carefully preserved throughout, and add to the home’s period charm

The two story foyer is simply breathtaking with its sandblasted wood 
beam, cathedral ceilings, colorful tiled stairs, and perimeter, gallery 
overlook on two sides. Beautifully lit from above with French doors 
and other windows, the spacious room just glows. The staircase has 
rather utilitarian iron railings that also didn’t satisfy today’s code 
requirements, so an ornate railing system was handcrafted.

The many fireplaces are all wood burning. Particularly noteworthy 
is the corner dining room fireplace, which prior to the remodel was 
very plain. An added mantel made the fireplace the new focal point 
for the massive room, easily seating a large party. A combination 
of the original chandelier and vintage sconces add real drama and 
romantic lighting to any dinner party. A delightful, built-in china 
cabinet features a glass door and ornate iron detailing.

In the grand scaled living room, the eye is drawn up to the 
magnificent barrel ceilings and then outside through the arched 
window to a fabulous full sized statue in the back yard. The room 
accommodates several seating and activity areas, with ample place 
for a grand piano, cozy fireplace gatherings conversations or to 
enjoy big screen media. 

In transition to the kitchen, a charming sitting room provides the 
perfect place for morning coffee or a great book. Many rooms, 
including the kitchen open to the courtyard or enjoy private or 
shared balconies. These exterior 
entrances also allow for private 
ingress for guests, extended family 
or staff. A main floor bedroom 
suite is tucked away on the south 
end of the home. 

Artisans applied Venetian plaster to 
several areas, providing the elegant, 
distinctive sheen renowned in this 
process. The main floor guest bath 
was adorned with a burnt umber 
Venetian plaster finish, creating a 
dramatic backdrop for artwork. 

On the lower level, the seller 
pointed out the old electrical 
mountings, now replaced with 
modern electrical service, though 
that’s merely the underpinnings 
as it were. Each ceiling beam in 
the game room is detailed with 
intricate hand painting, carefully 
preserved. In addition to the 
billiard table, the lower level family 
room provides a great place for 
a home theater. The lower level 
is nearly soundproof since it is 
partially below grade, yet windows 
(currently covered) provide generous natural light. 

Only a narrow doorway originally led to the bar room adjacent 
to the family room, where it’s easy to envision cigar-filled deep 
conversations nearly a century ago. A new, wider doorway was cut, 
and many of the original features were preserved, if for appearance 

The sumptuous master suite offers cathedral ceilings, but on a softer 
pitched scale, delicious exposed rafters, a corner fireplace that can 
be enjoyed from bed, an office area with sandblasted wood beamed 
ceilings, plus windows and doors to the balcony overlooking the 
courtyard. The spacious master bath offers a separate deep tub, plate 
glass shower and dual sinks. 

A back stairway provides easy access for the three additional 
bedrooms on the second floor, which also enjoy balconies, views of 
the yard and a staircase to the grounds.

The large courtyard is clearly the outdoor living and dining room, 
enjoying the warm hues of Mexican paver tiles, a covered dining 
area and a covered barbecue and buffet serving area, suitable for 
entertaining four to forty… or a hundred. Elsewhere in the yard, a 
separate building could be an art studio or workshop. 

The expansive lawns are sprawling, with mature trees dotting the 
perimeters, shielding the view from the world outside. A rose 
garden is poised to flower into brilliant color and fragrance. A 
fenced dog run provides a safe haven for Fido, too. 

Other modern amenities to be enjoyed include a security system, 
a music speaker system with room controls, gas cooktop, Sub Zero 
refrigerator/freezer and triple kitchen sinks in the kitchen.

Magnificent without being intimidating or imposing, this stunning 
home exudes warmth and charm, having benefitted from the love 
and care with which the remodel was accomplished.


1205 Garfield in South Pasadena is offered at $2,495,000 by Carol 
Majors of Coldwell Banker. The property comes on the market March 
14, with a twilight open house from 5-7 p.m. followed by a Sunday 
open house, March 18, from 2-4 p.m. For more information, visit her 
website, or call her at 626-399-9665. 


Phew! After more than five years of 
declining home sales, the numbers appear 
to be finally turning back upward, with 
closed sales and pending contracts at above-
normal increases. In particular, first-time 
buyers helped buoy the market by taking 
advantage of low prices and interest rates, as 
well as the $8,000 tax credit offered by the 
federal government. 

At least for now, home prices remain 
attractively low, and mortgage payments as 
they relate to income are very comfortable. 
All the information seems to point to 
the fact that home prices have actually 
overcorrected downward. What does that 
mean? It indicates that many markets may 
experience a price “snap back,” with values 
increasing a lot more than the historical 
average of 4% appreciation per year. 

Some factors may continue to make buyers 
cautious, mostly declines in retirement 
savings and a lukewarm economic recovery 
with unemployment hovering around 10% 
nationally. Now is not the time to hesitate, 
however, as mortgage interest rates are 
expected to rise in 2010. 

We can expect the momentum of home 
sales to continue, especially with the 
extension of the tax credit through April 
and the fact that qualification is no longer 
limited to just first-time buyers. Prices and 
interest rates will rise this year, so buyer 
confidence should be at an all-time high. 
The pressure cooker of pent-up demand is 
about to blow its top!

Luther Tsinoglou has just been named 
the top producing sales agent in Dickson 
Podley Realtor’s Sierra Madre office for 2009, 
making the top 10% at the company overall. 
Luther has been licensed and practicing real 
estate since 1992. He specializes in residential 
and income property in Southern California. 
Luther can be reached at his direct line (626) 
695-8650 or at 


LA County Arboretum 301 N. Baldwin Ave. Arcadia, CA 91007


SUNDAY, MARCH 18, 2012 

12:00–4:30 p.m.

FREE with Pre-Registration: Please call 213-229-9947 or reply to

 Topics include: Native plant gardening, harvesting rainwater, tree selection and care, backyard 
fruit and vegetable gardens, composting and mulching, living with wildlife, invasive plants, and 
fire-safe landscaping. Space is limited, register now!


• Owen Dell – Sustainable Landscaping for Dummies

• J. Lopez - Los Angeles County Fire Department Forestry Division

• Sabrina Drill - UC Cooperative Extension

• Rebecca Latta - Consulting Arborist

• Kazi Pitelka – Edible Gardening Expert

• Ellen Mackey – Council for Watershed Health

• Barbara Eisenstein – Native Plant Horticulturist

 Sponsored by the Council for Watershed Health, Rivers and Mountains Conservancy, and the Los 
Angeles County Arboretum and Botanic Garden Los Angeles and San Gabriel Rivers Watershed 
Council (now the Council for Watershed Health) 700 N. Alameda St., Los Angeles, CA 90012



304 Sunnyside Ave., Sierra Madre | Offered at $739,000

Beautiful, bright, open floor plan. Located in lovely Sierra 
Madre. This is a large corner lot; the home is 3 good sized 
bedrooms, 2 baths. The kitchen is open to dining room. 
There is an indoor laundry room located off the kitchen. The 
home has just been painted inside and out, pretty hardwood 
floors, the roof was put on in May 1999. All the windows 
have gorgeous wood shutters-. This home is ready for 
you and yours! Showing is easy, just call me!!! No need to 
preview, great condition!

Features: 1,590 sqft | 9,647 Lot Size | 3 BR | 2 BA




California Realty

626-252-6322 Cell