Altadena, Calif. | $1.699 Million
A 1963 modern house with three bedrooms and three bathrooms
Ian Mackinlay, a Scottish-born architect, adapted the design of this house from one his client admired in Hawaii. He built it on a knoll in the foothills of the San Gabriel range, on a private road that goes directly into the mountains. Hiking trails can be found down the street, and the house offers views of downtown Los Angeles, less than 20 miles southwest.
Size: 2,701 square feet
Price per square foot: $629
Indoors: Inspired by his tropical model, Mr. Mackinlay used mahogany in the paneling and glass-fronted built-ins, and cork on the kitchen floors. The roof is a composite with a rock surface that refracts the sun’s rays.
The two-level house is an ell, with the front door at the bend. From the slate-floor vestibule you enter an open-plan living and dining area with a wall of glass and other windows, a vaulted, beamed ceiling and an offset fireplace of white-painted brick.
Sliding doors in the dining area lead to an enclosed porch described as a meditation room. Another door opens to the kitchen, updated a dozen years ago with quartzite counters, stainless-steel appliances and mahogany-stained cabinets. (The meditation room connects to the kitchen, too.) Instead of a backsplash, the wall above the sink and surrounding surfaces has a ribbon of windows looking out to the front yard.
Taking a hard right at the front door brings you to a glass-walled corridor opening to three bedrooms. The vaulted master is first, with beams, mahogany floors and an en suite bathroom with a stand-alone glass shower. The two guest rooms that follow flank a hallway bathroom with a tub. A door leading to the carport is at the end of the corridor.
Just before the master is a staircase that descends to a family room almost 32 feet long, with polished concrete floors and a fireplace. The room could be divided into different seating areas and one end could be used as an office. The lower level also has a bathroom with a shower, and a large workroom.
Outdoor space: A large deck with expansive views wraps around the house, from the living room to the meditation room. A separate patio with an outdoor grill is reached directly from the kitchen. On the other side, the master bedroom opens to a long, trellis-covered patio with a firepit. Downstairs, the family room walks out to a partly sheltered area with a fountain, and another covered space adjoins the workshop. The 0.59-acre property also has raised vegetable beds (with a nearby deck) and a seating area down the slope that centers on another firepit.
Taxes: $14,731 (2018)
Contact: Dhari Thein, Deasy Penner Podley, 626-437-7414; deasypennerpodley.com
Memphis | $1.675 Million
A 1943 house with four bedrooms, four bathrooms, two half bathrooms and a swimming pool
This house in the East Memphis neighborhood was expanded 23 years ago by Oscar Menzer, a local architect, and landscaped by Ben Page, of Page Duke Landscape Architects in Nashville. An open field when the owners bought the property in 1996, the grounds now have 25 tree species. The house is about eight miles from downtown Memphis.
Size: 5,683 square feet
Price per square foot: $295
Indoors: Double doors inset with leaded glass open to an entry hall with marble floors, walls with a faux finish adapted from a Nina Campbell pattern and an antique bronze hanging lamp. The adjacent powder room is a mirrored jewel box with wood and marble trim.
A pair of steps leads down to the living room, which is paneled in Honduran mahogany and has a wood-burning fireplace; beyond is a formal dining room and a glass gallery addition. Also off the living room are a small library wrapped in bookshelves and a room described as a den that is big enough for a grand piano; it has a Crab Orchard stone floor, a wood-burning fireplace and a wet bar.
The kitchen has a six-burner Viking cooktop with a grill, double ovens and a granite-topped island with an integrated microwave oven and warming drawer. The adjoining family room is brightened by large windows and can easily seat six at a center table.
A main-level master suite created in the renovation includes a large bedroom with a fireplace and built-in bookshelves, and a bathroom with a heated marble floor, steam shower and jetted tub. The bedroom opens to a screened porch overlooking the garden.
Three additional bedrooms with en suite bathrooms and a sitting room are on the second floor. The original master suite is 22 by 17 feet and has French doors opening to a balcony.
Outdoor space: The owners added the curving pea-gravel driveway, fieldstone terraces, garden beds and swimming pool, as well as the two-car garage with a large storage room. The lot is 2.8 acres.
Bryn Mawr, Pa. | $1.699 Million
An 1888 Regency-style house with seven bedrooms, five and a half bathrooms and a swimming pool
Known as Thornbrook Hill, this Main Line stucco home was renovated three years ago by a developer. It sits on a hill, half a mile from the train and about a mile, in opposite directions, from the campuses of Bryn Mawr College and Villanova University.
Size: 5,857 square feet
Price per square foot: $290
Indoors: The main entrance opens into a grand foyer with hardwood floors. Pilasters frame the entrance to the living room; beyond is a family room with French doors and side panels inset with original leaded glass. The two rooms share a double-faced chimney with fireboxes surrounded by original Moravian Pottery tiles.
To the right of the entrance is a formal dining room, followed by a kitchen designed with raised-panel white cabinets, glittering Brazilian quartzite countertops and extensive built-ins for storage and desk work.
At the back of the house is a double-height addition with a diagonal glass roof and French doors leading to the pool area. A Palladian window below the main staircase’s second-floor landing overlooks the large room, which has multiple seating areas and built-ins (including a wet bar). A Juliet balcony that formerly faced the yard juts out from the second floor as well.
Upstairs are four bedrooms, including a master suite with a fireplace and sitting area; a guest suite; and two bedrooms that share a Jack-and-Jill bathroom with a round soaking tub. The marble-tiled master bathroom has a steam shower and separate tub flanked by double vanities and towel warmers. This level also has an office with French doors opening to a front-facing balcony, and a laundry room.
Three more bedrooms and a marble-floored bathroom are on the third floor, along with a den.
Outdoor space: The 1.96-acre property is planted with conifers, shrubs and flowering fruit trees and includes a four-car garage. The in-ground pool is surrounded by flagstone paving and has a hot tub next to it.
Contact: Meghan Lawrence, Berkshire Hathaway Home Services, Fox & Roach, Realtors, 607-738-4441; meghanlawrence.foxroach.com