You know that feeling when you get too much wasabi? After you survive the initial bullet to your brain, you think you’re in the clear but then the burn continues to disintegrate the bridge of your nose and deter you from your hamachi for another ten minutes. You know what I mean? Yeah, I love that feeling!
On a grander scale, there are some houses that have The After-Burn. You see it and think “whoa, this place is great.” but then you find that you are still thinking about it, even three open houses later. You fall asleep thinking about a certain feature of the house and it creeps back into your thoughts during your morning commute. It may not even be the best house you’ve ever seen, but there’s something about it that continues to burn in your thoughts.
My After-Burn houses this week are quite different from each other, and in different cities. The first is in the Baycrest community of Newport Beach. 1915 Santiago grabbed my attention with it’s online pictures, but I thought the outside appeared a little dated. When the day of the Open House came, I was very pleased to see that the outside was actually very nice, with slate hardscape, a gorgeous round planter with succulents and a palm tree, and potential for an entry courtyard. The inside was just as gorgeous as I’d hoped, perhaps even more so. There was a mid-60’s sunken living room, but tastefully updated with great built-ins for the TV and books, a cool mid-century fireplace, and daring charcoal walls. Opposite the living room was a wall of glass that kept the whole room light and airy. This house had a wonderful floor plan and a big, open kitchen-dining-family room area. The bedrooms were generous, although I’m always in search of a bigger closet. To top it all off, 1915 Santiago had a big, beautiful backyard, with a grassy area, a variety of places to sit and enjoy the day, and a beautiful pool and jacuzzi! Every finish they chose was beautiful, from the wide-plank wood floors, to the clean white kitchen with light granite counters, and the zen-like master bath. But my absolute favorite detail was the white textured tile entry wall. The only drawback to this lovely home was that the laundry was in the garage, a personal downer for me. The features that continued to burn in my mind were that entry wall, the formal living room, the walls and walls of glass looking out to the lovely backyard, and the way the entire plan flowed.
I give it 8 hearts out of 10 ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️
The other burn-inducing house I had the privilege to visit this weekend was in Seal Beach. This was a typical narrow-lot (25′) beach dwelling on a quiet street in Old Town with an 84 walk score. Seal Beach is quaint and fun and cleaner and calmer than many beach towns. While I love the town, 242 5th Street was an atypical choice for me because of it’s exterior. I’m not a fan of mediterranean, tile roofs, or masonry balustrade railings. The interior, specifically the upstairs, won me over. This was a flipped floor plan, with living, dining, kitchen, family room, and a bedroom and 1.5 baths all on the second level! This was a smart way to address the small-footprint issues of these beach lots. By using the second story for these rooms, you can include square footage that you would have lost to the garage on the first level. The other huge advantage is that you can vault the ceilings and include skylights, which was far and away the feature that continued to burn with me the most. I simply couldn’t stop thinking about those ceilings! For me, a certain amount of after-burn was also triggered by the fact that there were cosmetic aspects that didn’t appeal to me, so I continued to think and think how I could make this house feel more contemporary. Different balcony railings as well as interior banisters would go a long way to giving the place an updated feel. There were many plusses to the house as well. There were great storage areas (big pantry in the huge kitchen) and a wonderful roof deck with outdoor kitchen. Each bedroom had it’s own bathroom and the master closet was Ophelia-Approved!!
This house would be a 6 as-is, or worth 7 hearts with some cosmetic changes. ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️
What did you see this weekend? Which ones faded away and which continued to burn in your mind? Thank you for reading, I have to get back to my hamachi now.