Most Passionate

Location: Torrance, CA, USA

Owner: Linh Vuong and Phu Phan

Architect: Giovanni Quintero owner of GxG CoOp Designs

Contractor: Phu Phan

Photographer: Ed Arpawong

When we were expecting our 2nd child my husband and I started to seriously consider moving into a single family home. We were living in a large 14unit townhouse with 4 bedrooms but no yard for our two year old daughter, Madison, to play in. We had a small front patio but the HOA had many restrictions on what we could do with the patio and the HOA fees kept going up and up. So in June 2013 we sold the town home and bought a fixer upper single family home with a yard for Madison. The house was half the size of our town home, only 1106 sq feet on a 5197 sq ft lot with no landscaping. It had 2 bedrooms, an office, 1 bath, original 1955 washer in the kitchen, dryer in the attached garage and a floor furnace. I was very apprehensive about this move but trusted my husband’s vision of creating a beautiful open floor plan with indoor-outdoor living area so that there would be enough space for the kids to run around and for us to entertain. We could not afford a bigger house because it was in a very desirable school district so we had to be creative with the limited space.

"The Nana wall has been our favorite feature of the house because it allows us to maximize beauty and optimize function by expanding our living area into the back yard allowing for great big family gatherings. "

We worked with a long time architect friend of ours from GxG CoOp Design to create our dream home. My husband and I love being outdoors. When he saw the Nana wall in my sister’s home in Rancho Palos Verdes that was featured on the Nana wall website he was motivated to find a “fixer upper home” with a floor plan that would allow for creating a similar indoor-outdoor living space. I argued that it is too costly to have a Nana wall and it does not make sense since our back yard is small and faces a big wall. We do not have the million dollar home and view that my sister has overlooking the harbor with the city lights with over an acre of gorgeous Japanese landscaping. For months I resisted and looked into other window/door options that would maximize light and access to the back yard. The demolition commenced and remodeling started with blueprints for a gaping 20 feet opening that I was adamant no Nana wall should be placed.


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