Vernon Residence: A Beach Bungalow Transformation by Chelsey White

In 2017, Ballentine Architects designed a remodel for the Vernon Residence, a Beach Bungalow in Venice Beach, California. The 1,300 square foot home was reconfigured and the exterior was refinished to preserve the original Craftsman style.

By removing the existing dropped ceilings, BAS utilized the building’s footprint without changing the building height. This gives the illusion of an enlarged living area, yet no square footage was added to the home. In vaulting the ceilings and blurring the boundary between inside and outside, the redesigned home has an airy feel that is full of natural light, the perfect combination for the quintessential Beach Bungalow.

The interior of the home was made up of three bedrooms and two bathrooms, a small living area and an outdated kitchen. The new design established a few major transformations. One of the dramatic changes, and something you notice immediately upon entering, is the new ceiling height. The vaulted ceilings reveal exposed beams and recessed down lighting, which adds an incredible amount of depth and character to the new space.

Tucked away within the Entryway is a newly designed Powder Room. An additional amenity that doesn’t sacrifice any of the newly created open space. Situated near the entry, the Powder Room provides guests a restroom without having to encroach on the private space in the home. 

Past the Entryway and Powder Room, the newly configured Great Room combines the existing Living Room and Master Suite into one large open space. The new Living Room incorporates built-in bookcases including a custom work station, as well as a new fireplace for chilly nights.

Additionally, folding glass doors provide access to the front yard, blending the indoor and outdoor living areas seamlessly to create a massive space for entertaining and socializing. New concrete patio pads and fresh landscaping enhance the functionality of the yard encouraging outdoor activities.

At the back of the house was the existing Kitchen. In need of an update, BAS transformed the Kitchen and Laundry Room into the new Master Suite. This provided the opportunity to incorporate new single lite french doors that provide views and direct access to the new fountain at the ensuite Sun Patio.  

Another major aspect of the remodel and reconfiguration is the Kitchen. Taking the place of the existing living and dining area, the new linear Kitchen incorporates all new custom cabinetry, a double waterfall edge island and an adorable breakfast nook. Open to the Living Room, the Kitchen completes the Great Room open concept and provides a central gathering space for the home.

Completed in 2018, the Vernon Residence is our favorite Beach Bungalow transformation. View the full gallery here.

Photos: HDBros
Before Photos: Halton Pardee

Inside the Studio by Chelsey White

Venice Canals, Venice CA. // Photo:  @rpnickson

Venice Canals, Venice CA. // Photo: @rpnickson

Nestled comfortably at the Venice Canals, just a few blocks from the Venice Pier, you’ll find Ballentine Architects Studio. A small creative firm with major projects blossoming across Los Angeles. Upstairs, above Baja Cantina Restaurant, you step into an office of welcoming young designers eager to share their latest work. The studio design is open and encourages collaboration. You cant help but notice the clean aesthetic of the studio, almost yacht like, filled with acoustic tunes and an unmistakable Venice Beach vibe.

Only a few years old, the firm has grown rapidly due to its reputation and referrals from its incredible clients. Owner and Principal Architect, Ben Ballentine, has over 15 years of experience in Architecture with a developed focus on high end residential projects. A 3rd generation Venice Beach native, Ben’s reputation is growing as a reliable professional on the local Los Angeles scene, with a mastership for reconfiguring, and designing from scratch, the perfect single or multi-family home.

Ben also has a great eye for talent. He’s managed to skillfully recruit members of his team. Designers are individually equipped to handle various aspects of the design process. Each with a different background and experience level that allows the entire team to flow and produce quality work. The studio serves as a nest for designers to hone in on their craft while also tapping into Ben’s knowledge as an accomplished Architect. Hardworking, efficient, with the highest regard for detail, clients are pleasantly surprised with the Ballentine Architects Studio pace and quality of work. Read more about the individual members of the team here.

A rendering of the new office prior to any renovations. // Credit:  Casey Jones

A rendering of the new office prior to any renovations. // Credit: Casey Jones

The most recent endeavor, aside from the growing active project list, is the office remodel at the studio. The offices above Baja Cantina were once apartments. They are outdated and in need of an update. However, with a location next to the Venice Canals and literally 3 blocks from the beach, the Studio is a special place. So special in fact, Ballentine Architects Studio (BAS) expanded into an additional suite and began remodeling to create the perfect office environment. Now with a base of operations at 315 Washington Boulevard, Suite 4 in Venice, BAS is busy designing new concepts and incorporating the raddest details and technology into the homes and businesses of our Los Angeles clientele. Simultaneously, they are working together to curate an office space that fuels their creativity, productivity and passion for architecture.

New floors installed. Throughout the remodel, designers working away.

New floors installed. Throughout the remodel, designers working away.

New paint and accent wall. Still to come, a custom surfboard on the wall above the designers’ workspace.

New paint and accent wall. Still to come, a custom surfboard on the wall above the designers’ workspace.

View more BAS projects: The recently completed Vernon Project, traditional Venice Craftsman or gallery for E.B. Florals.

Luxury Boutique The Kingdom to Open in Calabasas by Ben Ballentine

The new concept will be stocked with shoes, bags and other accessories in a buildout one of its cofounders dubbed “Fantasia meets a very, very affluent apartment.”

By Kari Hamanaka on May 3, 2017

A former real estate broker and fashion industry executive have teamed on a luxury boutique concept timed for a June opening.

The Kingdom, once open, will be about 1,400 square feet of what cofounder Jason Salstein called “Fantasia meets a very, very affluent apartment.”

That would be in keeping with the concept’s name, aimed at evoking a luxury fantasy world in a space designed by Ballentine Architects Studio. The store will be infused with marble, crystal chandeliers, herringbone oak floors, Fornasetti tile, Fortuny Le Tigre pillows, shagreen walls and a carved French-inspired fireplace mantle among other touches with a luxe, residential hand.

“The Kingdom really represents a different kind of world,” Salstein said. “The world that I’m creating is a mix of luxury fantasy and [whimsy], but at the same time, we want to resonate with high-end customers.”

The boutique itself will carry what Salstein said would be a mix of fashion-forward, directional pieces, mostly for women with some unisex items. Brands include GucciManolo BlahnikBalmainSaint LaurentAlexander McQueenSalvatore Ferragamoand Proenza Schouler.

Salstein partnered with his best friend of nearly 30 years and former Newmark Grubb Knight Frank broker David Lipp on The Kingdom’s first location at The Commons at Calabasas, part of the Caruso group of properties.

“It’s one of the most affluent neighborhoods in all of California. We really found that there was a void in the market,” Lipp said of the store’s location, adding that there’s also close enough proximity to major cities such as Los Angeles and Malibu.

The business partners, not yet off the ground with their first store, said they would consider additional locations in the U.S. but the focus on the immediate future is building out the clientele at The Commons with e-commerce potentially following.

Based on Salstein’s previous experience — working at places such as Capretto Shoes, handbag line VBH and St. John, along with starting his own labels Hunting Season and Our Lord & Saviour — he and Lipp are bent on creating an environment that’s approachable with nothing behind glass, focusing on what’s on the minds of most retailers: the experience.

“I think right now is a great time to enter [the market] if you have what the customer wants,” Salstein said. “The customer is educated and sophisticated. What they really crave is a one-on-one relationship.”

The Kingdom soft opens June 1 with a grand opening set for June 10.

The Kingdom by Bianca Magdaleno

A high-end fashion boutique, The Kingdom located in Calabasas, CA. The construction is underway, we will continue posting as construction progresses. 

Venice Craftsman Construction Update by Ben Ballentine

Work is continuing on the exterior of the house with the patio details coming together and a planter with built in bench in the backyard.  The painters are getting color on the walls and the floors are rapidly being installed.  We're on schedule for a client move in at the end of summer!

Ground Breaking Today by Ben Ballentine

Construction has begun on the Hi Point Residence!  We're really excited to see this one take form after a really fun design process.  The owners were really eager to preserve the character of the original home while creating a more modern and open floor plan and adding a second floor.  It was wonderful to have clients who were so dedicated to perfecting the designs and coming up with some fun and creative construction solutions.  We will continue to provide updates throughout construction.