Los Angeles ranch house becomes Zen Den by Working Holiday Studio

The owners of design firm Working Holiday Studio have renovated their own mid-century residence by opening the kitchen, adding skylights, and filling the interior with contemporary decor.

The house called Zen Den is located in Woodland Hills, a suburb of Los Angeles, which is about a 20-minute drive from the beach.

The house is a 1960s ranch style property

Carlos Naude and Whitney Brown – the couple behind the Working Holiday Studio and its interior design firm Working Holiday Spaces – bought the 1960s ranch-style house last year during the coronavirus pandemic.

The duo, who have a young son, used to live in a compact townhouse and wanted more space. The house checked many boxes but needed a major overhaul.

Zen Den from Working Holiday StudioThe kitchen was fitted with skylights during the renovation

“We wanted to restore the residence to its original glory while reinventing it for modern living,” said the couple, noting that they were also acting as general contractors for the project with their friend, Zach Leigh of Goodboy Develops.

Outside, the stucco cladding of the house was repaired and repainted. The duo also installed a new roof, as well as new windows and patio doors.

Scandinavian design elements can be found in the kitchenZen Den was designed as a showroom for furniture and products

Inside, the one-story four-bedroom house was gutted. The floors, the insulation, the sanitary and electrical systems as well as a considerable part of the drywall were modernized.

The team added skylights and redesigned certain areas of the house. In particular, a wall between the kitchen and dining room was removed.

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“We opened the kitchen so you could enjoy the view, added skylights throughout the house to bring in more light, and completely reconfigured and renovated both bathrooms,” the designers said.

For the surfaces and the decor, the duo was inspired by Japanese, Scandinavian and Mexican design styles. The house is intended to serve as an exhibition space.

The living room has a velvet sofaA white chair from Noom is included in the living room

“We worked with designers and brands to display their products in our home,” said the designers. “We are in the process of building an online shop where people can buy the products.”

The living room is furnished with a rust-colored velvet sofa from Normann Copenhagen and a round coffee table with tubular legs from Hedge House. A white accent chair comes from Noom, a young studio in the Ukraine.

Zen Den offers versatile design elementsThe breakfast nook has a custom-made terrazzo table

In the adjoining dining room is a black marble table from the Mexican brand Casa Quieta, which also supplied the chairs. Overhead is a Mori supporter from Brooklyn’s RBW.

In the kitchen, the designers were looking for high-quality, easy-care materials. The prefabricated cabinets are from the Danish company Reform and the quartz worktops are from Caesarstone.

A bunk bed in the children's roomA children’s bunk bed has a convertible configuration

A breakfast nook features a custom-made terrazzo table by Concrete Collaborative of California. The terrazzo is actually a remnant of a renovation of the guest toilet.

The table has a white oak base – the same wood that the surrounding bench was made from. Oak was also used for the flooring throughout the house.

Zen Den has bathrooms with Fireclay tilesGreen ceramic tiles in the bathroom

The sleeping areas are kept in neutral colors and comfortably furnished. In a children’s room, the designers installed a wooden bunk bed from Oeuf, which can be arranged in various configurations.

Bathrooms have Concretti sinks, Concrete Collaborative countertops, and Fireclay ceramic tiles. Kuzco lights and Kohler lights complete the range.

An outdoor living area includes a large dining table

Given the pleasant climate in Southern California, the designers wanted to incorporate an option for indoor and outdoor living. A back patio is adorned with a sectional sofa from Neighbor and a chunky accent table from Zachary A, as well as a custom-made dining set for up to 12 people.

Other Working Holiday Studio projects include Casa Miami, an all-white vacation home that stands in stark contrast to its desert landscape in California near Joshua Tree National Park. Like Zen Den, the house is said to be suitable for shopping, with guests being able to purchase the decor through a dedicated website.

The photography is by Candida Wohlgemuth and Carlos Naude.

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