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mobile Upwardly

The Magazine of Mobile, Manufactured and Modular Home Living

Modern Aerie in Malibu Encinitas: A Custom-Design Trio Double-Height Prefab on L.A.’s West Side How to Fireproof Your Home

WINTER 2008 $4.95


Dave Weinhold Senior Loan Consultant

1463 South Victoria Avenue Ventura, CA 93003

805.650.8855

Nancie Irvine Sales Manager

2615 S. Miller Street Santa Maria, CA 93455

805.934.4556 ofc 805.345.6534 cell upwardlymobile_fullpage.indd 1

8/22/2008 9:33:00 AM


UP FRONT The Magazine Of Mobile, Manufactured And Modular Home Living

Living the Dream

F

ifteen years ago I went on a bicycle tour of the San Juan Islands, located midway between Vancouver, BC, and Seattle, WA, in our beautiful Pacific Northwest. It was a memorable experience—sunny September days, exhilarating ferry rides with bonus whale sightings, rugged coastlines that reminded me of Maine and green interiors that recalled Vermont. More recently, when I was beginning to educate myself about the world of modern architecture and design, I came up with a dreamy yet doable housing fantasy: to build a modular or custom-manufactured home of glass and steel on a woodsy half-acre somewhere in the San Juans. Orcas? Lopez? Could I afford an ocean view? My grand scheme has not yet evolved in any practical sense. Still, it remains a potent fantasy. When two old high school pals, now married to each other, passed through Santa Barbara recently and told me they’d just retired to 40 acres on Whidby Island, I couldn’t help wondering, sight unseen, if they might be willing to sell me a teensy plot on which to build my dream house. (I haven’t asked them yet, so stay tuned.) Now, a word about this issue, in which we provide a winter’s cornucopia of inspiration and advice. Our two feature stories showcase homes in Malibu and Encinitas that display the innovation and versatility now possible in custom manufactured design. We offer columns on how to fireproof your home, how to update and landscape its façade, and how to build a sense of community within mobile home parks. On a lighter note, we show you how to throw an Oscar party! For you, our readers, my New Year’s wish is that you are already enjoying life in your prefab fantasy--or at least firming up your plans to do so. When good design teams up with quality construction plus radically reduced building time and building costs, we can’t afford not to live our dreams. True, many of us are challenged by economic uncertainty these days. But I remind you that the Chinese character for “crisis” also means “opportunity.” So much depends on how we choose to look at our situation. May the coming months and years provide splendid new opportunities for you all. As the Chinese say, “May you live in interesting times.” Here’s to living the dream!

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Roberta Grant Editor roberta@umhmag.com

Publisher Toni Gump EDITOR ROBERTA GRANT Design & Production City Creative Group Contributors Arnie Cooper Meredith Day Leslie Dinaberg Betsy Edwards Roberta Grant Toni Gump Virginia Hayes Peter Houck Jean Picard Onnah Roll Howard StIEr Photography Meredith Day Brent Winebrenner art & illustration Gary Campopino Carole Goldman Christina Rivera COPY EDITING Judy Flynn office ASSISTANT Tiffany Steward CIRCULATION T. Roll Upwardly Mobile: The Magazine Of Mobile, Manufactured And Modular Home Living is published quarterly by Upwardly Mobile Home Magazine, and single copies are provided free of charge. Unless otherwise noted, all photographs, artwork, and designs printed in Upwardly Mobile are the sole property of Upwardly Mobile Home Magazine and may not be duplicated or reprinted without express written permission. Upwardly Mobile is not liable for typographical or production errors or the accuracy of information provided by advertisers or writers. Readers should verify advertised information with the advertisers. Upwardly Mobile reserves the right to refuse any advertising. Upwardly Mobile® is a registered trademark of Upwardly Mobile Home Magazine, Copyright © 2008. All inquiries may be sent to: Upwardly Mobile, 1187 Coast Village Road, Ste. 1-394, Santa Barbara, CA 93108, or info@umhmag. com or visit our website at: www.umhmag.com.

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CONTENTS

28

ON THE COVER

Space-Age Aerie A Bluff-Top Double-Wide Makes a Dramatic Landing................................................................................................................28

GO CREATIVE

Three’s a Charm A Doctor’s Exacting Touch Transforms a Beachside Lot in Encinitas..........................................................................34 6

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34 46

16

42 14

D E PAR T M E N T S UP FRONT Letter from the Editor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 IN THE MEDIA Mobile History, a Futuristic Camper, and “Trashy” Fiction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 FOR YOUR FILES Tongues, Joists, and Cabanas . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 IN THE GARDEN Playing with Pots . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14 ENTERTAINING Hosting Oscar . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16 IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD It Takes a Village . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18 BUILDING BLOCKS New Prefab in the Old Neighborhood . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20 INTERIORS Thinking Inside the Box (Part II) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24 RETRO Laguna’s Lost Paradises . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38 OPEN ROAD Laguna Beach . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40 UPSCALE First Impressions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 42 UPGRADE Fireproofing Your Home . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 44 IN THE PARK Country Club Cozy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 46 TRAILER TALES The Plot Thickens . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 48 LAST LOOK Photo by Meredith Day . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 50 U p w a r d l y

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IN THE MEDIA BOOKS

Developing with Manufactured Homes

chic,” declares architectural writer Herbers. These diverse projects by 15 firms—from Michael Graves’s Pavilions (designed for Target as freestanding structures or home additions) to Rocio Romero’s LV Home building kit—are not only inexpensive, they’re also sturdy, transportable, adaptable and, most revolutionary of all, purchasable online. Much of the secret to cutting costs is using readily available materials such as steel, glass and aluminum, and cutting the building process down to a few days. As a result, several homes featured sell for well under $100,000 and can be assembled by the owner— like Romero’s rustic Fish Camp House for $30,000, including furnishings, or Adam Kalkin’s Quik Build House for $50,000. (Publishers Weekly)

by Steve Hullenbarger (Manufactured Housing Institute, 2001) Hullenbarger is president of The Home Team, a firm which provides consulting services, guidance and advice to builders and developers nationwide who wish to tap the potential of manufactured housing. Here, he illustrates how the manufactured housing industry functions and how the homes are constructed. The book explains how developers can make use of the industrialized approach to building, in lieu of the increasingly cumbersome “stick” building process. The primary focus throughout the text is on fee simple development— merging the house with the land to create a singular title of real estate. Although the emphasis is on subdivisions, planned unit developments and urban infill lots as opposed to the development of landlease communities, many of the subjects covered are applicable to all of the above modes of land use. (Amazon.com)

Prefab Modern

by Jill Herbers (Collins Design, 2006) Who says dream houses are only for the rich? The ongoing revolution in prefabricated homes brings innovative, contemporary design to the masses, transforming “trailer trash to trailer 8

Trailer Trashed:

My Dubious Efforts toward Upward Mobility by Holly Gillespie (Skirt, 2008) Atlanta-based Gillespie is a syndicated humor columnist who loves trailer life with buddies who, like her, have avoided turning into pod people. These are tales of cheesy house renovations and overly picky renters, although by the end of the book she’s sold her story to Hollywood. The author of two previous memoirs, Bleachy-Haired Honky Bitch and Confessions of a Recovering Slut, Gillespie is also a television writer, NPR commentator, keynote speaker, and writing instructor. She lives in Atlanta, writing out of a trailer in her backyard. (Publishers Weekly)

Wheel Estate:

The Rise and Decline of Mobile Homes by Allan D. Wallis (Johns Hopkins University Press, 1997) Wallis, a professor of environmental design at the University of Colorado, Boulder, places the 60-year social and technological history of mobile homes within the broader scope of architectural and cultural movements with such facility that he forces us to reconsider what we understand about the character of American housing. Two processes, Wallis writes, “have shaped the use, form, and meaning of the mobile home.” First, the design and growth as carried out by manufacturers and the innovations wrought by individual owners; second, the regulation and categorization by zoning boards, bankers, and insurance companies, which have effectively slowed the growth and tinged the social acceptability of “trailer” living. Wallis traces the origins of the modern mobile home to the auto camps of the 1920s, and surveys the wide variety—often homemade—of travel trailers, “autotents,” and campers, some of which evolved out of economic necessity, others from the desire for camping comfort and utility. Early commercial models included the Aerocar, the Covered Wagon, and the Expando, which featured pullout rooms. Today, Wallis notes, there are more than eight million mobile and manufactured homes; they now comprise one-third of new housing

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starts over the past 20 years. The author persuasively argues for the mobile home as “an innovative housing alternative,” based in part on the fact that they have “become the predominant unsubsidized type of affordable housing in the United States.” (Kirkus Reviews)

INTERNET Verdier Van & Camper’s Solar Power EcoCamper may be a throwback in silhouette to VW’s Westfalia, but this green machine is the Rolls Royce of self-sufficiency. The award-winning vehicle comes in five different color schemes—Woody, Geeky, Ebony, Blueberry, and Purity—and features a hybrid, 2.7-liter engine with a four-speed automatic transmission. It also houses two large batteries that can be powered by 12-watt solar panels or by running the engine. The Sun

Tracker system ensures that the solar panels receive the maximum amount of energy. Other cool features: two gazebos, a sliding door with integrated ladder, folding furniture, a power antenna (in/ out), and cargo storage. The comfortable interior accommodates two adults and two children. It includes a second floor,

collapsible bed, cooking range, table, refrigerator, freezer, home theater, and on-board computer with Internet connection, all for a mere $129,000. Just think of what you’ll save on utility bills! Verdier is currently taking reservations for the “New Pioneers Edition” of 250 vehicles.  (www.verdier.ca)


FOR YOUR FILES

Tongues, Joists, and Cabanas A Glossary of Manufactured Home Terminology by Peter Houck

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nyone contemplating the purchase of a mobile or manufactured home knows how Alice felt as she tumbled down the rabbit hole. Learning how to talk about these housing options can seem like learning a foreign language. To help you navigate this new territory, we’ve compiled a list of common terms you’re likely to hear:

Floor decking: Also known as the subfloor, decking is usually composed of particleboard that is 5/8 to 1 inch thick. It might also be made of plywood or other composite board such as Cresdek, a sturdy material recycled from wood waste.

Add-ons: Site-built structures that provide extra living space, such as cabanas, sunrooms, porches, tags (smaller manufactured sections that come with the home from the factory), and pop-outs (sections that “pop out” from the home). Older single-wide mobile homes included this feature, as do today’s RVs—travel trailers and motor homes.)

HCD: The California State Department of Housing and Community Development (www.hcd.ca.gov).

Aluminum exterior: A holdover from the days of travel trailers, aluminum panels were used as siding and even roofing in earlier mobile homes. These homes usually had minimal insulation. Awning: The awning is the carport, usually made of aluminum pan sections. The aluminum is prepainted in a factory. The paint system is designed to last for twenty or more years. The awning is usually faced with the same fascia material that is on the edges of the roof of the home. Chassis: The steel frame foundation of a factory-built home. It is an integral part of the home and may not be modified without a permit from HCD. (See also HCD.) 10

Floor joists: A two-by-six or two-by-eight wooden beam (frequently Douglas fir) that support the home’s subfloor. Steel frame sections support the joist.

Marriage line: The term marriage line refers to the joint between two sections of the home, usually bolted together along the ceiling/roof with 6-inch lag bolts into the laminated plywood section on each side. The wall sections at the ends of the home are screwed together with large wood screws and the floor is bolted, similar to the ceiling. The remaining gap between the sections is filled with foam. Metal straps: Some manufacturers use metal strapping on their more expensive models to secure the wall studs to the floor of the home. This provides added security for the structure as it is transported from the factory and also improves the rigidity of the structure. Piers: Engineered steel fabrications designed for both standard and permanent foundation systems. Current code requires piers to be bolted to the home frame. Older homes may be retrofitted to improve the security of the foundation.

Seismic supports: These components are used to anchor the home to the ground and to brace against earthquakes. One example is a powder-coated steel brace, mounted to a plastic pad with four steel ground spikes that penetrate 15 inches. They may be retrofitted to older homes and are code standard on homes installed since 1982 in California. Skirting: Any material used to cover the space between the walls of the home and the ground surface, such as vinyl plastic sheets that interlock, stamped or molded sheets (faux brick), aluminum, or other manufactured pressed wood or concrete composite panels. For high-end models, the skirt is faced with brick or other masonry products. Tongue: A V-shaped welded-steel channel that is bolted to the house’s frame for transportation purposes. The unit is usually left underneath the home for reattachment if the home is to be moved. In 2008, the state department of housing (HCD) allowed tongue units to be removed on installation of new homes. Vapor barrier: The barrier sheet that is fastened to the floor joists under the home. This plastic sheeting prevents moisture from being absorbed by the insulation and the supporting structure of the home. Peter Houck is the regional manager for Advantage Homes in San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara counties.

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LETTERS

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heard about you on a site that I visit frequently, Apartment Therapy. I live in a mobile home and am really pleased to see there is a magazine on mobile home living. I am always trying to upgrade and make my place look good. I’m looking forward to getting lots of new ideas.

Pat Rosendall Jamestown, NM read a post on Apartmenttherapy.com that mentioned your magazine. Thanks for the free trial...very generous. My boyfriend is an architect and one of his clients is interested in buying land, placing prefab homes on them, and then selling the lots and houses. In fact, he may have started that project already. I think the houses are from NOLA Homebuilder? It’s such a cool concept!

I

Thanks again, Amy M. Smith New Orleans, LA

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hank you for the free subscription! I am excited to see what you have planned for future issues. I found you inadvertently--I was surfing the internet for stuff regarding “shackitecture” and I stumbled upon your website. I looked over the premiere issue and was very impressed. My wife and I have future plans to retire on our own land and to build our own house along with a writing/art/ recording studio and a nicely appointed woodworker’s shop. We want to keep things as inexpensive as possible and impart our own eclectic sense of style to the place, hence the interest in prefab buildings. I’m looking forward to great things from you! Sincerely, Tom Brace Scottsdale, AZ

I

just today discovered your magazine— the summer 2008 issue--in our mobile home clubhouse. It is a WOW!!! Would you please add me to your mailing list for future issues. In the interim I will take under advisement your request on page 48, Dear Reader, and toss around a few ideas before submitting them to you for your perusal. Thank you for your attention to this request and warmest regards for your future endeavors. Roy-Paul Haller Santa Maria, CA

Letters, comments, suggestions, ideas or any other thoughts can be sent to us at: Upwardly Mobile 1187 Coast Village Road, Ste. 1-394 Santa Barbara, CA 93108 or email: toni@umhmag.com

TOMM & BUCK INSURANCE SERVICES

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AUTHORIZED REPRESENTATIVE OF FOREMOST INSURANCE CO

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AUTO • HOME • CONDO • FIRE • RENTERS • UMBRELLA • BOAT • MOBILE HOMES

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I N T H E G ARD E N

Playing with Pots

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By Virginia Hayes

Photos istockphoto.com

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hat’s a homeowner to do when allotted only a few square yards for landscaping? Many mobile- and manufactured-home dwellers find that container gardens provide an ideal solution. They showcase your favorite plants to maximum effect while creating an individualized framing device to soften the home’s exterior. In choosing a container, all the basic principles of good design hold true. Consider the overall style of your home and then choose containers that complement its design and color scheme. For example, a hand-shaped and decorated Mexican terra-cotta pot may not be the best choice for a Cape Cod– styled bungalow, whereas a well-crafted cedar wood planter will complement it perfectly. A starkly modern, mirrorglazed pot will probably look out of place at the door of a California ranch style casa but might create a kick in front of your retro 1950s Airstream. Position one container as a focal point at the end of a path or group several different sizes together wherever you need them. Nurseries and home improvement centers, of course, carry a wide variety of planters made of traditional materials such as wood, concrete, ceramic, plastic, and cast metal. Newer materials such as resin, plastic, and fiberglass are also available. Some of the latter are particularly useful because they are lightweight and unbreakable. There should be a drainage hole (or holes) in the bottom to allow irrigation water to flow out. Soil type is not critical; just use a commercial planting mix that combines coarse texture for good drainage and organic material to retain water. Maintenance is fairly straightforward. Depending on the weather, weekly watering is all that is required. To encourage good growth, fertilize with liquid fertilizer at the recommended rates or twice as often using a dilute solution. Plant choices are nearly infinite, but there are a couple of rules to keep in

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mind. If your container is very colorful, it is important to coordinate the color of foliage and flowers with that of the pot. A vibrant blue pot planted with the contrasting colors of fire engine red zinnias, blue pansies, and white alyssum makes a patriotic statement, while the same pot is subtle and sophisticated if planted with white cosmos and a couple of variegated plants like the lavendercolored Plectranthus and the tall grass Miscanthus. Terra-cotta and natural wood are neutral shades that can be played in any direction. If you enjoy a changing display, use annuals and short-lived perennials. They last one or two seasons at most and you can replant as often as you like. For a more long-lasting arrangement, consider using a dwarf woody shrub or long-lived perennial as the foundation and rotate other plants in as the seasons progress. Plant an evergreen, coniferous species like juniper (perhaps one of the topiary shapes—a spiral or pyramid), a durable New Zealand flax (many sizes and colors to choose from), or heavenly bamboo with its sculptural good looks. Then underplant with pansies and ornamental ivy in winter, replace the pansies with poppies in spring, tuck in some nasturtiums later in the year, and when they fade, plant calendula. In general, start with a tall plant in the center or toward the back of the pot and add others of different textures and lower heights around and in front of it. Allow vining or weeping plants to spill over the edge of the container. Beware of using too many different plants; the effect should be one of abundance without seeming too busy. Three to five plants should be sufficient. Experiment by grouping the plants in their nursery pots before settling on the final arrangement. A little planning and patience will go a long way toward creating a lush, inspiring floral display that highlights the special qualities of you and your home. Virginia Hayes writes frequently about gardening and is the curator of Ganna Walska Lotusland in Santa Barbara.

7 TIPS

FOR SUCCESSFUL Potting • Keep it simple. • Begin with proper drainage: make holes, screen over them, and add 1” of gravel. Place the pots on gravel or raised a bit off the ground to allow drainage. • A soil-based mix generally works better than one with too much peat or coconut. (Add gel crystals to soil if your pots are placed in an exposed site.) • Leave 1” of space around your pot, more if the pot is bigger. Take into consideration the growth rate of the plants you place together and transfer them to a bigger pot before they get root-bound. • Fertilize as needed. Be sure to read the potting mix instructions. • Add mulch, such as spanish moss, to the top of the soil to retain water. • Enjoy your lovely plantings. Relax among the pots, while reading a good book on gardening. —Toni Gump

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E NTE RTAI N I N G

hosting Oscar 16

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Partake of the glitz and glamour with your own Academy Awards party By Jean Picard

Photos istockphoto.com

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he 81st Annual Academy Awards will air live from Hollywood’s Kodak Theatre on Sunday, February 22. Most of us won’t be sitting in those plush seats, but we can partake of the glitz and glamour at home, starting with red carpet coverage at 5 p.m. Why not share the fun—and the prep time—by cohosting with a park neighbor? The camaraderie among residents of mobile or manufactured home communities makes shared entertaining a natural. And with the last of the holiday whirl seven weeks behind them, your friends will be ready for a new social occasion. Get the party started at 4:30 with cocktails and hors d’oeuvres at the first home. Then, before the 5:30 ceremony begins, move guests along to the second house for the main event and heavier fare. Asking a few friends to help with food and drinks makes it even easier. While people who live in triplewides or other large homes needn’t be too concerned about space limitations, those with smaller homes will find it best to keep the guest list to twelve or fewer. If one of the two homes is smaller than the other, host the cocktails there. During cocktails, having fewer seats than people is fine for viewing the red carpet coverage. But when you move on to the second home, there should be a seat for everyone to view the awards ceremony. If you’re short on chairs, guests who are also neighbors can bring over their dining or deck chairs earlier in the day. You’ll avoid “shushing” by reserving a separate area, with or without a second television, for those who would rather chat than watch the show. Even die-hard Oscar fans sometimes need a break. At both locations, keep bar service simple by using just two types of

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stemware for all drinks—an all-purpose wineglass for wine, Champagne, sparkling water, and soft drinks and a martini glass for cocktails. For a larger party, rent glassware from the party rental store. Of course, skipping cocktails is simplest of all. But if you want to offer them, make just one “signature” drink rather than stocking a full bar. And prepare them a pitcher at a time. You’ll need small plates for hors d’oeuvres at the cocktail party. At the second location, stock plates, flatware, more glassware, and cups and saucers for coffee and tea. Why not invite guests to come as their favorite movie star? Or make the occasion “Black Tie Optional—Serious or Not.” If you really want to work the Oscar theme, rent a red carpet from a party rental store. Have a friend standing by with a camcorder to capture arrivals on the red carpet and to ask such questions as, “Who are you wearing?” Celebrity stand-ups—life-size cardboard cutouts—make for great “photo ops.” There are numerous games to choose from, but picking the winners is mandatory before the ceremony starts. Hand your guests a ballot and pen during cocktails and have them turn in their ballots before 5:30. After January 22, when nominations are announced, you can print out ballots at www.oscar. com. Consider awarding gold statues or DVDs of the nominated movies to the winners. Food at the cocktail party might be a variety of hot and cold hors d’oeuvres, allowing six pieces per person. Some simple ideas include snow peas stuffed with goat or Boursin cheese, curried chicken salad in phyllo cups, pâte à choux cheese puffs, or phyllowrapped asparagus rolls. If you don’t want to make them yourself, remember that Costco and Trader Joe’s feature a

Co-hosting Oscar means half the work for you. variety of delicious hors d’oeuvres in their frozen food sections. At the second home, provide one buffet of nibbles to be replenished throughout the evening and another of “real” food to be set out from six to eight o’clock. Make it “lap food” that requires nothing more than a fork. Put out your desserts at seven o’clock. The next morning, you and your friends can bask in Oscar’s glamorous afterglow. After entertaining with one last winter bash, you’ll be the toast of the park, at least until spring. Jean Picard writes frequently about entertaining and planning for social occasions. 17


IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD

It Takes a Village “Only connect!” – E.M. Forster By Leslie Dinaberg

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y sharing organized activities, you and your neighbors can build a sense of unity and enhance the quality of life in your community. Not only does developing goodwill make everyday life more pleasant, it can help you resolve difficult issues such as changes in park rules, management conflicts, and safety concerns. How to begin? If your park already has a homeowner’s association or a manager who plans group activities, become an active participant and work within that structure to make your community a more vital place. If your park doesn’t sponsor group activities, don’t be afraid to step up and organize something. We’ve rounded up a few simple, inexpensive suggestions to get started. Spread the word and before you know it, others will pitch in to help. Neighborhood improvements are a great way to get started. Everyone has a vested interest in your park’s appearance, so why not plan a neighborhood workday to help spruce up the common areas. Depending on what your facility needs, you could pick up trash, plant community gardens and paint, clean, or organize your shared spaces. If your park already looks great,

why not offer your services to a local elementary school or senior center? Working together to help other people is a great way for neighbors to bond. Next, try a community rummage sale. Not only will this motivate everyone to clean out their closets, it will encourage recycling. Proceeds could go toward doing something for the entire park, such as buying and planting a tree or purchasing a big screen TV. If you’re all feeling flush, donate your earnings to a local charity. Philanthropic projects such as a canned food drive for a food bank or a blanket drive for a homeless shelter are great ways to build community while working for the greater good. Many parks have an outreach committee to help welcome new residents or to check in on neighbors who are going through hard times. If someone is ill, organize a group to bring in meals or help with errands, laundry, or grocery shopping. You can also help keep your neighbors healthy by organizing group exercise activities such as yoga, pool fitness, hikes, and dances. You’ll exercise both your mind and your body by organizing a neighborhood “walk and talk” with a local politician. You can also organize a candidate forum or invite special guest

speakers in to talk about a variety of topics. Current event discussions, bible study, and book clubs are other “food for the mind” activities. Sponsoring a book drive or book exchange is also a great way to bring neighbors together, as are shared hobbies such as sewing, knitting, and scrapbooking. Card players might sponsor a bridge tournament or a monthly poker game, while chefs may be interested in organizing a cookie or casserole exchange. Try hosting a progressive dinner with a few neighbors, or dream up a theme for a movie night, singalong, Karaoke party, Bingo night, Scrabble tournament, or charades party. The social possibilities in a mobile home park are endless. January is the perfect time to have a white elephant or Yankee swap to get rid of those gifts that weren’t quite right. Block parties are also fun, as are barbecues, sports days, and family picnics. Whether you start small or go all out, the most important consideration is to plan activities that will make everyone feel welcome and happy to be a part of the community. Leslie Dinaberg is a Santa Barbara-based freelance writer.

Opposite: Phoenix Trailer Park by Gary Campopiano. Gary Campopiano trained at California State University Fresno and the University of California Santa Barbara. He taught art in Ventura, CA. Now retired, he serves as Board Chairman of the non-profit Carpinteria Valley Arts Council. His work has recently been exhibited at the Steinbeck National Museum in Salinas, Porch, 855 At The Arts Center, and Palm Lofts Gallery, all in Carpinteria. 18

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B U I LD I N G B L O C K S

New Prefab in the Old Neighborhood By Howard StIEr

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each side of the roof. “The only choice in construction was the location of the bracing to accommodate a stairwell,” explains Ariza, a compact and intense man who, having no architectural training, has designed and built eight homes in the past six years. Yet Erik and Stacy Drageset, who purchased the Butler House in June 2008, have embraced the industrial design elements. The 2,600-sqare-foot home, with an additional 400-squarefoot garage, cost them $530,000 to build. Significant luxury upgrades, such as walnut flooring, an electric rollup gate designed for firehouses, and a $10,000 hardwood wall unit on the second floor, added to their costs. Ariza won’t compromise on certain features. “I hate hollow-core doors,” he says. These are all solid and steel framed.” He also frames out 9-foot ceilings, which adds to materials and labor. Even with all the extras, the cost of the Butler House falls well below the $280 to $350 per-square-foot cost of wood-frame homes on the west side of Los Angeles, according to Ariza. It also costs less than other prefab models built by Ariza’s competitors in Los Angeles. “The selling point of prefab modular is affordability, but we aren’t

seeing much development in the lowerpriced market. Look at the price points of [prefab designs by architects] Jennifer Seigel and Marmol Radziner. These aren’t designed for the masses.” The Dragesets worked closely with Ariza as he designed and contracted the interior construction, and they are thrilled that they have exactly what they wanted in a home.

The [owners] worked closely with Ariza… and they are thrilled that they have exactly what they wanted in a home “We have four kids, we like the openness,” says Mr. Drageset, an artist whose painterly figurative images hang throughout the home. Soaring 20 feet overhead, the massive open space even diminishes the top-shelf plasma screen television mounted in the living area, a screen that would overwhelm the largest of living rooms in a traditional home. continued

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rom the curb it doesn’t jump out at you; the gently sloping roof and brown cedar façade meld with the older single-family homes in Mar Vista, a residential neighborhood on L.A.’s Westside. But the Butler House (which both sits on Butler Avenue and was manufactured by Butler Steel) is not like the other homes. Rather, it arrived one day on a truck from Northern California, was erected by a three-man crew in less than three weeks, and thus marked a sea change in the area’s home construction industry by introducing prefabricated architecture into this traditional neighborhood. It is only the steel cables and bolt plates anchoring a louvered awning over the entrance—industrial details commonly found in the arts district of adjacent Culver City—that belie the industrial aesthetic of this prefab steel home. “You can’t get away from it, and either you like it or you don’t,” says developer Andres Ariza. That means living with exposed HVAC ducts, I-beams, and in the case of the Butler House, a pair of 30-foot steel cross braces that span each bay (the area between the 20-foot-tall vertical beams) on each side of the home as well as


Striking the perfect balance between steel prefabricated architecture, luxury upgrades and sustainability, the Butler House was erected by a three-man crew in less than three weeks.

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The eco-consciousness is overarching, the feature of prefab construction that excites Ariza most. “The single-family home industry is antiquated, slow to adopt change,” he explains with the enthusiasm of an autodidact. “You build with wood, there’s waste Dumpsters full of cutoffs-and I hate waste.” It isn’t the use of specialized materials that makes the Butler House eco- friendly, but the elimination of waste and simply its shorter construction time, which requires fewer laborers. “That equates to a smaller overall carbon footprint,” Ariza says. “If a building goes up in two weeks rather than four or six, that’s huge. Calculating the trips to the job site by workers in vehicles and deliveries, a prefabricated home significantly reduces the amount of fossil fuel that goes into housing construction.” Ariza also notes that while traditional roofing and siding materials demand upkeep by workers returning to the home, the Butler House’s steel siding and roof (which can be chosen from an array of five colors) “has a twenty-year warranty. It doesn’t need any maintenance.” Among the limitations of modular and prefab construction, the chief problem is delivery of the material. A 40-foot flatbed truck and room to maneuver a crane (“Power poles are a problem,” says Ariza) are needed, and not every lot allows for that. Neither is Ariza able to change the location of kitchens and baths. “Plumbing is the biggest cost; to run copper all over would drive things up incredibly.” In a housing market facing fewer new home starts since the post–World War II era, Ariza isn’t blinking. Real estate in Venice and other Westside neighborhoods he builds in have been sheltered from the downturn, demand for his homes is constant, and he’s not only eager to continue building but looking to further refine his concept of prefab architecture. “Ideally, construction will become fully integrated. Everything— drywall, flooring, plywood—will come from one source. We’re going to evolve toward greater efficiency.” Howard Stier has reported for The New York Times, New York magazine, The Denver Post, The National Inquirer, and In Touch Weekly. 22

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Photos courtesy Andres Ariza

B U I LD I N G B L O C K S


This page (clockwise from top): An unassuming façade melds with older single-family homes in L.A.’s Westside; the master bath is strikingly minimal yet comfortably inviting; the open floorplan lends itself to ample light and pleasing lines in the main living room.

Opposite (clockwise from top): The framing and tensile support phase begins; like a large-scale circuit board, the radiant heat tubing is arrayed prior to the final concrete being poured; industrial steel structural elements become part of the design scheme; innovative developer Andres Ariza U p w a r d l y

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INTERIORS

Thinking inside the box (part II) ARTICLE AND SKETCHES By BETSY EDWARDS

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home says “Welcome” by exuding comfort. In this second part of our design for a 1,500-square-foot double-wide abode, we address the all-important communal areas of living room, family room, dining room, and kitchen. Whether you’re sprucing up, renovating, or contemplating a complete redesign, we hope the resources and tools offered in these pages will help you to “live within your dreams.”

Living Room (#1)

A sectional sofa layout invites you to put your feet up and adapts well for overnight guests. Remember to create surfaces for snacks, flowers, and candles.

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For example, a stack of favorite books creates a small table in front of a floor lamp or varies the height of your table lighting. Add floor pillows and throws for hunkering down on a rainy day. In summer, use bold linen pillow covers and lighten up floors with natural fiber rugs. Look for reclaimed plaster or wood architectural elements to create dimensional wall art.

Built-in Cabinetry Wall (#2)

Separating the living and family rooms, this wall features double-sided cabinet doors so that you can easily access stored books, games, and electronics from both rooms. Likewise, the unit’s fireplace commands center stage in

both. We suggest placing a favorite painting, photograph, or other piece of art above the fireplace in the living room and installing a flat-screen TV on the identical space in the family room. This way, both the television and the fireplace can be enjoyed from the kitchen and the dining room. You’ll find endless options for fireplace designs and accessories online and in local shops. If you don’t currently have a fireplace, consider adding an EcoSmart fireplace fueled by the renewable green energy of denatured ethanol. The EcoSmart fireplace’s big advantage is that no flue or connection is needed. continued

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INTERIORS

Family Room

In this room, make your family’s “business” hub a writing desk with phone and daily calendar. A low sideboard may do the trick, or consider a secretary with cabinetry for tucking away computers, coupons, and lists. A trunk or ottoman can provide interior storage in front of the sofa. Adjacent to the kitchen, a low counter with seating is perfect for quick snacks or breakfast on the go.

Dining Room (#3)

To view the complete series floorplan, go to: www.umhmag.com/box

Here, an upholstered banquette offers extra comfort for homework, craft projects, and meals plus flat storage space underneath. A side cabinet organizes placemats, napkins, and candles and becomes the perfect spot for a tray or for outdoor barbequing implements.

Kitchen (#3 & 4)

You’ll reap huge rewards by researching energy-saving appliances online, or check your local “scratch and dent” 26

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stores for bargains. Design recycling and trash bins into your kitchen’s layout. Look for interesting “found” pieces for cabinetry or islands. Paint cabinet interiors and open shelves with an accent color and use glass inserts to update upper cabinetry doors. Innovative green countertop materials include Ecotop, a fadeless combo of bamboo and wood fiber in a waterbased resin, and IceStone, composed of 100 percent recycled glass in a cement matrix. Lighting fixtures with fans promote extra ventilation. With a little walkin pantry organization, shopping and meal planning becomes a breeze.

Earth-Friendly Tips

Select renewable resources such as bamboo, cork, or reclaimed wood for flooring materials. Recycled furnishings, cabinetry, and light fixtures can all be found locally at salvage yards, flea markets, antique shops, and yard sales. Habitat for Humanity ReStores provide

amazing renovating materials to benefit their cause and your pocketbook. Remember, donating your unwanted goods keeps the green vibe moving. For high-use areas (hallways, kitchens, baths), choose compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) using approximately 70 percent less energy than their incandescent relatives. Adding dimmers to your ceiling fixtures creates ambience and produces further energy incentives. Dishwashing tip: Studies show that a dishwasher washes more dishes with less water than hand washing. Use a reduced phosphate dish detergent and a green cleaner for use throughout your home. Regularly change or clean the filters in your furnace, air conditioner, clothes dryer, refrigerator, and water faucets. Doing this thwarts viruses and will garner you significant water and energy savings. Betsy Edwards is a freelance writer and interior designer based in Santa Barbara.

Web Resources Energy Saving Links www.energystar.gov www.hometuneup.com    www.hes.lbl.gov  Organizing and Green Material Links www.thegreenguide.com  www.containerstore.com  www.countertopreview.com  www.habitat.org/cd/env/restore.aspx   Fireplace Links www.ecosmartfire.com www.sparkfires.com  www.marco-fireplace.com Disclaimer: These drawings are copyrighted and are for representational purposes only. As with any construction or remodeling project, professional plans and coordination with all local codes, ordinances and structural needs are required.

Create Your Little Piece of Heaven in...

If a man happens to find himself... he has a mansion which he can inhabit with dignity all the days of his life. —James Michener

OAK HAVEN A brand new luxury community only 22 home sites available Customize Your Home to Fit Your Lifestyle reserve yours now! A Manufactured Housing Community persons for 62 & over 1885 Maricopa Hwy. Ojai CA 93023 • (805) 646-5797 Oak Haven LLC has no affiliation with any manufactured home dealer and each lot is subject to the payment of a lot development fee.

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ON THE COVER

Space-Age

Aerie

A Bluff-Top Double-Wide Makes a Dramatic Landing 28

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The Jetsonesque street faรงade of this ultra-modern manufactured makeover, performed in 2006.

By ARNIE COOPER Photos by BRENT WINEBRENNER U p w a r d l y

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ON THE COVER

The living room’s spare décor cedes pride of place to the spectacular view of Pt. Dume’s lush landscape. The wall canvas disappears to reveal a flat-screen TV.

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ruce Abbott pushes open the living room’s sliding glass pocket doors, revealing a panorama dominated by the Santa Monica Mountains and the azure swirls of the Pacific Ocean. Together with architect George Keossaian, Abbott has converted an aging double-wide manufactured home into what they now describe as a “cross between a jewel box and a spaceship.” More on the galactic bling later; for now it’s best to focus on the drama of the 270-degree view. “The breeze always kicks up in the afternoon, says Abbott, “and the flowing white curtains provide romance beyond belief.” The designer and co-owner of Malibu Elevations, the design-build firm responsible for creating the Butterfly House, Abbott may sound like a frustrated poet. But standing at that seamless border between the airy indoors and the elements, it’s hard not to get caught up by how perfectly this bluff-top mobile home fits into the aesthetics of “The Bu.” That’s the nickname locals use for L.A.’s premiere coastal locale, Malibu. Malibu is home to the Point Dume Club, a gated mobile-home park whose perch overlooking Zuma Beach offers a unique combination of tranquility and affordability. This is where the Butterfly sits. Says Keossaian, “Most of the homes here have the same view as the $20 million homes across the road.” Add to that amenities like tennis and basketball courts, a swimming pool, and spa and sauna as well as an annual Thanksgiving dinner free to all residents, and it’s easy to understand why, as Keossaian says, “People just don’t want to leave.” In fact, you’ll be even more inclined to stick around if you spend just a couple of minutes inside one of Abbott’s and Keossaian’s creations—including this threebedroom, two-and-a-half bath remodel completed two years ago. continued

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ON THE COVER

From the opaque pink stained glass and slanted walls of the master bedroom to a one-of-a-kind shower inspired by a nautilus shell, the Butterfly (so named because of its roof angles) reflects both the team’s attention to detail and their ability to transform a vision into reality. “It’s a joint effort,” Abbott says, “to get to know your client and where they’re headed so you can help them define the kind of place they want to live in. We designed this house for a young couple who are really kind of fearless. They’re not afraid of color or design and they’re not afraid of change.” It should be no surprise, then, that the entrance to the home features a privacy wall with an irregular pattern of circular cutouts that call to mind a wedge of Swiss cheese. Once inside you’ll be greeted by an assemblage of faux-painted, customized candle boxes that, when viewed late at night, seem to be floating on water. If you can turn away from the seductive outdoor vista to face the kitchen, you’ll appreciate the spaceship reference. “Take a good look at the ‘George Jetson’ angles,” Keossaian says, pointing to the sloping ceiling at the rear of the bright, expansive galley. Anchored by mother-ofpearl terrazzo floors and a silver and white palette, the sleek contours of the space exude a definite twenty-first-century modern sensibility. A stainless steel Thermador gas range reinforces the effect. Despite the futuristic vibe, the room manages to convey an organic quality through natural materials such as luminescent mother-of-pearl tiles that set off CaesarStone crushed quartzite countertops. Glittering ceiling lights recall the star-filled nights so common on this section of the Southern California coast. Moreover, thanks to the unusual use of pearlescent paint on the cabinets, the changing light throughout the day alters the kitchen “so much you would not believe,” says Abbott. “As the sun starts to go down, it picks up the pearl essence and becomes otherworldly. You’ll see parts of the cabinetry glowing and other parts in really 32

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recessed shadow and it looks like “Wow! What is that?” One might say the same thing about the rectangular fire pits a few steps away on the ample deck. “The flames just come up through the colored glass and you get what looks like a campfire. Everyone thinks fire pits have to be circular, but they don’t need to be.” Part of the Butterfly’s aesthetic appeal is clearly cutting-edge. appeal. And what better way to add a futuristic flourish than by installing a Crestron home automation system? At the touch of a button or two, the owners are able to control the temperature, the lighting, and the sound system. “They can even call in through their cell phone and turn on the exterior or interior lights or the Jacuzzi,” Keossaian says. Point Dume Club’s 300 homes offer a diversity of architectural styles, ranging from Polynesian and Craftsman to mid-century modern and space-age. U p w a r d l y

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The Malibu Elevations partners have remodeled over a dozen homes here, yet the Butterfly House stands out as their pride and joy. “You’ll never see anything like that again,” Abbott says. The residents of Point Dume are as diverse as the architectural styles of the homes they live in, yet they’ve banded together to create a genuine sense of community. Says Abbott, “When you first move in here you think, ‘I’m not really sure about this,’ and then you start realizing how it’s definitely a cool place to live.’” He should know. Both he and Keossaian live and work here: Abbott in a beautiful Spanish revival and Keossaian in a California bungalow. The Butterfly’s owners agree. “They’re very happy,” Abbott says. “They love being here.”

Opposite, clockwise from the top: The master bedroom features glass pocket doors that recede to provide wide-open access to the deck; customdesigned polished-steel lettering says “retro” with a capital R; owners and builders George Keossaian and Bruce Abbott in the kitchen; enveloping curves and intricate tile work highlight the master bath; a Parisian sink cabinet brings high style to the home’s second bath.

Arnie Cooper writes from Santa Barbara for the Wall Street Journal, Dwell, and other national publications.

Above: Indoor/outdoor living at its best. The deck features modular seating and a gas-heated, ultralinear tile firepit.

CONTACT Malibu Elevations www.malibuelevations.com George Keossaian 310.924.1741 Bruce Abbott 310.508.7265

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G o C r e a tive

A doctor’s exacting touch transforms a beachside lot in Encinitas

Three’s a Charm By ARNIE COOPER Photos by BRENT WINEBRENNER

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A spacious kitchen flows into the wood-beamed living room of this custom-manufactured home in Encinitas.

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ravis Westermeyer may be a practicing podiatrist but he also has deep roots in the construction industry. Westermeyer’s grandfather was a general contractor and his father, a doctor as well, built several homes during his lifetime. Add to that the building work Westermeyer did while in college and it’s no surprise when he rattles off terms like “c-channels,” “joists,” and “soffits.” In 2001, when Westermeyer’s wife Debbie came across a lot just five minutes from the beach in Leukadia, a hamlet of Encinitas, the couple pounced. “I surf and I’m a beach person,” Westermeyer says. “It was a chance to live near the ocean and make an investment at the same time.” Little did he know that the parcel would double in value in just two years. “Plain luck” is how he describes it. Seven years later, the property boasts three hefty-sized manufactured homes, each in a different architectural style but all featuring amenities you’d expect to find in comparable custommade houses. Achieving this was anything but easy, though. Westermeyer toiled through four years of nights and weekends to transform the scruffy lot into a lush landscape of King Palms and banana trees. The next step was planning where to site each house. As he points out, “With a wide beach practically outside your front door, it’s not that important to have a big yard.” The real challenge was the relatively small 27,500 square feet he had to work with. “It was kind of like a Rubik’s cube. We couldn’t design just

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one; we had to design all three of them at the same time.” As for the decision to “go manufactured,” Westermeyer wanted to avoid the bureaucracy of getting plans approved. Money was also a factor. “When you buy a manufactured home the cost is set,” he says. “When you build a house there are always overruns. And the owner pays for that.” The clincher was taking a tour of Silvercrest’s headquarters. The manufactured homes dealer’s motto of “simply the best” clearly rang true for Westermeyer, thanks in part to Steve Truslow, a corporate developer at the company. “Steve was invaluable in helping me get it done, educating me, and holding my hand.” Westermeyer also became a licensed manufactured home dealer in order to recast Silvercrest’s “Manor Estate Series” models to improve both their aesthetics and their structural integrity. (Having

the license moved the process along faster and saved him the usual dealer mark-ups.) Westermeyer’s altered everything from the roof pitches to the interior walls. His biggest challenge: changing the floor plans. Working with a designer, he drew pictures of what he wanted. Then an engineer performed the necessary calculations. Admittedly, this wasn’t his original plan, but as Westermeyer witnessed the explosive growth in the housing market, logic told him to go for a high-end approach. The result: all three homes feature expansive interiors with granite counter tops, stainless steel appliances including actual commercial stoves, and bamboo flooring. And Westermeyer didn’t skimp on the exterior. Each structure has a deck, a custom authentic tile roof, sheared walls (for added stability and safety) and what’s called a “super floor” which uses steel supports and one-and-oneeighth-inch thick plywood. To be extra safe, he improved upon the foundation requirements, doubling the required depth from one to two feet. Even without these changes, Westermeyer believes manufactured homes are stronger than “stick built” homes. “They have to withstand driving down the freeway at 55 mph with a 60 mph wind and that’s before they’re even stuck on the ground,” he says. In addition, each house has a large garage with an upstairs legal accessory dwelling containing a full kitchen. And though the garages stand on their own, Westermeyer combined each one with the main house using stucco to make Upw a rdly

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Opposite: A Craftsman-style master bedroom with French doors in the home of Diana and John Little; off the Littles’ bedroom, a slate-and-concrete fireplace; the third home’s living room; a batchelor paradise, where the pool room with its fireplace flows into the living room. This page, top: A Mediterranean façade houses the middle home. Bottom: The Little’s kitchen easily allows workspace for four and merges with both living room and dining room, maximizing options for easy entertaining.

it look like one structure. This is one reason, he says, people find it hard to believe the homes are manufactured. The first, original house, which Westermeyer calls the “crown jewel,” is a 3,750-square-foot dark auburn Mediterranean with high ceilings and lots of funky angles. The three young engineers who now live there, says Westermeyer, bought it is because they were able to appreciate the engineering that went into a manufactured home,” Westermeyer says. “Everything’s extremely high-tech with computerized sound and lights.” The second house, a grayishgreen 3,500-square-foot craftsman owned by a couple, was originally five bedrooms, but is now down to four to accommodate office space. It includes a hidden pocket porch off one of the bedrooms and an outdoor slate-and-stucco fireplace off the master bedroom. The third house, where the Westermeyers currently reside, is a three-bedroom, 3,200-squarefoot light beige Spanish-style affair. Though smaller than the others, this home features a kitchen that opens to the living room and wrought iron touches throughout which gives the space a haciendalike feeling. You might be wondering whether Westermeyer would do this all again. “Oh yeah!” he says enthusiastically. “Now that I know how to do it. Are you kidding? Yeah. I got it down now.” U p w a r d l y

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RETRO

Laguna’s Lost Paradises

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nce upon a time, two quirky mobilehome enclaves embodied all that was sweetest about Southern California’s carefree surf-and-sand lifestyle. At the north end of Laguna Beach, El Morro Village housed 295 oceanfront trailers on beach, valley, and terrace levels in Crystal Cove State Park. In South Laguna, Treasure Island Mobile Home Park featured 266 homes arrayed around a crescent-shaped bay. Today, both parks are gone. While the residents have moved on, their vivid memories recall a way of life that was both idyllic and affordable.

Treasure Island

“We thought we were living in heaven,” says K.P. Rice, a resident from 1985 to 1997 and the last president of the Treasure Island Resident Owners Association (TIROA). “We did a lot of diving, scuba, and snorkeling, and we had cookouts on the beach.” “No vehicles were allowed on our roads, so you could walk right down the middle of the street,” he continues. “Before you got too far, somebody would usually invite you in for a cup of coffee or a drink. We had paupers and millionaires, like the wealthy entrepreneur who completely rebuilt his home except for the trailer wheels. Still, it was a close-knit, gregarious community. We looked out for each other. And we had the best view around. Every night at least 20 people would gather at top of our walkway with glasses of wine to watch the sun set.” Homes varied from new to ancient. “There were tiny trailers left over from the ’40s and ’50s, with a lot of quaint charm,” recalls Laguna landscape architect and former mayor Ann Christoph. “Everyone had gardens and fences. It was all very individualized. There was also a very nice 38

community center with a party room, fireplace, and pool. It was a beautiful, relaxed lifestyle.” Christoph arrived in Laguna in 1971 and found a wide range of residents at Treasure Island—retirees, teachers, electric company workers, families, and businessmen. The mobile home park, where Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz filmed “The Long, Long Trailer” in 1953 and gossip columnist Hedda Hopper penned much of her bestseller “From Under My Hat” in 1952, for decades had restricted access to the beach. It was where the working class could afford a lifestyle usually reserved for the rich. By 1991, private developers who owned the 30-acre bluff-top parcel on which Treasure Island sat were negotiating with the city of Laguna Beach to develop condos and a multimillion-dollar resort. Part of their development package was to provide public access to the beach, an amenity desired by Laguna Beach and required by the Coastal Commission. “I was on the city council at time,” Christoph says, “and my constituents were living there. I felt they should be protected as much as possible. I was hoping to preserve part of it for their use. We passed a relocation ordinance so that residents got a settlement based on how long they’d lived there. We also got a rent control ordinance passed. But ultimately we were overruled. I lost my reelection bid in 1994, partly due to my positions on Treasure Island.” By 1997, the developers had ordered all residents to vacate.

El Morro

“I moved into El Morro Village in 1991 due to the recession,” recalls Newport Beach architect Rolly Pulaski. “I had a double-wide plus a 9-foot-wide addition

on the west corner of the front row, with a spectacular 180-degree view. But by the time my business recovered from the recession, my wife and I didn’t want to leave. I thought we’d be there forever. In 1978, California had bought the land for Crystal Cove State Park from the Irvine Company for $32.5 million. El Morro tenants rented their site from the state for twenty-five years. “For the majority of owners, El Morro was their second home,” Pulaski continues. “Yet it was like a cross section of any small town, from wealthy to welfare. You got to know your neighbors quickly.” “Unfortunately,” says Pulaski, “we were portrayed as a private enclave of wealthy individuals.” To combat that image, the residents put up a sign on the highway saying, “El Morro Village Welcomes You.” “That sign wasn’t up more than a week when park rangers came and told us to take it down,” Pulaski says. Finally, after several court battles, the residents were forced out in 2006. Treasure Island Beach is now open to the public. A picnic area and a campsite are under construction. Dale Neuman lived in the village for more than four decades and worked on almost three-quarters of the homes as a contractor. “I’ve got so many memories of this place,” he told a reporter. “I’ve known these people all my life. I’ll probably only talk to a handful ever again.” “I miss the lifestyle the most,” Pulaski says. “The camaraderie, the pig roasts and chili cook-offs, the incredible view, the breathtaking sunsets. It was really a fun community.” Roberta Grant is the editor of Upwardly Mobile Upw a rdly

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By Roberta Grant


Clockwise from top: Panorama of Main Beach, 1918; Treasure Island Trailer Park postcard, circa 1950; El Morro, 1930s; South Laguna, Paradise Cove looking north, 1948; South Laguna, 1940; Aliso Beach 1923 (courtesy Howard Wilson collection); Treasure Island Trailer Park and remnants of the Laguna Pier, 1960. All photos courtesy Steve Turnbull collection, except as noted. www.light-headed.com U p w a r d l y

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O P E N R O AD

Laguna Beach

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century ago, Laguna Beach was the focal point for California’s plein air landscape painters. Today it remains a cultural enclave for artists and attracts tourists year round with its scenic beauty.

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WHERE TO STAY Best Western Laguna Brisas Spa Hotel Close to beach and art galleries 1600 S. Coast Hwy 949.497.7272 La Casa Del Camino Ocean views at a reasonable price 1289 S Coast Hwy 949.497.2446

WHAT TO DO

WHERE TO EAT Las Brisas Mexican food with a sweeping ocean view 361 Cliff Drive 949.497.5434

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Laguna Beach Laguna Nigel

Cedar Creek Inn Distinguished American fare 384 Forest Ave. 949.497.8696 www.cedarcreekinn.com

MOBILE HOME PARK

Dana Point

Laguna Terrace Park 30802 Coast Hwy. Spc. K2 949.499.3000

FOR MORE INFO www.lagunabeachinfo.com

Photos courtesy Laguna Beach CVB, www.lagunabeachinfo.com

Tour the local art galleries, then visit the Laguna Art Museum, known for its cutting-edge exhibits as well as the largest permanent collection of works by California artists. Try to time your visit to take advantage of several art festivals that take place during the year. Hiking, surfing, shopping, and strolling the waterfront parks are all sources of picturesque delight. Then there’s the Pacific Marine Mammal Center, a rescue center in Laguna Canyon that offers

up-close and personal viewing of marine mammals by guests. In the evening, catch the latest theater piece at the Laguna Playhouse, the oldest continually running playhouse on the West Coast.

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U P S C AL E

Perform a more dramatic modification by transforming your windows into doors and adding a small deck. The installation of French doors in the living room and a kitchen door bordered with shutters will provide easy access and a sense of welcome. You can block the old side entry with plants so that it becomes a private side yard.

Adding a double-pane bay window in the living room not only increases the dramatic impact, it creates additional seating space, energy efficiency, and, depending on the design, even storage space. A wooden window box helps balance the design. 42

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Renderings by Christina Rivera

First Impressions


Transform your home’s all-too-common “street” end by adding an arbor or trellis and planting vines. This low-cost solution creates a wonderful softening effect.

Eyes are our windows on the world. Conversely, a house’s windows always catch our eye. If your home’s windows seem “expressionless,” here are some suggestions for modifying or replacing them to generate real curb appeal.

Draping one long canopy over the street end’s two standard “eyes” creates a wonderful unifying effect. Beneath, a long iron window box adds a bit of flair. —Toni Gump U p w a r d l y

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U P G RAD E

Fireproofing Your Home By Meredith Day

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ast November the terrible Sylmar fire destroyed more than 500 manufactured homes in California’s Oakridge Mobile Home Park. At a news conference near the development, Governor Schwarzenegger said the devastation had convinced him that mobile homes should be required to include more fire-resistant materials. The truth is, manufactured-home factories already offer construction elements to meet all fire code standards: fire-retardant concrete composite siding, tempered-glass windows, fire-retardant roof vents, and class-A fire-rated shingles. In addition, California currently requires that fire sprinklers be installed in all manufactured homes situated in high-fire-danger areas. Other safety tips to keep in mind: Gas lines are now required to have ground fault cutoffs in many areas. If your home is threatened, just go out and jiggle the gas meter. The gas will automatically shut off at the source. Trees and flammable decor items should be kept at a distance from your home. Use concrete, nonflammable decor whenever possible. If your lot features tall pines or other evergreens, attach a large 360-degree sprinkler head to a galvanized (not plastic) pipe and run it up the trunk to just above the top of the tree. While you may seem like a nut to your neighbors, when a fire approaches you can turn the water on and protect the tree so flying embers don’t find a foothold. When installing a new home, it’s not a bad idea to bring in a larger water line with a controllable pressure regulator. This way, you can adjust the pressure when the need is great to protect your home. “Water curtain” misters under the eaves and sprinklers that cover the roof are invaluable. Install an easily accessible turn-on valve connected to a backup thermostat. This will automatically turn on the system if the temperature is abnormally high. Even a simple-to-install, powerful Rain Bird sprinkler placed on the center of the roof can be a home saver if you turn it on in time.

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Smoke alarms should be placed throughout the house and on the outer walls as well. They can warn you of an approaching fire before smoke gets into the house. If the detector goes off when your neighbor barbecues, you may have to turn it off temporarily. But isn’t that worth the additional first warning it can provide of a fast-moving fire? When buying a manufactured home, analyze its components from a fire-safety point of view. Will that darling trellis become tinder for a fire? Are you planting succulents or shrubberies that harbor excess dried wood beneath the exterior shell of greenery? Those wood chips look nice in the planters around your home, but could they become a flame magnet? Colored gravel is a great alternative in California for a high-fire-danger area. Not only does it conserve water, it is fireproof if kept clean of leaf debris. If you live in a fire area, do not even consider wood siding. You can afford to upgrade to concrete composite to help save your home in a fire. Author and architectural designer Meredith Day has authored several books, including “How To Buy and Sell Mobile and Manufactured Homes.” She lectures at colleges on “Efficient Innovation in Manufactured Housing.”

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IT’S TIME TO GET

FREE TRIAL SUBSCRIPTION! GO TO UMHMAG.COM AND CLICK ON “SUBSCRIBE”


I N T H E PAR K

Country Club Cozy

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etween Ventura City College and a spacious city park stands the Patrician MH Community. The clubhouse faces you as you enter the grounds with easy parking access. The Patrician’s owner, John Spoor Broome, has always taken a personal interest in his park, continually updating and upgrading it. His loving care, as well as that of his resident manager Marlene Carson, shows. The lovely clubhouse includes card rooms, a billiard room, a library, and an exercise room. There is also a large dining area with a stage and kitchen. Outside, the pool and shaded spa are accompanied by another casual dining area with new barbeque equipment.. This pristine park features brick walkways, festive gazebos, and a few newly developed lots. —Toni Gump

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T RA I L E R T AL E S

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he ladies sit on Doris’s porch in the late afternoon sipping coffee and eating Entenmann’s doughnuts. “Anyway…” Doris breaks the afternoon silence. “I was going to tell you about Space 50. I’m starting to wonder if it has a curse or something.” “Why’s that?” asks Pearl. “Well, the strangest things happen there and nobody stays there long. And here it is for sale again. Remember that single mother with the little baby used to live there? Well, I heard the father of the baby was some

Episode Three By Onnah Roll kind of drug dealer!” “I’m not surprised,” interrupts Marge. “There were always people coming and going day and night there. And that young mother rarely left the house! I thought she was nuts or something.” “Well, anyway,” continues Doris, “one day I saw about four police cars pull up down the street. Eight armed 48

cops with bullet-proof vests poured into her house. They must have been in there near forty-five minutes.  They left with nothing. Supposedly all they found was a fridge full of breast milk.” The ladies laugh and light their cigarettes. “That’s our tax dollars hard at work!” laughs Pearl. “Thank God they found that breast milk! The whole neighborhood might have gone to hell.” “The young mother moved after that, poor thing,” Doris expounded. “The next person who lived there got robbed—twice! Wonder what’s gonna happen to the next occupant.” Doris’s gate opens suddenly and Betty, a disabled woman from the end of the street, starts up the path, carrying a grocery bag. “Hi girls!” exclaims Betty with her thick Southern accent. “What’s cookin’?” Betty loves to cook, coming by once in a blue moon to give the ladies’ taste buds a workout. “Same old, same old,” answers Marge. “What’s in the bag?” “Oh, I’ve just been to the Harvest Bag to get my weekly free groceries. My, I just don’t know what I’d do without those angels!  They gave me about six grapefruits this time and I’ll never eat ‘em. Y’all want a few?” “Sure,” they answer in unison. The ladies are always kind to Betty. A few years earlier she suffered head injuries and many broken bones when she and her husband were hit in their car by a train while crossing the tracks. Betty’s husband had been intoxicated.  He wasn’t injured at all. Betty is slow now, moving delicately and having trouble getting her words out when she talks. She has terrible migraines and the pain in her legs frequently makes it impossible to walk.

“So what wonderful gourmet dishes have you been coming up with from your Harvest Bag goodies, Betty?” asks Doris. “Well, I made a potato-crusted quiche the other day. I guess it was good because Bob ate the whole thing. I didn’t get one bite.” “Sounds delish!” comments Doris. “Bring me some next time.” “I sure will, honey,” says Betty as she starts back down the path. “That Betty,” states Marge. “She sure is creative, and with so little!” “I don’t know how she does it,” says Doris.  “And with a husband like Bob!” 

POTATO-CRUSTED QUICHE 3-4 thinly sliced potatoes    6 eggs beaten with 3 tablespoons milk 4 pieces of crumbled bacon A few pats of butter or margarine 1 thinly sliced green onion    1 cup of grated cheese – divided    3 tablespoons vegetable oil     salt, pepper & paprika to taste Preheat the oven to 375F. Cut the bacon into small pieces and cook thoroughly. Set aside. Wash and slice the potatoes into potato-chip-thin slices. Heat the oil and add the potatoes in a thin, even layer. Season with salt, pepper, and paprika. Flip the potatoes over after approximately four minutes or after lightly browned, and cook another four minutes until both sides are browned. Meanwhile, slice the onions, beat the eggs and milk, and grate the cheese. Lightly grease a pie pan and press the cooked potatoes evenly on the bottom. Top the potatoes with the onions, bacon, and one-half cup of cheese. Dab it with the butter or margarine. Pour the egg mixture on top and then add the remaining half-cup of cheese. Bake in preheated oven for twenty to twenty-five minutes or until bubbling and lightly browned.

Onnah Roll is a graduate of California Institute of the Arts. Her poetry has been published in Sentenial. Upw a rdly

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Remodel, Redecorate or Recycle at the ReStore! The Habitat ReStore is a not-for-profit discount home improvement center where used, salvaged and surplus building materials are sold far below retail prices and the revenue from sales goes directly back to the local Habitat for Humanity affiliate to build more homes for low income families.

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New and nearly new Windows: Wood, Vinyl, Aluminum Interior/Exterior Doors, French Doors, Swing, Sliders Electrical Fixtures, Lights, Fans Tubs, Toilets, Sinks, Vanities, Faucets Kitchen Cabinets, Counter Tops and much more! Southern California Habitat for Humanity ReStores

Southern Santa Barbara County ReStore www.sbrestore.org 6725 Hollister Ave. Santa Barbara CA 93117 (805) 692-2226

Northern Santa Barbara County ReStore www.nsbhabitat.com 2053 Preisker Ln. Santa Maria CA 93456 (805) 928-5399

San Luis Obispo County ReStore www.hfhsloco.org 784 High St. San Luis Obispo CA 93405 (805) 546-8699

Ventura County ReStore www.habitatventura.org 167 Lambert St Oxnard CA 93036 (805) 485-6065

San Gabriel Valley ReStore www.sgvhabitat.org 770 N Fair Oaks Pasadena CA 91103 (626) 792-3838

Please call our office, or visit our website for ReStore hours, directions or with other questions.


LA S T L O O K

Cypress Sunset Photo by Meredith Day Meredith Day’s patented “Angraphie” three-dimensional animation cameras are used by the entertainment industry for lobby displays. For 30 years, Day has photographed clouds all over the United States. This picture was taken at sunset in Parklane Estates, Santa Clarita California. 50

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Upwardly Mobile Magazine - Winter 2008  

The Magazine of Mobile, Manufactured and Modular Home Living

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