Colonial Revival Home Designed by Reginald Johnson

This Colonial Revival style house, originally built by the Steele family in 1914 and designed by Reginald Johnson, was home to Virginia Steele Scott of the namesake gallery at Huntington Gardens was in danger of being torn down along with the rest of the historic homes on the street to make room for parking lots. The restoration started with the simple act of repairing the windows which lead to a full restoration of the five bedroom home and the 3,000 Aeolian pipe organ.  This was a collaboration with Tim Anderson Architect.

It was common in early Pasadean homes to have a sleeping porch which were used during the long, hot dry summers. This home was no exception with its large, communal sleeping porch perched above the same size sunroom downstairs. Reginald Johnson accommodated what would have been considered more of an eastern seaboard architectural style to indoor-outdoor southern California living by placing numerous windows, and especially doors, on all the exposed facades of the house. This allowed for cross ventilation which was key is keeping the house cool.

Simple, classic lines which harken back to Colonial homes are enhanced by the simple color palette. The floors were sanded, stained and waxed. The cabinet and door hardware was re-plated. New period appropriate light fixtures were installed. 

The kitchen had been badly remodeled in the 1960's. It was dark and the over sized island made it non functional. The client needed a kitchen that would be used for entertaining large numbers of guests. The newly designed kitchen is reminiscent in style circa 1914, but with the functionality of a modern kitchen. This kitchen houses an 8 burner Viking stove with double ovens, two Subzero refrigerators and two dishwashers. The school house fixtures are new. The maple butcher block island has sufficient space on both ends for stools and an eat in kitchen. A mulled bank of three large windows were added to allow extra light to come in.


The asymmetrical back facade reflects the funtionalty of the interior floor plan in contrast to the front facade which expresses the imposed Georgian architectural order. 

The original wood bookcases, mouldings, and full panel shutters, were stripped bare of the many layers of paint and repainted. An artist hand painted the ceiling with shades of pale yellow, dusty rose, and blue grays to mimic a cloudy sky at dusk. The side doors open out to a private trellis flanked patio.  

A careful restoration revealed a hidden window in an upstairs bedroom wall which had been carefully placed to allow light into the stairwell and in addition to the clever addition of glass in the bathroom doors. The light fixtures, created in the same manner as a beautifully made horn out of brass with hand rolled edges, compliment the Colonial style architecture.

All of the bathrooms had been badly remodeled along with the kitchen in the 1960's. New bathrooms reflecting what may have been built in1914 include hexagon shaped tile floors, simple cabinets with Carrera marble counter tops, and pedestal sinks along with period appropriate fixtures.