Brown on the Outside, White on the Inside: The Coconut House Lists for $1.6M

By Claudine Zap

Imagine an average Ohio home.

Now, take a look at the Coconut House in Los Angeles.

Trust us, nobody in Ohio grew up in a place that looked anything like this. And if the word “coconut” conjures up an image of a home dreamed up by the Professor on “Gilligan’s Island,” wrong again.

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But incredibly, an owner’s yearning for her traditional childhood home in the Buckeye State led to this architectural marvel.

The modernist architecture firm Lee + Mundwiler was able to take a “request for something that reminded the client of home and then executed it in a way that wasn’t conventional,” said listing agentBrian Linder.

“Yes, it has the gabled roofs, but it’s not a Tuscan villa in the suburbs,” he added.

It so isn’t. The sleek design, dubbed the Coconut House for its dark brown exterior and luminous white interior, is cleverly enclosed to give its occupants privacy from the street while being open to the outdoors. Architectural Recordmarveled that the design “neatly explores the conceptual dichotomy of open and closed, public and private domains.”

There’s even a palm tree or two swaying outside. But, sadly, there’s no bicycle-powered washing machine.

The award-winning 1,800-square-foot, two-bedroom property built in 2006 allows sunlight to stream in through walls of glass, skylights, and an interior courtyard, giving the home an indoor-outdoor feel. Linder noted the open floor plan offers an “extremely livable house” with flowing spaces.

The Midwest ideals of hearth and home make their presence felt: Natural materials, including walnut flooring and travertine marble, add warmth. “It’s contemporary instead of trying to replicate some historical style out of the past,” Linder said.

For the Mar Vista neighborhood in West L.A., the price may seem a bit … nuts: The high-end home is listed at a premium price of $1,595,000. “It’s going to be much more expensive than the generic house in the neighborhood,” Linder said.

But for those priced out of the ultrahip neighborhoods in nearby Venice, the agent said, this eye-catching pad could be a perfect, more affordable alternative. Plus, you’ll have the not-so-nutty privilege of living in your very own coconut.

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