Through sliding glass doors, the family room led to a large flagstone patio from which we could see across Los Angeles to the ocean. Griffith Park, Glendale, Hollywood, Century City, Santa Monica, a tiny bit of downtown and a strip of the blue Pacific.

Homeowner Apryl Lundsten recalls her and her husband David’s serendipitous discovery of the dreamy midcentury modern party house she and David now share.

It was a warm Sunday afternoon—the perfect day to take a drive and enjoy the beginning of another Los Angeles springtime. Our plan was to head up to the mountains, a 15-minute drive from our neighborhood in northeast Los Angeles, but we never made it. Only a few blocks up the hill from our then home we spotted an Open House sign.

“Let’s take a peek,” I suggested. My husband, David, agreed.

From the outside, it looked like a fairly typical 1960s ranch house—simple lines, an attached garage, no-fuss yard and flagstone rock adorning exterior walls. But the second we walked through the mahogany double entry doors, we discovered the house was anything but typical.

Flagstone from outside continued on the interior walls and we were wowed by the home’s other details: original terrazzo floors, flawless wood paneling and walls of glass that hinted at an incredible view. And around every turn, the house got better and better—and more and more unique.

The living room had an S-curve rock wall and fireplace hearth that seemed to float above the floor. The family room had one of the coolest wet bars we’d ever seen, upholstered in original black and silver vinyl, with tons of cabinets, four mint-condition barstools and more rock. Next to the bar was an indoor barbecue, complete with a rotisserie and all the original tools. Above the barbecue was a built-in clock that still worked. The place was obviously a party pad.

Connected to the family room was the kitchen, which boasted even more original treasures: vintage stainless steel appliances—a Sub-Zero-style refrigerator, a built-in coffeemaker and a toaster that pulls out from the wall. A low breakfast bar with five suspended gold vinyl seats that swivel divided the kitchen from the family room.

“It’s like the best flea market find ever!” David, a swap-meet junkie, exclaimed. I had to agree. And the Rat Pack–style of the house certainly matched our eclectic design sense and our collection of mainly ’50s and ’60s furniture.

And then there was that view. Through sliding glass doors, the family room led to a large flagstone patio from which we could see across Los Angeles to the ocean. Griffith Park, Glendale, Hollywood, Century City, Santa Monica, a tiny bit of downtown and a strip of the blue Pacific. We pinched each other. One of our favorite pastimes was driving around L.A. searching for the perfect romantic view. We knew we had found it—and our home.

Love in Los Angeles

With the discovery of their new ranch house came another discovery…and another discovery. Stay tuned for part 2 to learn the unique history of this home!