Peggy & Chris’ Los Angeles Modern

published Jun 16, 2014
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(Image credit: Marcia Prentice)

Name: Peggy Hsu and Chris McCullough — architects and co-founders and owners of Hsu McCullough, an architecture practice based in Los Angeles.
Location: Los Angeles, California
Size: 1,130 square feet (house) + 350 square feet (detached garage) on 5,700 square foot lot
Years lived in: 7 years

Husband and wife architects Chris and Peggy founded a firm together, and they also collaborated on the remodel of their Los Angeles home. Each of them brought quite a bit of design experience to the project. Chris graduated from an architecture school in Canada, worked for a firm in Japan, and spent 12 years at Marmol Radziner in Los Angeles. Peggy was born in Taiwan and attended school in California. She spent a year studying architecture in Copenhagen and then worked for KAA Design Group in Los Angeles for nine years.

(Image credit: Marcia Prentice)

For the design of the home’s interior, Chris and Peggy wanted to honor the architectural style of the house while leaning a bit modern with the decoration. They designed many of the features in the house, including the wall that separates the kitchen and dining room and the large shelving unit which houses Chris’ extensive collection of records. They replaced the existing windows with repurposed steel windows, which read more architectural. Each room is aesthetically connected to the others, while having its own special design qualities.

(Image credit: Marcia Prentice)

Apartment Therapy Survey:

Our Style: Contemporary rustic.

Inspiration: Luis Barragan, the fearless use of wood in traditional Japanese homes, the existing mature trees on the property, architectural salvage yards circa 2007.

Favorite Element: The kitchen window seat, the custom light fixture in the dining room, repurposed steel windows, the backyard decks and fire pit area.

Biggest Challenge: Living in the house throughout construction. We do not recommend doing this.

What Friends Say: That the home is cozy.

Biggest Embarrassment: The partially finished garage/office. Would still like to refinish garage floor.

Proudest DIY: The dining room light fixture. Wood lath clad walls in the kitchen and dining room. The cassette art wall piece in the master bedroom.

Biggest Indulgence: Walnut cabinetry in the kitchen and solid walnut countertops.

Best Advice: Plan ahead. Draw floor plans, a site plan, interior and exterior elevations and utility diagrams so you can permit and price accordingly.

Dream Sources: Architectural and plumbing fixture salvage yards around Los Angeles.

(Image credit: Marcia Prentice)

Resources of Note:


  • ICI Paints: interior walls and ceilings: “Swiss Coffee” – eggshell sheen
  • ICI Paints: non-steel window frames: “The Dark Side”
  • ICI Paints: exterior cement plaster color: Custom white mixture


  • Poplar with ICI “Swiss Coffee” with semi-gloss sheen




  • Existing with ICI “Swiss Coffee” with semi-gloss sheen
  • Door hardware: Baldwin 5015 Estate Knob in Oil Rubbed Bronze




  • Front door: white oak door from architectural salvage yard, sandblasted and sealed with clear varnish
  • Door pulls: Acorn Manufacturing “IPEBP”
  • Wood mantel: reclaimed douglas fir beam from salvage yard with reclaimed wood shelves
  • Reclaimed steel windows
  • Light fixture: wood lanterns with orange glass from salvage yard in Orange, California, with repurposed oak handrail with sisal wrap for armature
  • Exposed end of armature painted “The Dark Side”
  • Sofa by Viesso
  • Coffee table: found vintage piece


  • Custom pendant fixture by Chris McCullough: sycamore branch salvage with 5 warm white LED lamps
  • Mesquite table by Casa Sweet Casa in Los Angeles
  • Custom benches: pine trunks with castors
  • Chairs: Cassina “Cab 412” in Russian red leather
  • Painting and framing by Peggy Hsu
  • 1 5/8″ tall wood lath wall – existing: removed from walls of the house, cleaned both sides with drill and wire wheel the re-fastened to wall with miter overlaps


  • Countertops: solid american black walnut
  • Cabinets: Walnut veneer
  • Finger pulls: Forms+Surfaces Mesa Pulls in matte black
  • Shelves: 2″ thick douglas fir beams
  • Undershelf lighting: festoon Xenon lamps
  • Window seat cushion: custom by Norm’s Fabric with fabric from F&S Fabrics
  • Refrigerator, range, hood and dishwasher: Jenn-Air
  • Microwave: Sharpe Caroussel II
  • Exterior door: custom by Chris McCullough
  • Door pull: Acorn Manufacturing “IPEBP”
  • Roller shade: by AWS (Architectural Window Shades)
  • Reclaimed steel windows
  • Sink: Houzer stainless steel
  • Faucet: California Faucets


  • Roller shade: by AWS (Architectural Window Shades)
  • Reclaimed steel windows
  • Wood shelves for record collection: reclaimed douglas fir lumber wood


  • Reclaimed laundry sink with 1920s American Standard faucet
  • Mirror: Ikea “Hovet” aluminum framed mirror
  • Toilet: Kohler
  • Skylight: Bristolite





(Image credit: Marcia Prentice)

Thanks, Peggy & Chris!

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