ORA’s single-family L.A. home and art studio adapts to the needs of its inhabitants

Boomerang Effect

ORA’s single-family L.A. home and art studio adapts to the needs of its inhabitants

The Boomerang House, a white two-story bar shaped like a boomerang, creates spatial efficiency at each end, while expanding garden views. (Eric Staudenmaier)

In the reasonably dense Los Angeles suburb of Mar Vista, new homeowners must choose between maximizing outdoor space or floor area, the one at the expense of the other. If going with the former, they’re likely to settle on something compact sited at the front of the lot; if the latter is the priority, well, the house will swallow up the entire site. With the Boomerang House, local studio ORA split the difference without losing the benefits of either strategy.

The dwelling spaces stretch across two standalone structures—a long, narrow two-story house painted white and an adjacent cherry-red art studio—connected by a common entrance. With living spaces for a family of three, the main house steps back from the street, stretching deep into the lot. In both its faceted shape and vibrant color, the studio provides a compelling contrast, while also acting as a contextual element. Recalling the one-story gable cottages found in the area, the atelier captures a bit of the “surrounding character of the neighborhood,” said ORA associate James Guillou.

ORA designed the budget-conscious home with “the evolving ways young families live and work” in mind, he added. If the semi-detached studio currently serves as an office space, it can be easily converted into a residence as the family grows—and grows old. “The intention was always that it would be turned into an Accessory Dwelling Unit in the future for aging family members,” said Guillou.

Read a full walkthrough on our interiors and design website,