2 Architects Make Magic With This Mid-Century Modern Classic

By Claudine Zap

Sitting amid a grove of mature oak trees, a classic Mid-Century Modern property is back on the market for $2.25 million. Built in 1973, this secluded home has gone through two architects and two renovations.

You’ll find this real estate gem in the woodsy enclave of Monte Nido in Malibu Canyon, 10 minutes from the beach in Malibu.

 “It’s understated and low-key,” listing agent Brian Linder says of the design. “And yet it’s gorgeous, classical Mid-Century Modern architecture.”

Local architect Doug Rucker was commissioned to build the original home, which was completed in 1973. In 1990, the home’s second owners brought Rucker back to expand the space, adding a bedroom wing, living room extension, and an outdoor lounge with fireplace.

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This pristine remodel weathered the decades and renovations with grace, which isn’t always the case when a classic is updated.

“When someone does not hire the original architect, particularly in a Mid-Century house with a working philosophy, the mistake will usually be profound,” says Rucker.

“Since I did all the remodeling, I like what I’ve done,” Rucker adds. “The original philosophy of ease and freedom has been maintained.” He notes that his favorite part of the home is the “sense of freedom, safety, and closeness to nature. Good homes respond to love of being there.”

The home was purchased two years ago by Dan Meis, architect of the Staples Center in Los Angeles, and his wife, Brandie Meis, who also has a background in architecture.

The two updated the interior to meld a bit of a contemporary vibe to the original design.

The update included replacing carpet with hardwood floors, renovating the guest bathroom, and adding custom shelving in the library. The lighting was also updated inside and out.

Describing the home as “magical,” Meis says, “The house was in great shape … so [it] didn’t need much renovation or change.”

According to Linder, Meis “respectfully renovated the home, preserving the original design and introducing new materials and finishes in keeping with a modern lifestyle.”

We can definitely get behind this California-modern lifestyle. The home exudes casual cool with its open floor plan and “seamless connection to the outdoors” thanks to floor-to-ceiling windows.

The focus on entertaining is evident with a space that spills outside and features a fireplace, decks, and built-in barbecue. Multiple living areas inside include two fireplaces, an office, living area, four bedrooms, and three baths. The 2,986-square-foot house sits on just over an acre.

With all the time he spends in New York and Europe, Meis concluded that keeping a home in L.A. didn’t make sense. He put the masterpiece back on the market with the intention of relocating to the East Coast, leaving behind a home that has withstood the test of architectural design.

“There’s a timelessness to it that still resonates,” Linder says.

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