Ventura Blvd Magazine
Being in the home restoration and construction business isn’t what Jeffrey and Shelly Greenfield planned. The married duo started out as CPAs. Then Shelly quit to raise son Chayson. “We had the traditional relationship. I worked. She worked out,” Jeffrey chuckles.
A couple of years later, Shelly got itchy for work outside the home. “She’d always had an eye for architecture and design, which was put to the test when we restored and renovated a property we owned. It was incredibly well received,” Jeffrey explains.
The transformation process captivated Shelly, whose father owned a CPA firm but restored homes on the side. “I wanted to take homes and make them more beautiful,” she explains.
Naming their firm Red Door Homes, the couple divvied up responsibilities: Jeffrey was in charge of the financial side; Shelly handled design, sourcing and implementation.
"Our goal was to build for the love of architecture and neighborhoods versus a price per square foot mentality.”
Red Door’s first job was a small bungalow nestled in the hills of Sherman Oaks. “We did virtually everything ourselves. We even sifted the dirt. Our goal was to build for the love of architecture and neighborhoods versus a price-per-square-foot mentality,” says Jeffrey. The couple turned a solid profit, and Red Door Homes was off and running.
WARM WAYS Distinct touches in the kitchen include the combination of black wrought iron and brass hardware and grey-washed cabinetry. Below: Shelly and Jeffrey with their kids, Aidan and Chayson, at the hand-hewn trestle table in the dining room.
SKY HIGH The elegant master bedroom. Top right: Shelly, who is half Japanese, integrates Asian touches throughout the house, including the horse and lamp on this side table. Bottom right: An oil painting by Van Brussel creates interest in a staircase landing.
Jeffrey and Shelly, along with 10-year-old Aidan and 14-year-old Chayson, recently put their skills to the test on their own home. The original structure on the property was built in 1948, which according to the couple makes it the oldest home in Longridge Estates. The hilltop lot offers magnificent 180º views of the east Valley.
Modeled after a Pennsylvania Dutch farmhouse, the Greenfield home was built in 1992. The house was built for Patrick Swayze by his master carpenter brother. The actor never moved in, though, opting instead for a property elsewhere.
Interestingly enough, the couple didn’t spring to work when they moved into the house in 2003. "It was kind of like the cobbler’s children who don’t have shoes. We did very little. We improved the lighting to low-voltage halogen - I am kind of a lighting freak—but other than that we just lived in it, " says Shelly.
That all changed this past year. “The home changed hands a few times in the decade since Swayze’s brother transformed it, but when we bought it 12 years ago not much had been done since. She had great bone structure, and the authenticity of solid aged beams and exposed hardware. But the interiors needed a bit of a boost,” Shelly notes.
One of their first endeavors was to refinish or “grey-wash” the wooden cabinets in the kitchen, family, living, powder and master bathroom. “Prior, they had kind of an orange hue from years of oxidation to old polyurethane. We worked closely with our master craftsman, Ramon, to come up with a perfect hue of grey—not too blue and not too pink. The trick with old homes is to understand you are working with a pre-existing structure. This wood had history but was also a little finicky to coax into being a newer and greater version of itself. After about 10 tries we finally got the correct formula. Ramon had to sand, bleach and apply four coats of color and sealer—a very labor-intensive process. We dressed up the new cabinets with antique brass fittings. Just so you know, brass is the new polished nickel,” Shelly remarks.
The facelift also involved changing out the butcher-block kitchen center island to a Caesarstone “cement” slab to complement the Calcutta Gold countertops.
Electrical was upgraded to low-voltage lighting with cool gadgetry such as USB hubs at outlets and auto-dimmers. Outside, strategic masonry work revitalized the Arizona flagstone, giving it a fresh appearance.
A good friend of Shelly’s, an avid garage and estate sale goer, is responsible for a lot of the terrific pieces that fill the interiors. “He finds the most unique treasures, as a hobby, and passes them along to us as his home is complete.”
And now, so it seems, is the Greenfield’s.
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