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"Like a Crown Upon a Hillside"

Article written by Stella George

Sunday, February 11, 1962

One of the most fascinating homes in Southern California is that belonging to Mr. and Mrs. James Sipprelle, 2530 E. 21st St., Signal Hill. A split level structure, the home wanders down a hill, overlooking the city in the distance. Custom designed by an expert, it is a crown upon the hillside which it stands.


The street level front door opens to a wide entry hall. Straight ahead is the family room kitchen area, at the far end of which glass walls meet at a point which orients itself to the center of downtown Long Beach. Beyond the glass walls, a porch extends to another arrow point.

While the entire home is a flawless balance of symmetry and design, individual rooms are imaginative and unusual in shape. The decorating scheme is planned accordingly. 

EFFICIENCY plus is the keynote in the streamlined kitchen. The working area is arranged so that one can stand in the center and have every needed item within arm’s reach. A low, white, sit-down bar with formica top extends to one end of the kitchen, separating the latter from the family room adjoining. Woodwork is all solid walnut, rich in color and texture, a sharp and attractive contrast to the white formica. Chairs around the bar are of greenish golden color. Floors in both rooms are impregnated cork with a long-wearing vinyl top finish.

The family room is furnished with an eye to easy maintenance as well as good looks. The couch is of champagne color; a small piano from Japan is of walnut. A rust carpet which the Sipprelles brought from Morocco provides a gay color accent. A built-in desk takes up little room and avoids clutter.

Four steps up from the family room are two doors, one leading to the garage and the other to a blue powder room. Four steps down, on the kitchen side, lead to a triangular living room. Carpeting on the steps and in the living room is of natural, hand-knotted wool, almost white in color. A free-standing metal fireplace is in one corner. Furniture is casual—avocado chairs, an inlaid table from Morocco, and little or no bric-a-brac.

THE ENTIRE far wall of the living room is glass, overlooking the magnificent view in the distance. Oatmeal linen drapes bear out the impeccable taste used in the interior decorating.

To the left of the entry hall is a stairway which leads to the bedroom and playroom downstairs. In the master bedroom, directly beneath the living room, fine, simple furnishings add to the size of the room. A bathroom adjoins the bedroom. Brown-gold color tones are used on the long dressing table-wash basin area. A sunken tub, with a planter in the background, looks out through a picture window to the city beyond. Two walls are mirrored, adding to the size of the already large room.

BEDROOMS for the Siprelle girls are unique in design and color. The far walls of both rooms are of glass, like other rooms in the home. In one room pure white is accented in pink; in the other room with blue. The blue is a vivid, Copenhagen shade, carried out in hand-painted wall murals and fluffy throw rugs. The deep pink wall murals in the other room resemble huge face doilies—pretty and feminine.

The girls’ bathroom is equipped to serve also as a laundry, with washer and dryer convenient. Nearby is their playroom, and here again is the glass wall with the view beyond.

The landscaping is in the preliminary stages, but plans, which include a lower level swimming pool, are underway. Because of the unusual site, the lack of landscaping is not complete detracts in no way from the elegance of the home.

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