Eastside Design: A modern outlook on the bay window

Mt Washington, homes

Take A Seat: Designer Simon Storey

MOUNT WASHINGTON — When it came to design homes for a pair of neighboring hillside lots, Simon Storey faced several challenges, including  regulations that limited the size of each residence to about 1,000 square-feet.  To get the most use out of the relatively modest-sized, modern-style buildings, Storey adopted a feature found in many old homes: the bay window. The impact, in term of space and light, was  “huge,” Storey said.

The designer is no stranger to building on small lots, including his own Echo Park residence that is squeezed into a narrow lot above a one-car garage.  For the two Mt. Washington homes, which are scheduled to go up for sale soon, Storey implemented a few ideas to make the two-story homes seem bigger, including wide use of natural light, high ceilings and a circulation pattern that takes visitors from one room through another room.

But perhaps the biggest impact on the small homes were those bay windows. The living areas and bedrooms features large, square bay windows that protrude more than two-feet away from the wood-clad exterior of the homes. The window seats are large enough for two or three people to sit on or for one person to stretch out and take a nap.  A bay window a wood seat makes a narrow entry way seem wider.

“In the living room, having the bay window eliminates  the need to have another couch,” said Storey in an interview inside one of the homes. “They have lights built in, so you can sit in there and read a book.”

In addition to bringing in more light and serving as built-in furniture, the bay windows did not count against the square-footage permitted by the city, Storey said. The bay window  “basically frees up a lot of square footage,” Storey said.  Their use in a modern home “just seemed logical, really.”

Bay windows extend an average of 27-inches from the sides of the homes.

Bay windows add seating in the living and dining areas

Several bay windows bulge out of the new Mt. Washington homes.


  1. Having watched these being built from the ground up, I have just one comment/question: bay windows = nice but WHAT THE HECK is with those skewed, fat, white slat fences out front? Seriously, if they embody some design principle that is supposed to evoke a certain response from the viewer aside from my yokelry, please educate me.

  2. This isn’t a new concept. People appreciate windows, especially bay windows. Take those living in a certain state facility in San Bernardino County for example.

  3. I live in the neighborhood and have also watched these go up. They’re nice houses but identical designs standing side-by-side, which really takes away from the character of the neighborhood – almost like a condo complex. The wood exterior is great, however.

  4. Why does the eastsider keep promoting this very mediocre designer (not an architect?) His houses always seem to just mimic the lot lines and build cheap boxes at maximum square footage – not exactly inspiring..

  5. I love this guy’s work.

  6. Remind me again, where is the living Room? While you are at it show me the dining room too please.
    To entertain more than two people you will have to move the cars out of the garage and set up a table there!
    This is irresponsible design. Ignore the lipstick and what you are stock with is a bunch of poorly planned nonfunctional spaces you just paid double the going market rate for!

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