Cal Heights home tour highlights a signature stained-glass door, rare roses and restored furniture

Stephanie Raygoza
Staff Writer


Small move-in home grows big in popularity and style

There is a petite, Colonial Craftsman down Olive Avenue that every neighbor recognizes and agrees can be summed up in a few words– the house with the stained-glass door. Through the years, the house has gained popularity because of its artistically crafted door allowing it to stand apart from the rest of its neighboring homes on the block.
The house, originally built in 1924, was actually moved in from Signal Hill to the California Heights area, situating the yard to the side of the house as opposed to the back. Measuring only 960 square feet total, the house is perfectly made for Ferdinand Arcinue and Nicole Burik. The married couple had seen the house many times while walking down the block and put an offer in the first day it came up for sale, managing to snag the house before anyone else did.
What sold them on the house was its historic nature, along with the look and character of it. Although small in appearance, the house needed extensive work done, especially to the kitchen, roofing and electrical system. A bigger than expected reconstruction budget equated to a smaller budget allotted for interior decorating. Burik, a savvy shopper when it comes to decorating on a dime, furnished the house with online and antique finds, giving the home its perfectly blended look of old and new designs.
The living room is modestly kept, with Asian-inspired paintings adorning the walls. The dining room is decorated with Filipino sculptures, one given by Arcinue’s mother, and other culture-dominant pieces such as a Chinese liquor cabinet. The side yard was originally just one big slab of concrete, so the couple opted to create pavers from the concrete instead. The patio set and other furnishing and fixtures in the home were also gifts from family members.
Arcinue did research on the feng shui of the house and added a couple of items to the hallway to help bring good luck. A tree is located directly in front of the house, which inspired the painting on the stained-glass door, and has long been regarded as bringing bad luck. Hanging from a chandelier in the hallway is a crystal to dilute the energy coming into the home. Horseshoes can be found throughout the house, which are also hanging for good luck.
One example of Burik’s ‘do it yourself’ decorating approach can be seen with the fully adorned hallway she decorated to tell a story. She framed illustrations from a children’s book she got for $3 at a thrift store.
Several of the renovations completed to the home are also eco-friendly, such as the installation of an attic fan as opposed to air conditioning. The landscaping to the front yard was designed by Arcinue and his sister-in-law and completely funded through the City of Long Beach’s low-water grant. In the kitchen, they opted to use Plyboo, a bamboo cutting board, which is a green product. Marmoleum, a linoleum eco-friendly sustainable flooring, was also installed in the kitchen.
The remainder of the rooms, including the 5’x7′ bathroom, saw additional changes and features added. The bedroom was predominantly left as is, and the office/guestroom received the addition of French doors that lead out to the patio. The guestroom functions as the perfect little nook where anyone can lounge around or pick up a good read.
The kitchen needed the most work done, as there were floor tiles on the counter and ceiling damage from a dropped ceiling that someone had put in. Cabinets and new tile were added, and the countertop was replaced with paperstone, which is paper that’s set in resin.
While it appears much renovation was done to the house, Burik said they kept everything that was original and salvageable and just tried to correct some of the unfortunate changes people had made over the years. “The house is simple; we just tried to be respectful,” she said.
As far as the stained-glasses door, the two plan to keep it up for as long as they can. “People know us as the house with the stained-glass door. I feel like we can’t get rid of the door because everyone knows the house by this door. We get so many compliments from it,” she said.
Arcinue, a psychologist at Cal State University, Long Beach, and Burik, a pyschotherapist, have come to appreciate the little home they’ve nurtured back into good health. Along with their dog, Raisin, and two cats, Burik said the five of them get along there just fine.
“For the two of us, it’s perfect. I really love the neighborhood,” she said. “It’s a really sweet house.”

Rare roses take full bloom in the featured English cottage garden

Lori DeBold has a two-part question she likes to always ask people: What’s your favorite rose, and why? The results of those responses have come to shape her English cottage garden by giving it not only its unique charm, but by also breathing an air of romance and sentiment throughout the vast backyard.
DeBold moved into her home in 2005. She grew up in Ohio, where she said the family always lived on five-acre properties, so when it came time for her to finally purchase a home she knew she wanted a decent-sized backyard. As she started work on the yard, she was certain that she wanted an English garden with plenty of roses and foxglove, and now some of her favorites, amongst the 50 different kinds scattered along her yard, are some she’s never even heard of before.
The first thing that catches your eye upon entering the back yard is not a flower, but in fact a giant tree, Freddie the Fig Tree to be exact. A friend purchased a face to spruce up the long standing tree, and it has added a sense of wittiness to the yard ever since.
Every rose has its story, and you can never have too many roses, she says. Much of the rose collection consists of obscure European roses that she has at times made it a mission to find. She calls them her little prizes, having driven all the way to San Jose once to find a rose a friend had mentioned she liked, but couldn’t find.
Souvenir de la Malmaison is the first rose that opens the garden. The antique French rose is one that Napoleon’s Josephine had in her garden as well. The oldest documented rose, Rosa Mundi, has been pictured in manuscripts in Europe from the 1400s, she says, and its legacy continues to live on in her garden. Her personal favorite is the Yves Piaget, which produces a large, double mauve pink bloom. Several others ranging from potted to planted to Graham Thomas, a rose voted the best of all time by a rose society, to Mr. Lincoln, with its black berry blush, align the walls of the garden.
Long Beach landscape designer Kathy Alford helped create the garden that DeBold wanted to have look as if it could be in Mexico to complement the Spanish-style home. Debold frequents Rogers Spring Hill Garden and the H&H Nursery to add variety to the rose garden. The Mon Cheri rose placed along the wall of the garden is a favorite of a garden aficionado she’s encountered on her journey to finding those rare gems.
She shares her home with four dachshunds and a cat named Buddy. Her front yard, which comprises more drought-tolerant natives and succulent plants, is a tribute to her late pet, Clyde. She planted and designed the front garden herself, carefully placing a winged-dachshund ornament to hang from an acacia tree, and it has been his garden ever since.
The rose garden may provide an esthetically pleasing touch to home, but in fact it serves a greater purpose for DeBold. “This garden has been my saving grace. My house and my garden are like my sanctuary,” she said. With music playing and a hot tub warming up, the evenings she spends in her English garden are her time to just sit and relax.

Muralist revitalizes a Spanish Mission Revival home through various forms of art

When Maria Elena Carson stepped into the Spanish Mission Revival house she would come to purchase last year, she could tell the house had a lot of history, but it could also be maintained for the future. She remembers walking through and feeling a rich past from it and appreciating the comfort of it all.
Carson has always preferred historic, vintage-inspired homes. As a muralist, she has learned how to transform the look and energy of a room by simply switching out a paint scheme or adding a faux finish. The paintwork and distressed furniture found throughout the rooms are what give the home a European design style.
The original architecture of the home is still in place and only had cosmetic work done, which she mostly did herself. The arches and barrel ceiling are what drew her into the living room, which has since been furnished with her own personally collected antique furniture and paintings. Stained-glass windows brighten the spacious room, and a hearth surrounded with various potteries gives a warm welcome to guests.
The dining room received a lush repainting to give it a Spanish Seville look. She started off with a gold glaze then painted that over with a couple of terracottas and browns, and lastly added a faux finish, which she specializes in. A mural titled “Reflections of the Season” was painted on one of the dining room walls and reflects the start of fall in Tennessee.
Most of the paintings throughout the home are done en plein air, which is a French expression that means “in the open air.” She generally paints around the start of autumn, her favorite time of year, as the trees are just changing colors. The warm harvest and copper tones of her art complement the ambiance and color schemes throughout each room.
The home was built in 1939 and saw the addition of a den and third bathroom in the 1970s. Carson noticed the bathroom was awkwardly situated within the den and didn’t look natural, so it was removed, and the den was later expanded. The patio deck was expanded as well and now oversees a large back yard where she built a playhouse for her grandson, Drake.
Her guest room was transformed into Drake’s room, which was painted using colors she blended to create an almost powder-blue hue. The Marie room was inspired by Marie Antoinette’s bedroom. The room is filled with aqua colors, silks and satins. She used a stencil to add flowers within the mint blue paintwork and added a chifferobe to add an antique touch.
Carson repainted the cabinets to give the kitchen a warmer feel and added leaded glass to the cabinet doors. The side patio located just right outside the kitchen area is perfectly designed for entertaining or enjoying a morning cup of coffee. Mexican pottery pieces are on display including a roadrunner plate from New Mexico, where she grew up.
The master bedroom is tastefully designed to incorporate every element of her creativity from painting to upholstery to creating pillow throws for a banquette. From an antique store she purchased a hand-painted French basin, which she had previously used for potpourri and reused it as a sink for her master bathroom. With a newly installed vessel pump faucet flowing water into the basin, she fell in love with the one of a kind piece all over again.
The theme of her home is “House of Dreams,” which is also the name of her business. The idea of restoring and recycling furniture has always intrigued her, and the activity goes hand-in-hand with her profession. “I’ve always liked the mission Spanish style house, so to me it is worth it,” she said.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *