Aleks & Anne's Converted 1875 Church

Aleks & Anne's Converted 1875 Church

Marcia Prentice
Mar 31, 2011

Name: Aleks Istanbullu & Anne Troutman
Location: Santa Monica, California
Size: 2400 square feet
Years lived in: 7 years

Not only is the church that Aleks and Anne call home a historical landmark, it was actually the first church in Santa Monica. It is hard to believe that it only took two weeks and $684 to construct the building. It has gone through many transformations over the years - relocation, bell tower added, social hall added, enlarged, reused as a secular meeting hall, and was eventually bought by artist Helen Sheats who claimed it for her residence.

Aleks and Anne planned the move from their multi-level home with a great view of the ocean due to the lack of an open floor plan - they were searching for something more suitable for their lifestyle. By the time they found and purchased the church in 2003, it needed a few updates to restore its architectural character and best utilize the space to fit their needs for both a private and work space. They fell in love with the history behind the converted church and were dedicated to restoring its original character.

Apartment Therapy Survey:

Our Style: Contemporary intervention into a historic house

Inspiration: A place with history and soul in which to live and work

Favorite Elements: The character of an old church, a large open space that we could shape freely, an urban garden in the rear yard

Biggest Challenge: Balancing public and private spaces without loosing the openness

What Friends Say: It is so very warm and cozy

Biggest Embarrassment: Hard to keep the dust balls out of sight

Proudest DIY: All of it

Biggest Indulgence: The mahogany counter and teak rails, the 8 Liquidambar Rotunda Lona trees which could grow to a height of 80 feet

Best Advice: Nobody gave us any advice - we probably would not have listened anyway

Dream Source: Book stores, Sur La Table, Diamond Foam & Fabric, and Williams-Sonoma

Resources of Note:


  • Viking Fridge and Range
  • Miele Dishwasher
  • Kohler




  • Swap Meets



  • Existing Douglas Fir



  • Random Oriental in family


  • Classic Tile on Wilshire and Santa Monica


  • None, except for Venetian Lace from Burano

Anne Troutman, Jasper Johns, Chuck Arnoldi, Laddy John Dill, Astrid Preston, William Teresa, and Ali Acerol

Thanks Aleks & Anne!

Images: Evan Koester

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