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One house, multiple personalities

House Keys

Learn the New Luxury Playbook at Luxury Connect | October 18-19 at the Beverly Hills Hotel

They say every picture tells a story. Well, so does every house. My friend Nova McLaren's home in Glendale, Calif., is a perfect example. Built in 1929, the Spanish-style house is a paragon of classic detailing, from the high ceilings to the dark-stained and intricately patterned wood floors. The rooms are set off by a variety of interesting archways. The fireplace is bordered by ceramic tiles. The living room windows are as tall and as wide as doors. There are bay windows in the kitchen and the eating nook, and even the front door is distinctive with a window-like peephole. The house belongs to my friend's grandmother, who bought it more than 20 years ago. My friend and her now ex-husband moved into the house in February 2007 after they sold their home, which didn't fit their needs and was too large to overcome my friend's dislike of house-cleaning chores. She still recalls childhood summer vacations spent lounging by the swimming pool at the side of the house with her ...