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A side by side comparison of the front of the home under construction and once completed.
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A Stunning R&R Project With Rosa Beltran

When it comes to the R&R space, contractors and homeowners have the opportunity to include high-performance, modern products in charming and authentic ways. For most rehabbers, maintaining the history and feel of a home is a priority — but one that is balanced with bringing the home’s efficiency and performance into the 21st century. 

Recently, one such rehabber utilized Nichiha’s fiber cement exterior solutions, specifically our Savannah Smooth product, to help transform her project so beautifully that it was featured in Better Homes and Gardens magazine. Rosa Beltran, an LA-based Interior & Furniture Designer who has been showcased on Bravo, HGTV and Elle Decor, trusted Nichiha to help create the home of her dreams.


Rosa and her son on their front porch before the renovation

The Project 

Realizing the potential of a 1936-built, Craftsman bungalow in the hip Silver Lake neighborhood of Los Angeles was a 10-month labor of love for designer Rosa Beltrand. Once the project was complete, the beautiful, Modern Farmhouse redesign was showcased in the August 2019 issue of Better Homes and Gardens magazine

Rosa Beltrand named her reno project and new home The Mulberry House because of the beautiful giant old white mulberry tree that dominates the back yard and provides lovely shade from the California sun. You can see the entire renovation from start to finish by searching her hashtag #RBDMulberryHouse.

 Before image of Rosa’s home’s garage in disrepair

After image of Rosa’s home with Nichiha’s exterior fiber cement siding

Alongside a full landscaping revamp and interior renovation, Rosa trusted Nichiha’s Savannah Smooth to enhance her curb appeal. It gave her a timeless lap siding look with striking shadow lines — perfect for the new lighting and sunshine she created for her home with hedge removal and replanting. 

At the beginning of the renovation, Rosa shared, “No turning back! We stripped it down to the studs and entirely removed the poorly built addition at the back of the house, now a gaping hole that will be reconstructed as a master suite and a sunroom office, both with French doors onto the garden.” Nichiha has all their product specifications online to help you configure the exact sizing and quantity you need. 

The 80-year old home was not well maintained and choosing fiber cement siding panels only increased the durability of the almost-century old structure. The half-inch thick fiber cement panels are resistant to rotting, warping, fire, hurricane winds and pests — a significant upgrade from the home’s original wood siding. 

Fiber cement siding mimics the look and feel of traditional building materials, but with greater durability and longevity. Myths about fiber cement are outdated and the options for diverse textures, finishes, colors, finishes and opportunities for design flexibility are endless.

The back door of the home taken at an angle, showing the white Nichiha siding and black trimmed doors and windows 

The 1,400 square foot home used 7 ⅛” panels, painted in Chantilly Lace, to look crisp under blue skies and lots of sunlight. Rose ended up loving the color on the panels so much that she used it on the interior rooms as well. The versatility of the panels in white complemented the dark trim and industrial lighting features and her rustic front door, blending modern design trends into a cozy, lived-in look.

A full renovation — essentially starting from scratch — can be intimidating because of price tags. High-performance building products were once synonymous with outrageously high cost, but fiber cement composite siding is a durable, sustainable option that is as beautiful as traditional building materials, but can be much easier on the checkbook, especially when maintenance is factored in.

Not only is fiber cement breathtakingly beautiful, but it is also fire-resistant, which is of the utmost importance in places like Los Angeles and other parts of the West Coast where wildfires are common. When it is exposed directly to flames, Nichiha fiber cement will not add fuel to any fire, it will not cause combustion or spread flames, and ASTM E-84 tests rate fiber cement materials as a Class A building material.

“That was my goal for the whole project—to lighten and brighten the house but stay true to the original spirit,” said Rosa to Better Homes & Gardens. “I wanted it to look and feel perfectly aged and comfy, like a family home that has known years of love, because that’s how we intend to live in it.” 

With Nichiha, Rosa was able to do just that, with an exterior that will last for a lifetime of love. 

Image of the new guest house with the double doors open and basketball hoop attached to the side of the building

In fact, she loved Nichiha so much that when it came time to renovate the old garage into a guest house, she turned back to Nichiha and used Savannah Smooth again. She needed more space for guests that their small bungalow did not offer and wanted to ensure both the guest home and the main home matched. She already knew that she loved working with Nichiha’s siding product so she says it was an easy decision.

A look into the guest house’s entry wall taken from outside, right in front of the double doors.

When asked what it was like to work with Nichiha and to rate her satisfaction, Rosa had a glowing review:

“I enjoyed working with Nichiha very much! Their customer service and technical help were great. I am very satisfied. It looks beautiful and I could not be more pleased with the Nichiha Savannah Smooth siding that I chose. My favorite part is the fact that it will last a lifetime (or more!). I love that the siding gives us the timeless and classic appeal of a vintage home, but with none of the maintenance and upkeep of traditional wood siding. I'm so glad I found Nichiha products when I was researching fiber cement siding products. ”

And when asked if she would use Nichiha in the future, she happily told us that she just received samples of our faux brick panels to consider for a new client residential project.

The Problem

Rosa was looking for a modern, farmhouse-esque exterior siding to replace her outdated, poorly maintained, almost-century old home. She had to completely strip the house in order to start from scratch, and it was a daunting, overwhelming task. She needed a durable, appealing exterior to give her a modern look that was stylish, functional and easy to install.

Before photo of Rosa’s home, taken from the front looking up the steps with the entry door open.The Solution

Rosa and her design team selected the Savannah Smooth fiber cement siding from Nichiha. It offered a contemporary exterior and allowed her to have the home of her dreams on the budget of a single mother. Nichiha’s panels were more affordable and easier to install than other exterior material alternatives.

The Results

Rose said via her Instagram that her home is: “Full of running kids and laughter and chatter and summer evenings on the patio. My home renovation has been a transformation, through and through, from within and without.” Working with Nichiha allowed her to design and remodel her own home from start to finish on a real budget, with a real timeline, as her own contractor. 

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