b'In Davids mind, the houses had to retain their 1910-20 character, but the end result had to look like it had always been one house. He didnt want to actually move the original houses however, so has ended up with eight split levels, most notable when you stand at the end of the stunning lap pool that runs between what was the original houses. Says David: Traditionally suburbs like this had all of their grander homes set out along the main roads. This house is part of that philosophy. Having a commercial aspect to it just made it easier to justify as a business needs to be visible.He also has a future vision for the house as a boutique accommodation lodge, tailored to overseas business people and business groups. Hence its nickname of Hotel California, referring not only to its lodge potential, but also to its Californian bungalow origins. We called the houses bungarillas because they were a mix of bungalow and villa features.Some of the rooms also have an almost rock star quality, helped by Davids love affair withAboveThe dining area can be closed neon signsone of the things I do like about America is the neon signs everywhere, in everyoff from the kitchen and living roombar. This house has many - in the bar, the living room, the studio and theres a red Cocaby large cavity sliders. Most of the feature chandeliers and pendant lights Cola version in one of the bathrooms. Theyre used like night-lights, shining out into the darkare from ECC Lighting.through the windows and copping surprised second looks from passing motorists.BelowThe spectacular lap poolruns through the centre of the house The couple spent the first year of the project designing the house with architect and bungalowand is spanned by three industrial-style specialist Ron Dijkman. He thought it was a stupid idea, which is exactly why I hired him,metal staircases. laughs David.While the structure of the original houses and basic layouts have been retained, just about everything else is new, from the foundations to the rich timber paneling and complex beam and batten ceilings. No one builds bungalows anymore because they cost too much in terms of the time and skill involved, says David. He credits the result to a team of specialists, overseen by builder Geoff Davieshes exceptional.Despite clearly biting off more than I could chew, Davids commitment to the project was obviously contagious as everyone who has worked on the project speaks of it with pride. At more than 1160m2, the house is huge, yet there are no cavernous spaces. A house this size does have to have one large space though, and for us thats the atrium over the lap pool. One side of the building is still very much a work space with various reception rooms and a studio, while the other side contains bedroom suites, a lounge/reading room, kitchen and dining areas, and other design preparation rooms as well as storage. There are numerous bathrooms, a sauna, media room (with windows that look below the water level of the pool), a board room, gymnasium, a professional dark room and a turret with a spiral staircase to the master suite. The intimacy of the areas is helped by the colour selections. We could have painted everything cream and it would have looked stunning, but I spend so much time here, I need spaces with different moods. 59'