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The most influential moments in life are often the most unremarkable — bumping into your future spouse on the dance floor, for example, or in the case of architect Noah Riley, being handed a hammer and nails by his father.
“My family grew up in a house that my dad and mom built,” he says. “When they added on to it when I was about 10 or 12, the kids helped out. A hammer and nails was like a babysitter for me.”
With a family background deeply rooted in design and building — his father Jefferson Riley is also an architect — it’s not surprising that the New York-based architect would end up living on a sailboat in Marina del Rey while he designed and built a home for his sister Gerun Riley and her husband, Jason Wilborn.
The couple bought the two-bedroom, one-bath Culver City bungalow in 2009 with the hope of expanding the property.
But when the rehab turned in to a much more substantial project – and costs steadily increased – the couple realized they could not afford their dream house. […]