A dream house of stucco and sheet metal

Architect Jayna Cooper built her home on La Brea Avenue, south of the 10 Freeway. She was able to build her ideal home while on a limited budget.

Architect Jayna Cooper in her kitchen.

Despite the gauntlet you have to run to get a mortgage these days, when it comes to home ownership, where there's a will, there's often a way.

Jayna Cooper took the path to owning a house that's often reserved for people with time and money to burn. She built her own just south of the 10 Freeway here in the heart of L.A. Dwell magazine featured her home in their August issue. It's three stories, with a roof deck, a modern minimalist façade -- and she did it on a budget and with a deadline. She also just happens to be an architect.

Limiting herself to a slim $200-per-square-foot budget, Cooper combined humble materials like corrugated sheet metal and stucco to build her sleek dream house.

"I looked at the budget constraints as just another challenge along the way of the project," she said. "My concept was basically to take ordinary, standard materials and use them in a way that's compelling and interesting."

Take a listen to Cooper's interview above to learn how to build your own dream house.

About the author

Tess Vigeland is the host of Marketplace Money, where she takes a deep dive into why we do what we do with our money.

Architect Jayna Cooper in her kitchen.

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