When a director and jewelry designer with two kids decided that they had outgrown their home, they also figured that it was time for an upgrade in more than just square footage. They wanted to raise their children in a place by the ocean, where an abundance of light and a modern aesthetic made for a casual, fun atmosphere. The pair found a one-story box on a cramped lot just blocks from the shore in Manhattan Beach, CA, which was an unfortunate style for an ideal location. So, they called on founding principal Robert Sweet and his studio ras-a, inc. to make some strategic adjustments. "This property and the surrounding lots are long and narrow, so the homes are densely grouped together with limited amounts of open space," Sweet said. "The house straddles a small alley in the back and a narrow street at the front." Sweet stuck to the existing footprint of the original address, but made room on the southern side for a private courtyard that seamlessly connects to the living area. He then thoughtfully placed windows and skylights where they would filter in the most sun, and filled the spaces with maple, walnut, and hemlock details for a warm yet laid-back finish. It's a four-bedroom oasis no family would want to outgrow, even when their dog, Charlie, is included.