There are any number of reasons to envy Ryan Burns and his wife, Aline Nakashima. One is the good looks that have made both of them very successful models—Burns for the Ford Agency and Nakashima in the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue, among other high-profile venues. Another is their sheer niceness, so genuine it's almost shocking.
But there is also their house, which might trump both perfect cheekbones and amiability. Perched on a ridge under the Hollywood sign, not far from the Griffith Observatory and adjacent to a publicly owned ravine that will never be built on, it has been remade by Los Angeles firm XTEN Architecture as a case study of compact glamour. Called Nakahouse, after Nakashima, it has unrivaled views and a sleek all-white interior. But at 1,890 square feet, it is superefficient, packing a remarkably complex spatial experience into a small container. The place feels as though it could be folded up and slipped into your pocket.