Montana Avenue is justifiably thought one of the most enticing commercial streets in Santa Monica—and indeed, in the city of Los Angeles. Stretching from Brentwood toward the beach, just behind the Brentwood Country Club, it offers a pleasing mix of coffee shops and fast-casual eateries, banks and pharmacies, clothing stores and yoga spots, beauty salons and more.
For this, Montana Avenue is recognized as offering a small-town feel in the big city. Little wonder, then, that the homes within walking distance of this street are high on the list of the most coveted in Los Angeles. If the realtor’s mantra is location, location, location, then the home at 734 18th Street is already a dream, one designed by Ken Ungar, who is listed on Luxe Magazine’s 2019 Gold List, recently designed a home for actress Jennifer Garner and is well-versed in the art of creating luxury residences. Solar-powered, a bonus in increasingly energy-conscious California, the home is surrounded by mature trees and located on the sunny, west side of the street, with a wide apron that welcomes four cars (two inside, two outside).
Even before stepping through the large glass front door one is intrigued—a curiosity that the interior more than satisfies. White oak plank floors highlight the easy flow of the floor plan, from the front door to the back of the house. High ceilings, skylights and plenty of windows flood the interior with natural light. Fleetwood doors fully open the family room to the exterior, seamlessly merging indoors and out, in celebration of a lifestyle that makes Southern California the envy of the world. Yet despite its decidedly modern architecture, the home has the scale and intimacy more characteristic of a traditional home.
Perhaps it is the wood accents carried over from the exterior. From the walnut accent wall in the family room, to the custom-crafted dark wood cabinetry in the large gourmet kitchen, to the wall inset with a temperature-controlled Sub-Zero wine fridge that deftly divides the kitchen from the dining room, these features suffuse the home with immediate warmth. The dividing wall also serves another purpose: to bestow a home’s oft-overlooked ability to conform to the many needs of a modern family’s busy and successful life.
Most days will likely center around the rear of the house: children can commandeer the backyard (there’s plans and renderings—and plenty of room—for a pool just outside the kitchen’s generous windows) while their parents relax in the family room. As meal time nears, the children could drift inside, watching television or playing video games while dinner is prepared in a kitchen whose elegance is elevated by a pair of Tom Dixon light fixtures hanging over countertops made from white matte Dekton, a durable porcelain material usually used outdoors that resists staining and chipping. A coordinating, book-matched backsplash, top-of-the-line Miele appliances, including a convection oven and built-in coffee station, and a large butler’s pantry make even the simplest tasks a pleasure.
Casual meals can take place around the table in the breakfast nook or at the spacious island. On warmer evenings, the backyard is a particularly pleasing option: with a covered living space and kitchen with a 48-inch DCS barbecue, a rotisserie and a substantial island designate this space as the home’s outdoor entertaining area. For more formal occasions—a business dinner or cocktail party—the proper living room pairs with the dining room to offer the perfect setting while the mess of food preparation—or the balletic movements of a private chef—are hidden away. An additional wine display and storage tucked under the nearby stairs capture the remainder of one’s wine collection behind glass, ensuring that when dinner demands another bottle be opened, the conversation will continue without interruption.
While the staircase that ascends to the second floor suggests a floating design, its glass railing provides the safety that parents with younger children will appreciate. In addition to the four en-suite bedrooms upstairs, a den that orchestrates the three junior rooms into a unified whole, offering the children their own living area that can morph from playroom to homework area and hangout spot as they mature.
With its building plans approved prior to the change in the ordinance that reduced the ratio of home size to lot size by 20 percent, these rooms are generous with well-appointed bathrooms, walk-in closets and floor-to-ceiling windows. A window seat in one room, a balcony in another, a private hallway leading to a third—each space has a unique character sure to suit that of each occupant.
The master suite, overlooking the backyard, is certainly deserving of the term. Sparkling Tom Dixon fixtures that hang on either side of the bed are jewelry to the sumptuous trio of spaces—the bedroom, bathroom, and balcony—that make up a luxurious retreat designed for rejuvenation, relaxation and the reconnection for a couple’s harmonious existence. Functionally, two custom closets, with plenty of storage, two toilet rooms, two sinks and a well-lit makeup area, provide copious space to accommodate the chaos of busy early mornings.
The home is “…just the right blend of hard and soft,” concludes real estate agent John Hathorn, “with thoughtful attention to details that give it a layer of luxury that you can sense. And then there’s the scale and the walkability. I could go on. It’s just a really livable, wonderful home.”
John Hathorn | 310.924.4014
DRE 00960182 | Pence Hathorn Silver | Compass
List Price $6,895,000