Located in prime Brentwood, just north of Sunset and west of the 405, this area is considered one of the most prestigious neighborhoods in Los Angeles—and for good reason. It’s at the junction of all that is great and animated in Los Angeles, an exhaustive list that includes Brentwood Village, the Brentwood Country Mart, Montana Avenue, the Getty Center, Brentwood and Riviera Country Clubs, Will Rogers State Park, plus many of the city’s best schools.
Certainly there are many homes that enjoy the prestige of this location. But even the immensely successful desire a home that stands out from the crowd. More than just a place to sleep, one wishes for a home offering privacy and solitude with the ability to frame burgeoning collections of art, wine and furniture, support entertaining and promote the pleasures of individual achievement.
The vision, then, is clear: a beautiful yet completely livable setting that is a constant reminder of just how great accomplishment can be. It’s precisely this discernment that draws one to 12002 Benmore Terrace. Nestled behind lush hedges and secure gates, the home’s wood exterior and clean modern lines immediately make it a star among its neighbors.
Its balanced beauty is welcoming, and its low profile perfectly proportioned to the size of the lot. At once elegant and inviting, the home is the perfect illustration of a home built in the vernacular made famous by the likes of Rudolf Schindler, Charles and Ray Eames and John Lautner, and why Los Angeles was fertile ground for these architectural giants to flourish. A two-car garage and a driveway that can be entered from either side of the home is the first indication that this residence expresses evenness of beauty and function with élan.
The first glimpse of the interior is breathtaking, with its voluminous open floor plan and multi-levels including an uppermost bedroom level, a central main living area, an intimate area perfect for a piano or a drum set, a reading or hobby nook, and a sprawling lower level with generous pool that sparkles in the sunlight.
Sight lines that look out toward the sea, floating staircases, an abundance of natural light streaming through generous door and window openings, and double height rooms that support a dramatic light fixture magnify this impression. Taken as a whole, one senses understated luxury and livable elegance.
A closer inspection of the home confirms that idea. As on the exterior, the wood on the ceilings and built-ins telegraph intimacy and ease while in the kitchen, a large waterfall island with plenty of storage space, dark gray-green Italian cabinetry with soft close hinges, a book-matched Ceasarstone backsplash to the ceiling, and integrated Miele appliances (including its built-in coffee machine) make it sleek and functional.
In the breakfast area, wrap-around floor-to-ceiling windows are spectacular and the view of treetops and canyons, along with outlooks of Catalina and the Pacific Ocean mesmerizes. Surrounded by greenery, with nearby homes deftly hidden from sight, an aura of complete and welcoming solitude infuses this space with a zen-like calm. Just behind the kitchen, perched just outside the entryway from the garage, a temperature-controlled wine cellar and tasting room offers space for over a dozen cases of wine.
But it’s the lush foliage and uncompromising view that’s always at the heart of this home. Upstairs in the master bedroom, a wall of floor-to-ceiling windows puts the kitchen’s vista at the foot of the bed, well positioned to greet one in the morning and lull one to sleep at night.
It’s there in the master bathroom, whose double vanities are framed in dramatic Italian marble, setting the stage for bathing in the freestanding spa tub or indulging a refreshing rinse in the glass-enclosed steam shower. Meanwhile, four additional en-suite bedrooms—one on the upper floor to commandeer as a home office with a bird’s-eye view overlooking the street and the driveway to note various comings and goings—ensure plenty of space for family and friends alike
But of course, it’s against this home’s spectacular entertaining areas that the magnificent backdrop performs its true magic. Inside it is the calm for an evening of cocktails in the living room or the coaxing one needs for a cozy evening in the media room. Outside it is many areas, including the expansive terrace with a zero-edge pool, outdoor marble bar, dining area, and projector-enabled movie screening area that forms the home’s nucleus.
These exterior spaces, which also mean a sweeping rooftop that features an additional bar area, barbecue and outdoor screening area, and lower-level basketball court, settle an air of privacy and seclusion over any festivities. A state-of-the-art home automation system only underscores this peace of mind.
Whether hosting several hundred at a gracious gala, simultaneous parties (one on the downstairs terrace, the other on the roof deck), or enjoying the isolation that this well-designed house bestows, this impeccable address is a movie set for a life of romance and adventure. Perhaps that life is yours—exactly as envisioned.
Ari Shram | 310.280.8854
of The Agency
List Price $8,995,000
While this house was built in 2007, its architecture and interior design clearly references Californian Modernism. It’s one of the reasons why Ron Radziner loves it so much. A design partner at Marmol Radziner, he has worked on the restoration of iconic midcentury projects, including the Palm Springs residence that partially inspired his own dwelling: Richard Neutra’s Kaufmann House. For example, Radziner decided to use natural materials, such as polished concrete floor, and created a seamless connection to the outdoors.
Located in California’s trendy Venice, the light-filled property was the peaceful refuge where Radziner, his wife—graphic designer Robin Cottle—and their daughter and son made their home (before moving to Mandeville Canyon a couple of years ago).
Divided into three sections, the H-shaped house comprises two main structures situated on the outer edges of the lot: On the south, the one-story structure hosts a great room that consists of a living room and dining room; on the north, the two-story building contains a family room, office and utility rooms on the ground floor, as well as four second-floor bedrooms.
Covered by a landscaped roof, the sunken kitchen in the center acts as a bridge between the public and private areas. The hub of the house, this space offers views of the pool, side yard and rear of the property.
“From the exterior, the kitchen is shaped by a bronze anodized aluminum box that emphasizes its significance and provides contrast to the plaster façade found on the main volumes of the residence,” says Radziner.
Inside, the architect designed most of furniture to fit the needs and tastes of the family. Neutral and earthy tones prevail. Sliding 11-foot-high glass doors in the main living spaces open to the swimming pool, which runs the length of the living room, offering a sense of openness and free-flow throughout.
The family’s love for the outdoors shines through the home’s layout, which was intentionally designed to blur interior and exterior, while encouraging time spent in outside spaces, just as much as those indoors.
Radziner confesses that he loves the idea of living in a tent under the stars with a campfire burning. However, the comfort of his previous home—which integrates California native plants and Oak trees—is what made him happy and relaxed day after day. marmol-radziner.com
PHOTOGRAPHS: JOE FLETCHER
High production costs, opening delays—there’s been some drama for the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures, but nothing to derail a project with serious star power in design architect Renzo Piano Building Workshop, and a great deal of dedicated ambition to pull it all together. So when the Museum opens later this year, on Wilshire and Fairfax in the Miracle Mile neighborhood of Los Angeles, and just in time for a new awards season, expect a blockbuster.
Renovating and expanding the Saban Building—originally a 1939 May Company—to accommodate the massive Museum (think 300, 000 square feet including exhibition spaces, cutting-edge theaters, a rooftop terrace and more) was a major order of business. Mating the historic architecture to the brand new Sphere Building was another, given that the globe-shaped showpiece with views of the Hollywood Hills serves both a functional purpose, uniting the main facets of the Museum, and a symbolic one.
“On the one hand, we are deeply rooted in Los Angeles and its great history of filmmaking, as suggested by the landmark Streamline Moderne architecture of the Saban Building,” explains Director of the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures Kerry Brougher. On the other, he adds: “We are global in our outlook on film culture and deeply interested in the possible futures of filmmaking, as suggested by the futuristic form of the Sphere Building.”
A plot twist: the structure also reckons with history. In the early 20th century, dirigibles landed at the airfields that used to operate along what is now Miracle Mile, and while the Sphere Building “is not a direct reference to the dirigibles,” says Brougher, “Renzo Piano has spoken about it as one of his inspirations when thinking about the David Geffen Theater as a transportation and time machine.”
Due to this richness of narrative, the way that one accesses the buildings is paramount—Saban to Sphere is best. “You have to take the journey through film history to enter the Sphere Building, which hovers a little above the ground like a transportation device, ready to take you into the imaginative voyage of cinema,” explains Brougher. “By connecting the two structures with glass bridges, the architectural design suggests how the future of film is linked inextricably to the great cinematic achievements of the past.”
Further behind the scenes of the architecture is the partial influence that scale and proportion of the original May Company had on shaping the new building. Along with literal points of connection like the bridges, the “physical offset between the two buildings…and the structuring of the visitor circulation upwards, around, and back and forth, allows for a dramatic procession experiencing light and shadow, history and future, of architecture and film,” says Daniel Hammerman, architect, Renzo Piano Building Workshop.
Curved forms, linear modular elements, and aerodynamic design relate to the new building design as well. “And both buildings are massive yet give an impression of lightness—the Saban Building’s stone façade is softened by curving stone corners and flying canopies; the new Sphere Building is lightened by an outer skin of glazing and slender stairs…” adds Hammerman. In the age of the Hollywood spectacle, it’s nice to still that character development still counts in this town. academymuseum.org
PHOTOGRAPH: ACADEMY MUSEUM OF MOTION PICTURES, DOLBY FAMILY TERRACE ©RENZO PIANO BUILDING WORKSHOP/©ACADEMY MUSEUM FOUNDATION.
“It’s been fun putting the project together because it’s such a nice piece of architecture,” says tradesman and developer Kent McKeown. “This is the quality of a house you would see on the Strand or a walk street.” He’s talking about a new, view-packed Modernist home he erected along a hillside of 7th Street in Hermosa Beach, just east of Pacific Coast Highway. The home is the aesthetic partner to another home he’s built directly behind it on the double lot, with a separate entrance on 8th Street.
For the project McKeown, a South Bay native and shoring contractor (he owns KLM Engineering), enlisted home designer Daryl Olesinski, whose striking residences are increasingly popping up throughout the Beach Cities and Palos Verdes. Olesinski designed both homes in tandem with Martina Linden, his wife and partner at their design-build firm, O+ L Building Projects.
“We work together on everything,” Olesinski explains. “There isn’t a decision that’s made that I don’t bounce off her, and there’s not a decision she makes that’s not bounced off me.”
“It just had to be right,” says McKeown of the project. It’s the true tradesman’s reflex to execute every detail at the highest level, and his was strong on this undertaking. McKeown acted as general contractor and, in addition to O+ L, for interiors, he brought in West Hollywood’s Paul L’Esperance, whose work can be seen in a slew of high-profile commercial projects, from Greystone Mansion to the Egyptian Theatre, as well as a portfolio of showcase homes throughout the Beach Cities and Los Angeles. A nice touch to the home’s staging are works by local artists that have been curated by McKeown’s stepdaughter, Christine Harris, an art consultant affiliated with the South Bay Artists Collective.
The 7th Street home embodies a central O+ L design principle: To create a residence that naturally corresponds to its land. “We spend a great time on the site, just trying to really learn about it and what it wants . . . on it,” says Olesinski of his and Linder’s process. “To maximize what, where and why it is.” To that end, Olesinski explains, the home was designed to “have a conversation” with the view to the Southwest—a dreamy expanse that covers the perpetually blue-lit Pacific Ocean, along with the curves of Palos Verdes Peninsula.
The home’s uppermost level features everyday gathering spaces (kitchen, dining room and fireplaced living room), designed in an open floor plan. Lots of structural steel was utilized to frame the home, McKeown points out, supporting its high ceilings, large-scale windows and open spaces.
On the top floor, for instance, a wall opens, meshing the indoors with an ocean-air deck—an abundant space not formally figured into the home’s official square footage. Along with the home’s plentiful views, such an outdoor space makes the home live larger than its approximately 3,100 square feet, and host its four bedrooms, four bathrooms and three stories—linked together with an eye-catching horizontal rail system—with ease.
Speaking of views, one would be hard-pressed to find such scenery west of Pacific Coast Highway, McKeown notes. So special was the panorama, when L’Esperance designed the interiors, he took care to make sure it was not compromised. “We watched closely to not have a lot of hanging lights because of the view,” he says. A dining room chandelier was nixed as well.
Contemporary and sleek were design keywords for L’Esperance on this project. “We wanted to have a wow factor but also extremely clean,” he explains. In the kitchen, he utilized a light-hued grainy material, man-made and designed for longevity alongside good looks. “It will really stand the test of time,” offers L’Esperance. Setting the stage in the master bathroom is a mosaic of tile, a glossy Ann Sacks mosaic among them.
“It’s a real show-stopper,” he says of the room. “It’s more like a spa because you can walk in and out of this huge shower. It’s an open but private experience.” The master bathroom continues Olesinski’s dialogue with the view. Situated on the home’s southwest corner, a strategic placement of windows—most of them spanning floor to ceiling—let in a kaleidoscope of natural hues and skyscapes throughout the day and evening.
“We favor a very warm and welcoming Modernism,” says Olesinski of he and Linden’s overall aesthetic. It’s an approach this project displays to the max. On the exterior, crisp geometric shapes, such as a flat overhanging roof that gives the appearance of a concrete slab, are wrapped in glass and softened with earthy materials: in this case, exterior siding made of engineered cedar, preferred to keep the soft wood locked in place, and topped with an Enviro stain to protect the wood and enhance its tones.
Desert landscaping and a palm tree along the curbside are additional welcome notes, as is a wide staircase that leads to the front door. “It’s definitely something that you can be proud of,” says McKeown of the finished product.
Having worked for famed South Bay Modernist Pat Killen at his firm, Studio 9one2, for a few years earlier in his career, Olesinski is more than adept at putting together the elements to make a standout California beachside home, one that is striking while utterly livable, with this residence yet another example.
“We truly and firmly believe that a good building will improve peoples’ lives,” Olesinski says of his and Linden’s design mission. “Our goal is that when we finish a building, the owners can’t possibly fathom living anywhere else.”
Palm Realty Boutique
List Price $2,800,000
PHOTOGRAPHS BY PAUL JONASON
Exquisitely detailed interiors meet over-the-top amenities and sweeping views from almost every vantage point to create this striking new seaside estate in Malibu with a Mediterranean holiday feel.
Think a rustic-modern, stucco-clad residence replete with 300-year-old salvaged wood ceiling beams, paired with a decked-out entertainment and wellness level, and most notably, far-reaching ocean and canyon views via ample windows, sliding walls of glass, and a 55-foot, double-edged infinity pool and spa.
Another stand-out aspect of this impressive home found at 6097 Murphy Way: a secluded setting near all of the area’s affluent offerings, according to Sacha Radford, who is co-listing the property with Mauricio Umansky and Sandro Dazzan, all of The Agency.
“It’s situated on approximately 14 acres of private land,” she says, “so it feels removed from the hustle and bustle, yet is convenient to all that Malibu has to offer.”
Tucked away down a 600-foot, gated driveway—in the coveted coastal community of West Winding Way—the six-bedroom residence was designed and built by Zoran Pevec of L.A.’s Archive Design Group in 2019. Expect 10,000 square feet of open and light-filled living space featuring rich woods, exposed Santa Barbara sandstone walls, and walnut and travertine flooring throughout.
Among the highpoints: a chef’s kitchen sporting a marble slab center island, Wolf, Miele, and Sub-Zero appliances, and butler’s pantry, as well as an elegant master suite with a fireplace, dual showroom closets, spa-like bath and ocean-view terrace.
Rounding out this property’s special appeal is a daylit lower level with yoga, steam and massage rooms, as well as an infrared sauna, a gym, theater and wine cellar. “There is no other home like it on the market in style and design,” says Radford. “It’s a timeless expression of joyful Malibu living.”
Mauricio Umansky, Sacha Radford and Sandro Dazzan
of The Agency
List Price $16.9 million
PHOTOGRAPHS: COURTESY OF THE AGENCY
At night, this dazzling residence resembles a high-end designer light fixture, replete with soothing luminescence filtering beyond a striking façade nearly engulfed with cascading expanses of glass. During the day, the shimmering gem is flooded with radiant sunshine.
The result? A duo of scenarios ideal both for viewing the surrounding landscape and being at one with nature, in a nod to the uninterrupted indoor-outdoor experience so popular in Southern California.
“This house is special,” says Antonio Bruno, who is co-listing the newly finished property with Aaron Kirman, both of Compass, for $4.995 million. “No matter where you are, you feel like you are outside due to the walls of the house being made entirely of glass from floor to ceiling, and the sliding Fleetwood glass walls that pocket and disappear into the sides of the house, allowing the natural light and breeze of fresh air to pour inside.”
Situated at 2401 S Beverly Drive—in the desirable Beverlywood neighborhood, just minutes from Rodeo Drive—the six-bedroom home was designed and constructed by the Sfadia Family with the help of AE Design and Sunset Built.
Expect almost 6,000 square feet of open and light-filled living space on three levels featuring a pivoting front door, soaring ceilings, Italian porcelain and engineered hardwood flooring, expansive balconies and a Lutron smart-home system.
Among the highlights is a gourmet kitchen equipped with Wolf appliances and a butler’s pantry; movie theater with bar; and indulgent master retreat with a fireplace, custom showroom closet, private patios, and a lavish bath sporting a freestanding soaking tub and dual vanities.
Outdoors is a private entertainer’s backyard, complete with a built-in barbecue, covered patio boasting ceiling heaters, and more than enough space for a proposed pool.
“This home truly sticks out in the neighborhood, as the typical build has been traditional and Cape Cod,” says Bruno. “The builders wanted to change it up and give a family modern living, but keep it high-quality.”
Antonio Bruno and Aaron Kirman
List Price $4.995 million
PHOTOGRAPHS: COURTESY OF ANDRES SANDOVAL
Living by the ocean often translates into beachy interiors where white tones and a farmhouse style prevail. Located at 1534 The Strand, in Hermosa Beach—just a few blocks from Pier Avenue shops and restaurants—this house proves design can be done differently.
Listed at $11,900,000 by Brent Talbot of RE/MAX Estate Properties, this property’s stunning price tag has a million-dollar view to match and many other surprises that only increase its value. The project is the result of a close collaboration between three minds: the owner, designer Gunnar Jorgensen, and architect Cindy Goff. “Cindy and I are used to working together and we really are a team,” says Jorgensen who invited Goff to join the project. “With this client, it was like working with family.”
Since the beginning, the owner made clear that he wanted something different, far from the cliché of what is usually designed when it comes to coastal homes. The first goal was to create an industrial vibe. “We drew inspiration from Chicago firehouses and schoolhouses to give this urban feel,” explains Goff.
“The creative energy felt upon entering this home would appeal to anyone from an active family to a rock star.”
Steel beams; the open mono stringer staircase that Jorgensen wanted to seem original to the house; the paintable brick that brings texture; and beautiful woodwork are some of the elements that make the house stand out.
“The ample living spaces spread over 2,809 square feet,” says Goff. “The objective was to get the most of the property—which was originally a duplex with the first and the second floors identical—as the owner wanted to accomplish a lot of things, including having a master bedroom that would act as a sanctuary.” The project began, and almost finished, with the design of the two first levels only.
The ground floor, which features big windows and can be completely open to the outside patio that overlooks The Strand, hosts the main living room and the kitchen adorned with a titanium backsplash and furnished with a wine dispenser, as well as a four-car garage, which makes things very convenient given the fact that parking is quite limited by the beach. The floating stairs lead to the first floor, which hosts four bedrooms.
The master suite provides beautiful views over the beach; at the back of the property is another space (that could become a second master suite) the owner uses to practice with his band. A gym, two additional bedrooms, three bathrooms (out of a total of five in the entire property) and the laundry room are also situated on this level.
“We had almost completed the plans when the owner asked us to add the third floor,” Goff recalls. The height limit of 30 feet in South of 22nd St. where the property is located (instead of 25 feet North of 22nd St.) was then maximized. With a Jacuzzi, fire pit, outdoor kitchen and built-in furniture, “the huge rooftop deck is what makes this house so special,” says Jorgensen. Dedicated to entertaining, this area also has an enclosed bar and a private Zen garden, as well as another bathroom.
“For this project, I had to think outside of the box,” says Goff, adding that thanks to Jorgensen knowing the owner well (this is their fourth project together), everything went smoothly. “Gunnar is a visionary. He has the idea and I make it work,” Goff adds. Inside, the dark color palette reflects elegance and sophistication. “However, we kept the spaces warm at the same time,” says Jorgensen. “It’s a modern coastal home with an industrial feel”
In taking meticulous care of every detail and finish, the home shows a high level of quality and craftsmanship. “In this house, the owner wanted everything to be ‘wow,’ ” Goff notes. The home embodies this idea. “Our client likes uniqueness and it’s definitely a unique home for this area,” adds Jorgensen.
In look and feel, he touts the house as having the advantage of perfection, with ground and top floors that amp up the entertaining and a middle floor that promises privacy when the party is over. Of course, in a place with this much “wow” factor, there is something to celebrate every day.
RE/MAX Estate Properties
List Price $11,900,000
That Bay Area has become the worldwide reference for innovation and technology. The whole planet constantly observes what happens in Silicon Valley to better understand how the future will be shaped. The bohemian tradition, cultural history and European influences, however, live on in San Francisco. Reminder: the stunning San Francisco Proper Hotel.
Nestled in a nearly 100-year-old Beaux Arts building, the hotel, opened in 2017, is an ode to the city. It is located in an area with old theaters and arts institutions that is currently enjoying a revival, with luxury residential projects and offices from large companies making their home here. Forgotten for years and then damaged by a fire, the hotel’s building was reimagined with the objective of contributing to the local community’s development.
On the exterior façade, real estate investment and management company The Kor Group took care of every detail. Inside, Kelly Wearstler designed sophisticated spaces with references to several artistic movements. “While carefully preserving the original elements of this classified landmark, we looked to bring something new to San Francisco by collaging a reimagining of past, present and future,” said Wearstler. “The spirit of pre-modernist European influence, hand-selected vintage furnishings, and works by local artists are all part of the warm, inviting design mix.”
Shaped as a welcoming space for guests and a meeting point at the same time, the lobby was restored by craftsmen who used traditional techniques. Inspired by a classic European salon and reflecting a residential atmosphere with cozy nooks and a lounge, this area transitions into the intimate Villon restaurant—named for the French painter Jacques Villon. Among cubist decor, chef Mikey Adams creates contemporary American cuisine with unexpected twists, following San Francisco’s culinary tradition.
Crafted by Josh Harris and Morgan Schick from BVHospitality, the 7×7 cocktail menu comprises seven categories with seven cocktails in each category, with a playful nod to the area of San Francisco (7 by 7 miles). A selection of beers and wines is also available. The ground floor of the hotel also hosts La Bande, (meaning a group of friends in French). Decorated with graphic black-and-white stripes, the coffee shop features house-made pastries, sandwiches and salads in a casual environment. Rooftop bar and lounge Charmaine’s, meanwhile, is one of the best spots to enjoy a 360-degree view of the city on the expansive terrace. For the interior space, Wearstler took inspiration from the Viennese Secession art movement.
Both chic and functional, each one of the 131 rooms of the hotel seems to be a pied-à-terre, where a downtown vibe combines with classic French and Italian details. Previously known as the “Paris of the West,” San Francisco has forged its own identity, mixing the best of Europe and the United States. And this hotel is certainly a good reason to discover—or rediscover—it.
PHOTOGRAPHS: BY MANOLO AND NOAH WEBB, COURTESY OF KELLY WEARSTLER
Located in small-town Surfside, in the northern beaches of Miami, The Surf Club is an iconic property initially developed in 1930. It started as a private club with exceptional views of the ocean that attracted famous guests such as Elizabeth Taylor, Winston Churchill and Frank Sinatra.
The Surf Club property reopened in 2017, after Nadim Ashi of Fort Partners acquired the storied social club. Having built strong relationships with some of today’s greatest creative minds, Ashi commissioned them to write the next chapter of The Surf Club’s story.
The property now consists of a Four Seasons Hotel with 77 guest rooms, 31 hotel residences, 119 private residences, a spa and two restaurants. All of this is nestled in three buildings designed by renowned architect Richard Meier. Created in collaboration with Miami-based architect Kobi Karp, this project reflects a classic modernist aesthetic.
Acclaimed for his pure and elegant style, Parisian interior architect Joseph Dirand designed the public areas, the spa and the hotel rooms. Many of the original installations and key features of The Surf Club were preserved, including Peacock Alley (the entrance corridor) and 40 beach cabanas. The old ballrooms have been transformed into Le Sirenuse Restaurant & Champagne Bar, where guests enjoy Mediterranean and genuine southern Italian cuisine in the care of chef Antonio Mermolia.
Under the pergola-shaded terrace, a refreshed outdoor space now hosts MARE, an oceanfront dining location designed by Martin Brudnizki Design Studio. “MARE was created as a place where guests can relax and unwind in a more casual setting,” says Brudnizki. “Optimizing the unbroken views out to the ocean, MARE incorporates lush planting with upholstered outdoor seating in calming tones of sea green. A clever and spacious layout, mixing corner banquettes with round family-style tables, helps to create cozy spaces that are perfect for intimate drinking and dining.”
Extended in over nine acres, the property is also home to The Surf Club Restaurant, helmed by Michelin-starred chef Thomas Keller, a 15,000-square-foot spa, four pools, three fitness centers and two shops (Les Ateliers Courbet for luxury design pieces and Haremlique for Turkish bed linens). Through the landscape design, Fernando Wong created a tropical ambience, which helps to blend the old structure with the new.
For those who want to stay longer and return frequently, it is possible to purchase one of the private or hotel residences, also designed by Joseph Dirand with finishes chosen by Lee Mindel in collaboration with Meier. These luxury residences occupy 1,400 to 7,750 square feet and range from $3.75 million to $35 million. Experiencing the glamour of Miami certainly has its price.
PHOTOGRAPHS: BY CHRISTIAN HORAN
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
Breathtaking vistas are primed for the taking at this striking custom residence now on the market in Palos Verdes Estates. “This house has large verandas on both levels and great outdoor living spaces,” says listing agent Charlie Raine. “Unobstructed ocean views are offered throughout the home, allowing for incredible sunsets throughout the year and beautiful views of Catalina Island, as well as Malibu.”
Expect a five-bedroom property with open, fully updated living space boasting hand-carved beams, wrought-iron railings and honed plaster walls. Among the highlights: a formal dining room; gourmet kitchen, built-in bar and breakfast area; and sumptuous master suite with a spacious closet, and a spa-like, chandelier-topped bath with a shower, tub and dual vanities. One of two living areas has French doors that open to reveal a terraced backyard with numerous built-ins, seating areas, a fireplace and lush gardens, while the three-car garage includes a large studio with sliding barn doors
2960 VIA ALVARADO
LOWER LUNADA BAY
3,714 SQ. FT.
Listed by Bill Ruth, Charlie Raine and Carissa Wright of Ruth and Raine
This newly completed, modern residence now listed in Mar Vista has all of the makings of a true oasis. Think a quarter-plus acre lot replete with a pool and spa, fire-pit, outdoor kitchen, dining and barbecue area, mature trees, and plenty of grassy areas with room for a playground or even a private yoga setting. Situated on a secluded cul-de-sac atop a hill, the home also offers unparalleled views of Downtown L.A. and the Santa Monica mountains, along with convenient access to the beach and nearby shops.
“This elegant and sophisticated estate is perfect for those seeking ultimate privacy and retreat,” says listing agent Kerry Ann Sullivan. An open floor plan offers seamless indoor-outdoor environs showcasing a dramatic formal entry and staircase, wall-to-wall windows, skylights, iPad-controlled sound and security systems, and Tesla Solar. Among the standout features: a wine cellar and a chef’s-style kitchen equipped with high-end appliances.
11900 WESTMINSTER PLACE
5,500 SQ. FT
Listed by Tami Halton Pardee and Kerry Ann Sullivan of Halton Pardee + Partners
PHOTOGRAPHS: PETER MCMENAMIN (TOP) AND BRANDON ARANT (BOTTOM)
It was Le Corbusier who said: “Light creates ambiance and feel of a place, as well as the expression of structure.” Set along a coveted Manhattan Beach walk street, a minute’s walk to the ocean and under 10 minutes from downtown, this inviting Modernist home—a bounty of cheerful living spaces spread among two structures—is a well-executed example of this idea.
A standout feature of the property is a majestic rooftop deck spanning nearly 1,000 square feet. “I can’t remember when I’ve seen a rooftop deck this large,” says real estate agent John Corrales, whose firm specializes in Beach Cities coastal properties.
The home’s introduction is an inviting one: an impeccable front yard with a tidy green lawn and desert landscaping. This, along with rustic wood planters and a lounge area provide earthy contrast to the home’s angular, largely glass front exterior. Designed to maximize the exterior environment from the inside, the ground floor conjoins with the outdoors via a sliding glass wall, turning the place into an ideal spot to while away an afternoon or host a neighborhood party.
Indoors, the home’s sunny, clean lines are ornamented with high-end finishes. Floors throughout are French white oak hardwood, adding texture to unfussy white rooms. Baseboard and molding are used sparingly and with purpose, mainly to delineate distinct living areas in an otherwise open floor plan. Hard to miss on the first floor is the staircase, a sculptural centerpiece made of chunky wood steps and subtly tinted glass railings, held in place with a single white beam support.
Special care has been taken in the kitchen, which features a waterfall-design island made of Quartzforms (a non-toxic quartz material lauded for its resiliency). The island’s veined design—which includes black, gray and white tones—visually brings together the room’s glossy white cabinetry, oversized Ann Sacks backsplash tile and an 8-burner Miele range outfitted in stainless steel and black. Neatly tucked behind custom cabinetry, giving the kitchen a sleek, gallery-like look, are appliances such as a built-in Thermador refrigerator, Bosch dishwasher and U-Line wine cooler.
Per the homeowner, both outdoor space and capitalizing on the beachside environment were central to the design of the property. A large skylight in the midst of the home brings in additional natural light, and a fresh-air courtyard at the rear of the home, adjacent to the living room and kitchen, is a unique touch that allows one to reach the secondary structure with ease, a place that houses the garage as well as sun-filled guest quarters.
To have a separate space for guests—complete with a balcony and a living room—is an unexpected luxury one might expect in a larger home. However, Corrales says, “There are people who don’t want a 4,500-square-foot home. A lot of times we get people who walk into our office and say, ‘We don’t want one of those mansions. We just want a beach home, but it would be nice to have guest quarters, too.’”
With four bedrooms and four bathrooms in total, the home’s thoughtful design spans 2,709 square feet, yet feels more spacious due to the scale of rooms and a near-constant connection to the outdoors. The second floor is home to the master suite—an uplifting space decked with awning windows and ocean views—that includes a gleaming white bathroom and a walk-in closet. Nearby is an additional bedroom, as well as a spacious family room with enough room to double as a play space for kids or a quiet study.
The home’s abundance of blue-sky views and ocean air is attributed to the skillful floor plan and the placement of windows, both of which make the most of the home’s great location. “Finding a home on the 100 block that’s on the north side, and south facing, is so difficult,” points out Corrales. Inventory is rare, and the allure has much to do with the area’s proximity to the ocean, optimum Pacific views and natural light. “You could take out all of the lights in the home,” notes Corrales, “and live in the sunlight and moonlight.”
Stepping onto the rooftop deck, one enters a jewel-like retreat from a bustling world. A place with 180-degree ocean views and possibilities galore, from watching the sunset and gazing at stars to enjoying nightly dinners and hosting bashes for over a hundred year-round.
“There are nine layers of protection on the deck—it’s bulletproof,” Corrales says of the construction, which features floors of glossy Brazilian ipe wood, chosen for its beauty and resiliency. Engineering includes heating, a kitchen and two different lighting systems to dial in the ambiance of one’s choosing.
There is a well-designed collection of distinct spaces, from a shaded sitting area and a fire-pit lounge to a bar area and a kitchen-side dining area. Not to miss is a bubbling spa tub, smartly equipped with an ozone system to purify and reduce maintenance.
“It’s almost like there are two living areas,” concludes Corrales. “Inside the house—and up on the deck.” It’s the success of this property’s design that, within a manageable footprint, the most desired beach house items have been incorporated: a light-filled floor plan promoting easy and elegant living; separate quarters for the comfort of guests; and perhaps best of all, a well-crafted sprawl atop the rooftop, expressed in sky and ocean, and designed solely for luxurious enjoyment.
John Corrales 310.346.3332 DRE# 01263687
and Lauren Forbes 310.901.8512 DRE# 01295248
List Price $7,985,000
PHOTOGRAPHS BY PAUL JONASON