Sweet Digs

A Refreshed Pat Killen Home In Manhattan Beach

When a starkly geometric home appeared on 10th Street in Manhattan Beach in the mid-1990s, it was a bright, rare flash of Modernism in a town flush with tile-roof Mediterraneans and quaint beach bungalows. The home had been designed by none other than architect Pat Killen, one of a small group of local architects who were applying Modernist principles to beachside homes decades before others would follow suit—and with superb results. 

Since then, the home has remained a classic California Modernist beach structure, complete with a dramatic juxtaposition of angles and curves, plenty of glass and one of Killen’s trademark’s—a touch of eclecticism. Its eye-catching looks aside, the home’s design was rooted in pragmatism, for Killen always insisted on capturing the best views and light, and chose Modernism as the way to get the job done.

After several owners, in 2014 the home came into the possession of homeowners who knew great architecture, and saw that Killen’s design, after so many years, could do with a refresh. “I was respectful of Pat’s work,” says one of the homeowners, a client of real estate agent Beth Morrissey.

Morrissey reached out to Pat Killen, who recommended Daryl Olesinski, a former associate at his firm Studio 9one2. Olesinski, along with fellow designer Martina Linden (their firm is O+ L Building Projects), made changes that would smartly enhance the original home. “Having worked for Pat Killen for a few years,” says Olesinski, “I knew Pat very well, and respect his position in the architecture of the South Bay.”

“Clearly this house had a great pedigree and a strong sense of line and massing,” Olesinski explains. “With that said, the current owners wanted a bit more from the house, and wanted to use the building in a different manner than the original design allowed for.” Included among Olesinski and Linden’s work was the installation of pocket doors to further mesh indoors and out.

Modernizing the fireplace. A portion of the ceiling was raised so that it followed the curve of the roofline. The beige exterior was updated to a soft gray, and the yard was dramatically overhauled. More changes were made and in the end, says Morrissey, who witnessed the before and after, the house had morphed into an updated version of a classic work of beach architecture.

“Daryl wanted to keep the remodel aligned with Pat’s original vision,” says Tyler Krikorian, general contractor for the project, whose specialty is high-end custom homes. “I followed his lead with everything, and I feel it was executed very nicely.”

When one walks into the glass-front foyer, one enters a meditative and sunlit space that feels not unlike a gallery. The curving staircase, a Killen trademark, is a focus point.

Approaching the second floor, one is treated to sweeping ocean views—a panorama that’s uplifting at first sight. “I remember very intense days at work,” says the homeowner. “I would come home and sit on one of the terraces and disconnect. Look at the ocean and reflect on life. It’s an incredible place.”

Spanning five bedrooms and approximately 4,300 square feet, the home embodies a central Killen design principle: “The way we live, with our contemporary lifestyle, people want open spaces, and they want it all to flow together,” he said in a 2010 video.

“But yet, you don’t want it to seem like it’s just one big auditorium, so there has to be personality that’s developed in those different spaces.” The home’s revisions were built upon this theme. Floor-to-window sliding glass was added to the living room so it conjoins the Brazilian ipe deck.

The result is a flurry of fresh air and sunlight added to this central open level, which includes a peaceful reading room along with a newly revamped kitchen and a breakfast nook. The formal dining room, with fresh floors of Brazilian cherry, expands to include a fresh-air sitting deck. “They expanded the upstairs view so you have 180-degree views of the ocean,” notes Morrissey, “That’s really hard to find in Manhattan Beach.”

The home’s yard, previously overlooked, was overhauled to offer outdoor living spaces that are bright lights in the memories of the homeowners. “On summer days, it’s one of the most refreshing places,” says the homeowner of the hearty ipe deck, home to a bubbling spa and an outdoor kitchen with a sleek barbecue and wine cooler.

There is a cozy side yard as well, a private, manicured green space where lights twinkle in the trees. “There’s a timeless element of the home’s design,” says Morrissey of the residence, which she remembers Pat Killen speaking fondly of, and referring to as a favorite project. “With the updating done—it’s truly a stunning property.”

The views and the architectural pedigree are fine points of the home, Morrissey points out, along with the open floor plan. The walkability to both town and beach is another. Morrissey, who’s been in local real estate for 16 years and raised her family in Manhattan Beach, cites it as an increasingly attractive lifestyle bonus.

After all, with downtown less than 10 minutes by foot, and the sand seven blocks from the home, it’s easy to conjure up visions of sunset swims, or walking to town for dinner—then coming home to a place that was designed around the pleasures of its climate and location. “This home is a piece of history when it comes to architecture in our community,” she says. “It’s a great example of Pat Killen’s work.”


Beth Morrissey,
RE/MAX Estate Properties


List Price


90210 Trophy Property

Numerous factors converge to make this European-style estate the crown jewel of the Beverly Hills Flats: Think an outstanding realization of concept and design, complete with awe-inspiring interiors, breathtaking grounds punctuated by olive trees, lavender and Old-World gardens, and unrivaled views of the Los Angeles Country Club and Century City amid a peaceful and private setting.

“This home is on arguably the best street in Beverly Hills and the Flats, and one of only eight homes on the L.A. Country Club golf course,” says Jon Grauman, who is co-listing the residence at 837 Greenway Drive with Mauricio Umansky, both of The Agency, for $33 million. “It also has the widest frontage of any home in the Beverly Hills Flats.”

Set behind gates on almost an acre of flat land that opens up to the 9th green of the golf course, the seven-bedroom abode features more than 10,000 square feet of contemporary, Erinn Valencich-designed living space on two levels, replete with mid-century-style touches, from suede and chrome doors to high-gloss, wood grain cabinetry.

Among the highlights: a marble foyer with a striking, sculptural staircase that leads to a light-filled living room with wide-plank hardwood flooring, fashionable LED-lit ceiling, fireplace, white marble bar, and steel-and-glass French doors that open to reveal a loggia and gardens boasting water and fire features.

Yet other refinements include a formal dining room with a glass-enclosed, temperature-controlled wine room; chef’s kitchen sporting a spacious marble island and Miele appliances; circular master retreat featuring dual marble baths and custom showroom closets; a billiards room with fireplace; plush theater; and auto gallery.

Finally is a guesthouse and lushly landscaped, made-to-entertain grounds featuring a floating, infinity-edge pool, spa, fire pit and cabana with outdoor kitchen. The end result? Eye-catching charisma and a sublime perspective on Southern California living in one of the country’s most prestigious ZIP codes.



Jon Grauman and  Mauricio Umansky of The Agency


List Price
$33 million


Hotel-Like Estate By The Sea

World-famous architect Tony Ashai has a distinct design philosophy, one that is steadfast to all things classic and timeless. That is to build a client’s dream home tailored to their individual lifestyle, and in a way that never goes out of style. For the property at 67 Paseo Del La Luz, Aisha—working with general contractor Josh Herbst, who is well-known for building premium homes in Beverly Hills—applied his classical stance and commitment to visual balance to create this elegant retreat reminiscent of a luxury seaside European villa.

Commanding views from a secluded neighborhood in Rancho Palos Verdes, this particular home is one of the newest properties built in the Oceanfront Estates community. Here, gorgeous private estates are surrounded by large manicured lawns with deep setbacks and wide streets. The slight gradation of land allows one to truly enjoy the cliffside locale and still enjoy 180-degree ocean vistas. With this neighborhood also near to some of the town’s hotspots like Terranea Resort and Trump International Golf Course, dining out or playing a round of golf is the norm.

The beautiful limestone colonnades at the entry create an almost piazza feel with cloistered ceilings along the hallways that are perfectly symmetrical, true to Ashia’s philosophy. Along with this visual balance, the grand, almost palatial, spaces feel surprisingly intimate and comforting. “The entrance to this home and its common areas feel like the lobby of a five- or six-star hotel in Europe,” describes Lily Liang, Realtor for Strand Hill Christie’s International Real Estate Group.

The attention to detail is unmatched, evident not only in the classic European wrought iron that wraps the dramatic and curved dual-sided staircase but in the individually carved marble stairs and floors that run throughout the common areas and hallways too. Hardwood floors, meanwhile, warm the bedrooms. “Those with a keen eye and understanding for architecture can see the value in the curved lines of the marble stairs and the authenticity of the colonnade pillars and fireplaces being hand-carved from French limestone,” adds Liang. Clearly, no expense was spared for the sake of quality and pure form.

Boasting just over 8,300 square feet, the tremendous volume of the space is highlighted by dramatic coffered ceilings that vary from room to room with clean lines so as to not feel overdone. Spaces seamlessly blend due to a flowing floor plan and creamy monochromatic color palette that yields a streamlined yet intricate aesthetic. One always finds delightful surprises in a home like this one: a regal study, custom wine cellar built directly into the dual staircase, and posh home theater, along with dedicated space for a gym or reading room.

All of these unique spaces are only steps away from outside access through a multitude of arched French doors leading to lovely grounds. The ultimate feature for the gourmet cook is the home’s second kitchen, sometimes known as a kosher kitchen, where a self-proclaimed chef can engage in the messier side of cooking, discreetly and out of the way of the main kitchen. Anchored by a huge slab of cream marble on the island and furniture-style cabinetry, this space also is appointed with a six-burner Wolf range, including griddle, indoor grill, and a professional grade ventilation system, tucked under a classic French-style hood.

Meanwhile, refined wooden panels mask doubled-sided Sub-Zero refrigerators, as well as dual dishwashers and other storage. This home was definitely built for a family or an owner who enjoys throwing a good party too; there’s a multitude of entertaining space, including two grand living rooms, one at the entry and the other downstairs with pool access, as well as a more intimate family room. Adjacent to the family room is a classic full-size wet bar with counter seating for enjoying a cognac after a dinner party in the formal dining room. Both upstairs and downstairs entertaining areas open up to gorgeous scenes from various balconies and patios.

The lavish master suite is one of the four bedrooms. Bordered by two balconies—west and southwest facing—one may enjoy vistas to Catalina right from bed. In the master and throughout the balance of the bedrooms, finely crafted built-ins with trim details create ample storage, as well. A swoon-worthy closet fit for a king and a massive master bath with a silver-tipped clawfoot tub complete the master suite. The balance of the bedroom-suites are very generous in size, each with a full bath and closets with built-ins. Each of the six baths, which include two powder rooms, one with a richly-done chrome sink, are individually designed with fresco-style tilework, furniture-like vanities and unique features.

A unique advantage to this home is that has two separate backyards. Perfect for families with small children, and completely gated, there is a large grassy lawn for playing sports or housing a pet on one side, and meticulous landscapes wrapping the lovely pool, with waterfall feature, and the spa on the other. Here, plenty of outdoor seating is available on the covered patio draped by colonnade-style pillars, as well as in the outdoor kitchen area with built-in barbecue grill. Sitting on just over a half-acre of land, the home’s exterior offers abundant grassy space for kids to run and play.

The property’s outdoor environment paints a transcendent classical picture via its dramatic colonnades, pillars of limestone, wrought iron-wrapped balconies, and smooth stone finish. Combined with its exquisite interior, this home translates to a life spent on permanent vacation in a seaside villa where stunning views and privacy abound—beautifully.


Lily Liang
Strand Hill Properties
Christie’s International Real Estate


List Price


Visionary Home In Rancho Palos Verdes

The architectural masterpiece at 2822 Colt Road in Rancho Palos Verdes stretches far beyond the modern aesthetic. State-of-the-art, the almost conceptual structures, elements, and water features of this compound demonstrate a functionality that is both forward-thinking and deliberate. “This home is meant for someone that has amazing taste in architecture,” offers Greg Geilman of The DOMO Group – RE/MAX Estate Properties.

To that end, contrary to the natural order of the home-seeking experience, whereby a buyer proceeds with a checklist for the perfect property, this imaginative wonder keeps its own checklist for what constitutes its ideal inhabitant. Top of the list: one who is well-traveled, possibly with celebrity status and, above all, an astute eye for design and a fervor for architecture. This person is also keen to entertain yet demands privacy.

Given these demands, this home, which boasts 5,900 square feet of living space (including five bedrooms and seven and one-half baths), was cleverly designed with multiple structures surrounding an oasis of water to complement the shape of the land, showcase unbelievable views, and form a completely private estate that does not encroach on its neighbors. Including over 2,000 square feet of outdoor living space, as well, this three-structure compound is made up of a main house, guest house, and pool house. Just outside an impressive pivot gate, which foreshadows the massive glass front door in the main house, is housekeeping quarters with a kitchenette, and a three-car garage.

Each structure is wrapped floor to ceiling in walls of sliding, German-engineered Schuco glass that open to promote a flowing and organic indoor-outdoor lifestyle. Modern elements of cement, Gold Mangaris wood, porcelain, and stainless steel create a harmonious foundation made brilliant via natural light flooding through skylights and the endless glass that also reflects a beautiful environ. At the heart of the compound, Baja wading reefs and a heated spa flank a massive lap pool. The bridge connecting the main house and the pool house offers the opportunity for a friendly dive competition.

Water features play a big role here: an ankle-deep reflection pool with a resort-style moat and scattered soothing waterfalls trim the main house. Meticulously groomed grassy lawns nod to the homes’ minimalist quality with just hints of indigenous ice plant in built-in cement planters that do not disrupt the natural habitat. Views beyond the premises are grand too. Bordered by treetops from the neighboring property far below, scenes of the ocean stretch clear to Long Beach and the San Gabriel Mountains, and, with only a canyon to the other side, the property remains private and protected.

With an acre of land, the goal to showcase stunning views in every direction, keep the pool warm and house cool, and ultimately provide seclusion is beautifully achieved. The result is a property that, from the inside-out, offers complete privacy yet full visibility.

The main house is a seductive complex. From provocative glass walls that open completely to the outdoors, surrounded by astounding views, to gleaming porcelain floors, the pure aesthetic is sensual in nature. A sunrise is never sweeter than from the master bedroom: Imagine waking to see a sky radiating vibrant colors from floor to ceiling. The master suite also features a private outdoor viewing deck connected by a dual-sided fireplace, private entry, and glass-shrouded master bath with a Carrara marble steam shower and, center stage, an infinity tub built for two. All is complete with the ultimate custom-designed closet with built-ins.

The balance of the main house includes a guest bedroom suite and main living areas designed with an open floor plan. One instantly envisions a chic dinner party with guests dining among city lights and gorgeous ocean vistas, or an occasion even more grand, easily catered from a sleek gourmet kitchen featuring two prep islands and an eat-in bar, a professional-grade butler’s area, wine refrigerators, Miele appliances and Pedini cabinetry.

The second structure holds the guests’ quarters to grant friends a visit in style. The bright, oversized suites are streamlined, with sky-high ceilings and well-planned kitchenettes. The two guest rooms in this structure overlook the ocean and canyon, as well as offer the best close-ups of the main pool. Nearby, a wide viewing deck surrounds the glass and concrete pool house which opens onto the inviting heated pool.

Even from inside the pool house one can see across the pool to the ocean and through the glass walls of the main house. This space is ideal for playing host to memorable parties year-round. Inside, a full kitchen with eat-in bar is conveniently located for serving guests. A large living space with gas fireplace is wonderfully suitable for watching sports or perhaps to place a pool table as the anchor of a desired game room. Attached is a hot sauna and two changing cabanas with full baths.

“An architectural task such as this was a long time in the making,” states Geilman. “This property couldn’t be reproduced today for this price because the property value alone has increased so dramatically since the purchase of the land.” Considering every convenience, this luxurious modern compound emerges, with unmatched value, as the ultimate resort-style retreat.


Greg Geilman | 310.504.3630
& Rob Freedman | 310.291.7779
of The DOMO Group – RE/MAX Estate Properties
and Tim Smith | 949.717.4711
of The Smith Group

List Price

Beverly Hills Buyer’s Dream

Newly built, this European-style villa designed by noted architect Hamid Gabbay not only is found in the prestigious Beverly Hills Flats, it is also equipped with almost every over-the-top amenity imaginable. Think lavish conveniences such as a commercial-grade elevator; gym with sauna and steam shower; sleek wine storage; a restaurant-sized bar with alabaster back-lit countertops; 12-seat movie theater; and large covered loggia that opens onto an inviting grassy lawn leading to a sparkling pool and spa, just to name a few.

“This is a home that buyers are looking for . . . brand-new construction with all the bells and whistles,” confirms Steve Frankel of Steve Frankel Luxury Estates Group, who is co-listing the residence with Linda May of Hilton & Hyland for $15.9 million. “Buyers are looking for homes they can move right into and that don’t need remodeling or rebuilding, and the majority of the homes in the Flats are older and in need of work.”

Nestled on a 12,532-square-foot parcel of land at 603 N. Bedford—within walking distance to a bounty of shops and restaurants—this contemporary, six-bedroom abode features 10,000-plus square feet of open, voluminous and light-filled living space on three levels. Expect dramatic floor-to-ceiling windows, designer lighting, intricate crown molding and soaring ceilings throughout, along with retractable doors to provide a seamless indoor-outdoor experience.

Show-stopping is a grand two-story foyer with spiral staircase sporting ornate wrought-iron railings; main-floor office/study with built-in bookcases and a fireplace; formal dining room with herringbone flooring and a wine room; and an elegant living room with a martini bar and fireplace. The gourmet eat-in kitchen boasts high-end appliances, a large center island, and butler’s pantry, while the master suite is resplendent with a seating area with fireplace, dual closets and marble baths, and an expansive terrace overlooking the grounds.

“This home sets a new standard in Beverly Hills with its grand proportions and clean interior lines,” says Frankel. “It’s the unique and gorgeous property that today’s buyers are seeking.”


Offered by:
Steve Frankel of Steve Frankel Luxury Estates Group
and  Linda May of Hilton & Hyland

List Price:
$15.9 million

Photographs courtesy of Simon Berlyn

Coveted Home On A Quiet Cul-De-Sac In Santa Monica

There’s something magical about the ocean end of San Vicente. Perhaps it’s the road itself, thick with trees and a central meridian lush with landscaping. Maybe it’s the rows of beautiful homes, breathtaking and stately, or the smell and feel of the sea that cools the air even on the warmest days of a California summer. There are beautiful late-model cars, and joggers and bicyclists enjoying the outdoors, their dogs loping rhythmically behind.

There’s no need to ever leave this neighborhood with so much at your fingertips: Montana Avenue, with its award-winning shops and restaurants, is just a few streets away; the beach is but a short walk; Third Street Promenade offers movie theaters, and the Brentwood and Riviera Country Clubs beckon with their four-star amenities and carefully vetted clientele.

Not to mention that, with access to PCH and the 10, the rest of the city’s benefits are so easily accessible. This is Los Angeles as you always imagined it could be, with beauty in every moment.

That feeling is reinforced when you arrive at this magnificent home in Santa Monica. Nestled in a private cul-de-sac just north of San Vicente, the ideal location brings you to the first box on your list—check. Unlike the other side of the Boulevard, the streets are quiet, rarely traversed by foot traffic other than the people who live and work here. If safety, solitude and knowing your neighbors are priorities, 121 Esparta Way appears to be the answer.

The home extends its welcome even before you step inside. Manicured plantings and a balanced facade with a separate entryway for each car telegraph that this expertly crafted house has been constructed with a modern family in mind.

Reclaimed European white oak floors extend from just inside the entryway, one space on a long list of those with the refined finishes and impeccable details that characterize this home. High-coffered ceilings, wainscoting, chair railings, and black gold marble fireplaces emphasize the impression of quality. Here is a space made for gracious and magnanimous entertaining.

An imposing kitchen with natural black soapstone counters, two islands, a full pantry, two refrigerators and the best of Miele’s meticulously-made appliances arouse envy even before they’re put to work by a chef (and catering staff, hired for the evening to create and plate hors d’oeuvres for guests to sample), or a father, whipping up his legendary pancakes, piled high with whipped cream and berries, as children and friends wait at one of the counters or around the breakfast table.

But, while it’s said that everyone always ends up in the kitchen, when it comes to this home, other features are equally alluring. Certainly, given so much voluminous square footage—a lot of approximately 12,000 square feet, the home more than 8,400 square feet over three spacious levels—parents and children can play host simultaneously and separately.

Whether for informal or large-scale occasions, this home offers plenty of options for year-round entertaining. There’s the large open-plan family room, with folding doors that fully open it to the backyard and a generous limestone patio with room for a long dining table. Along with heaters, inset into the roof, and a barbecue, there’s the sunken marble fire pit that helps make this area a welcoming gathering spot on chilly evenings.

Warm up here after a dip in the pool and a long soak in the hot tub. Or, with a carefully curated Spotify playlist providing background music piped in via the residence’s entertainment system, it sets up the perfect finish to a long dinner shared with good friends.

The bar, game area, and den on the lower level are another draw. After a pool tournament and a few specialty cocktails, garnished with fresh fruit found at the nearby Santa Monica Farmers’ Market, invite colleagues to stay for a screening.

The tiered and insulated theater room is a comfortable spot for just such a moment. For more significant evenings, a formal dining room and living room provide the ultimate setting.

Of course, entertaining is but one of the pleasures of having a house that lives as beautifully as this one. The hospitality it extends to guests is only matched by the luxury that it brings to everyday activities.

This is a place that functions equally well for private times as it does for public occasions, with each of the six en-suite bedrooms, including one on the lower level, offering the ideal living quarters for a nanny or long-term visitor, guaranteeing the ultimate in rest and relaxation.

Certainly, the master bedroom is a complete retreat unto itself, with a cavernous closet, private office, and an exquisitely appointed bathroom with separate toilet rooms. It is tempting to spend entire weekends here, and with a lower-level home gym on the premises, that is entirely possible.

If you’re a lover of predawn circuit training, rest assured that with the gym’s Pavigym flooring, a specially designed rubber material that reduces noise and vibration, a vigorous workout session would not wake the family. A steam shower and cedar sauna would, however, make for a bracing start to a busy day.

Though it is hard to leave the house such as this one for the chaos of the outside world, remembering all you might have to come home to, helps. Pull out a bottle from the wine cellar, with its black smoke mirror backdrop and cedar shelving, and compose a toast to a life well-lived.


Drew Fenton, Bjorn Farrugia, and Alphonso Lascano, Hilton & Hyland and Charles Pence, Pence Hathorn Silver

List Price


Perfect spot for your dream home in hermosa beach - featured in south bay DIGS Magazine

A Slice Of Heaven In Hermosa Beach

During WWII there were radar towers in the South Bay poised atop Tennyson Place in Hermosa Beach, and the reason had everything to do with the altitude. Rumored to be the highest point west of Pacific Coast Highway, this area remains an ideal spot for building one’s dream home.

There are oversized parcels of land, the draw of an exclusive beachside neighborhood and best of all, prime views—stretching across ocean and hillside. 

“It’s a very unique spot because the lots are massive”

says real estate agent Rob Freedman, who is co-listing the property, “and it’s pretty sleepy back there. It’s a hidden gem.”

On a particularly lofty Tennyson lot, a custom home (more like a mini-compound) was erected a few years ago. The approximately 7,300-square-foot home spanning three levels was designed in dreamy partnership with its plethora of outdoor places, and the resulting atmosphere is one of private, fresh-air luxury. Step inside and, though you may still technically be in the South Bay, just a one-minute drive from Pacific Coast Highway, you’re guaranteed to feel somewhere far, far away.

The architect is Louie Tomaro, whose assembly of geometric angles, plentiful glass, and overhanging eaves are cleverly softened by an inviting palette of Spanish cedar, white stucco, and textured stone. Indoors, sunlight and stirring views are everywhere.

“When you get panoramic first-floor views, and panoramic second-floor views, that’s very unusual,” points out co-listing agent Bryn Stroyke. It’s not by accident but by meticulous planning that palm trees, blue skies, and ocean vistas follow you through home and yard. “The way the home is situated on the site takes full advantage of the lot,” explains Freedman, whose real estate acumen is supplemented with a Cornell architecture degree. “It’s got about a good a view that you can get in Hermosa Beach.”

The home opens onto the formal living room, a floating space with walls of glass on three sides, revealing grand vistas. “The living room became the perfect space to utilize the cantilever which welcomes you as you enter in the front door,” says architect Tomaro.

“Entering the living room gives the sense as if you are floating over the ocean in the view beyond.” From the exterior, it’s one of the home’s most captivating features—a glassy cube seemingly held up by air. “The floating, cantilevered look softens things,” says the home’s builder, Dan Bronner of Dolphin Construction. “It really lightens up a big structure.”

The main floor of the home’s interior hosts a myriad of clean-cut and spacious gathering spaces, nearly all of them designed to grant instant access to the outdoors via endless glass walls and doors that pocket neatly into the walls.

The openness of the home lends a flow to, and between, indoor and outdoor spaces. “The style of the Tennyson project is a coastal contemporary home that was driven by the family’s active lifestyle,” explains Tomaro. “The clean lines and floor-to-ceiling glass create a modern feel that allowed us to fully capitalize on the stunning views this sight had to offer,” he adds.

The kitchen, for instance, a gleaming place of wood, steel, and stone, adjoins not only the outdoors but also a spacious family room and a sitting nook—a pure white space that connects dramatically to the back yard via glass walls.

“The sliding doors that pocket into the wall allows you to join the front and back of the house together,” notes Bronner. “It’s a wonderful place to have an entertaining evening, and have it flow seamlessly from the back yard, through the house, and into the front yard.”

Speaking of the outdoors, the size of the lot affords plenty of al fresco areas; each varies but all look and feel like the leisured grounds of a world-class resort. “There are multiple entertainment areas,” Tomaro describes, “with the pool and yard providing a focal point for the public and private spaces to wrap around, creating a constant indoor-outdoor relationship.”

Due to the amount of space, says Stroyke, “There are no hard decisions. You’re able to accommodate everything. The back yard features an elegant swimming pool and spa adjacent to a covered cabana that’s ideal for warm-weather lounging.

Steps away is a tidy sports court, and at the southwest corner of the grassy front yard, a spacious hot tub with a dramatic fire feature. “You can sit with quite a few people, have a glass of wine and overlook Catalina Island with fantastic views,” says Freedman.

Back inside, the top floor features four of the home’s five bedrooms, including a mellow master suite with a custom mahogany beam-work ceiling, inlaid fireplace and fresh-air sitting balcony that faces the ocean square on—one of the home’s many spots to ponder the brilliant colors at sunset.

An equally prime place is the master bath suite, a luxurious space decked in wood and natural stone, with plentiful ocean views, even from the soaking tub and the generous walk-in shower.

Not to miss on this floor is a grand deck, over 1,000 feet in size, adjoining a spacious gym and dance rehearsal studio. Cleverly shaded to blunt the sun’s strongest rays, and capture a full panorama of ocean views, from north to south, this private space beckons as a lounge for everyday use, or as an ideal site for full-blown soirées.

Rounding out the home’s star-studded amenities is a lower level with a plush theater, chic wine cellar and kid-friendly recreation room. A seven-car garage, in addition to an exterior parking area, is a convenient touch for a home that’s bound to have guests.

“It’s a big, pavilion home that at once is perfect for a family, yet has this architectural verve about it that’s livable, yet uplifting,” says Freedman. Indeed, this sculpted and elegant place, soaked in light and ocean vistas, and stocked with abundant outdoor spaces satisfies the most-sought-after trifecta in South Bay luxe house hunting.

There’s no need to make those not-uncommon compromises, such as swapping views for size, and foregoing pool dreams in order to save precious lawn space. As Stroyke simply sums it up: “With this property, you can have your cake and eat it too.”


Rob Freedman | 310.291.7779
of The Domo Group – RE/MAX Estate Properties

Bryn Stroyke | 310.880.3436
of Stroyke Properties

List Price

Modern Home Screams L.A. Nature, Architecture & Privacy

Certain elements characterize a great home in Los Angeles. First and foremost is the proximity to nature. Privacy is a marker too, and architecture that harmonizes with the environment another.

A midcentury modern-style home with a pool, low-slung profile, flat roof and large expanses of glass that blur the boundaries between indoors and out is ideal. Unfortunately, this elusive triptych is increasingly difficult to find within the city’s boundaries. But this combination of privacy, nature, and architecture finds an eloquent expression at 14400 Villa Woods Place.

First, the accessibility to nature here is a feature at the heart of the homes located in the Will Rogers State Park neighborhood—a fact that’s immediately clear when winding up Will Rogers State Park Road. The softly curving drive quickly erases the memory of busy Sunset Boulevard in favor of lush, rolling hills and cavorting wildlife: parades of waddling ducks, leaping deer, and clusters of curious rabbits are a common occurrence here.

The destination, one of the first houses built in this community with two bedroom wings that stretch out from a central living space, has been cited to embrace both the pool and the unbroken vista of the Park’s 168 acres.

A private gate in the property’s fence offers direct access to its numerous hiking paths and horse trails, breathtaking lookout points, elegant lawns, and polo fields, with additional trails that connect the home to Topanga and Temescal Canyon State Parks. There’s no need for a weekend place. With the countryside your backyard, escape is always within reach.


The home’s setting offers the twin attributes of solitude and privacy. While situated within a few minutes of the sophisticated dining, shopping and cultural pleasures of Brentwood, Pacific Palisades and Santa Monica, including the Getty Museum and Rick Caruso’s vibrant Palisades Village, and within moments of PCH, this hidden enclave is a world unto itself.

Located at the end of a quiet cul-de-sac, this area, which sees infrequent traffic, is unique in its ability to provide children with a protected space in which to ride bikes and skateboards (witness the skateboard ramp at the end of the block). Parents who remember the blissful anonymity of their childhood explorations will appreciate this rare gift; they’ll also enjoy the peace of mind afforded by the safety of their secluded enclave.

Last but certainly not least is the home itself. Building on the foundation of solid construction and beautiful craftsmanship that are the hallmarks of midcentury modern style, the single level home, ideally positioned on a generous lot, has been remodeled and updated, with an eye for both beauty and modern conveniences as its driving factors and a solar-heated pool and fire pit.

Expansive walls of glass flood the large central living room and book-lined dining area with light and overlook the pool, creating the perfect space for entertaining friends and family, whether for a casual weekend brunch with a few friends—with plenty of space for outdoor lounging, entertaining and dining, such a day will fly by—or an elegant cocktail soirée for a hundred or more guests. A fire pit is a natural place to gather.

Inside the home, wood-burning fireplaces, cathedral ceilings, and wood floors suffuse the interior with inviting warmth. The balanced proportions of these rooms, which also hooks the family room, bar, and 3/4 bath, as well as a spacious eat-in kitchen into the rhythm of daily life, allow each member of the family to find their own space while still enjoying the feeling of comfort that comes from visual contact.

This interconnectedness allows for the natural ebb and flow between privacy and togetherness. The beautifully landscaped grounds, flush with citrus trees that are plump with fruit, include a large rear yard complete with a soccer pitch lit for nighttime play, a zip line, and a tree house.

Five bedrooms—a pair with a shared bath on either wing, plus a master suite with generous French doors opening on to the pool—ensure a space for everyone to dream. Guests will especially enjoy the anonymity of coming and going at their leisure, content not to disturb the rest of the house when tiptoeing in after midnight or enjoying a late-night snack.

For those who work at home, an office designed with built-in storage is directly accessible from the carport. Its dual work stations discretely overlook the pool, allowing parents to catch up on work while keeping an eye on their children. When it’s time for a break, grab the dog and call the kids to join you on the half-mile trek up to Inspiration Point.

From here you can see from Santa Monica Bay all the way to downtown. If a home is all about location, you couldn’t have picked a more perfect spot. Top of the world, indeed.


Ellen McCormick
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California

List Price


Manhattan Beach-Modern Home

The Sand Section west of Highland Avenue, south of Manhattan Beach Boulevard, presents an incomparable lifestyle opportunity for residents where one can bask in the sun beachside, yet on enough of a hill for more privacy and stupendous views.

Stretching 90 feet north to south along Highland, this property captures heart-stopping scenes from bookend balconies. To the north, one can see to Malibu and beyond, and, from the multiple south facing decks, enchanting vistas of Catalina and Palos Verdes. Couple beach proximity with walkability to village-like downtown Manhattan Beach and all it offers, and 235 4th Street just might have it all.

This brilliant modern home emanates warmth and character from the exterior forward, with vertical wood trimming and a mix of metal and glass details that accent clean lines. Entering the home through its dramatic foyer is as welcoming an experience as if arriving at a luxury resort featuring a soft palette of natural colors and textures.

A mix of concrete, wood, and bronze run steadily through the property yet there are elements of surprise in each space: tiles imitating wood, vertical stacked stone, live edge wood details, and metal counters posing as lacquered wood. Meanwhile, glints of light patterns from custom-designed fixtures, bottom-lit cabinetry, and back-lit mirrors foster an overall relaxing ambiance.

“I wanted everything to have an organic feel that is warm and welcoming,” explains Realtor and interior designer for the property, Cindy Shearin of The Shearin Group.

Well known in the South Bay, Shearin hand-selected each component in the residence. Echoing philosophies of Frank Lloyd Wright, she was steadfast in bringing the outdoors in via Fleetwood doors and calculating locations for glass, mirrors, and windows to reflect light, all while mixing metals, wood, and glass to create something radiant and fresh. Also throughout are wide plank French Oak floors and butterfly-cut walnut cabinets and doors that pop against the monochromatic pale walls and ceilings.


Likewise, are the use of beautifully executed built-ins throughout the home. Shearin feels strongly that a home should be designed with an abundance of storage but that those storage areas must complement, not overwhelm the spaces.

At the entrance of the home, a large flex space that Shearin calls “the beach room” spills out onto the front yard via glass Fleetwood doors. Here, party guests might mingle around the striking wet bar while warming up near the contemporary cement fireplace. Hosting a Super Bowl or Fourth of July party, or simply playing pool with family and friends in this space makes for endless indoor-outdoor fun.

Just under 4,000 square feet, the home features four spacious bedroom suites, two powder rooms, and multiple flex spaces. “We decided to stay with four bedrooms to make them generous in size instead of just cramming in a fifth bedroom,” explains Shearin. The large master suite is incredibly inviting; elongated and both charming and comfortable, the space includes an architectural feature wall that cleverly disguises a built-in changing or grooming area. Masculine touches, like leather drawer-pulls on floating built-ins play well flanked against the vertically stacked rough-cut stone fireplace.


Here and throughout the entire home, floating cabinets appear almost weightless. The luxurious master bath, with stingray textured floor tiles, beckons one to rejuvenate in the soaker tub or steam shower. Layers of texture and light give dimension to the minimalistic design details in the bathrooms, like back-lit mirrors and textured tiles with angulation.

“All of the components we used are top-of-the-line—Dornbracht, Watermark, and Waterstone fixtures and Kallista vanities,” explains Shearin. Contemporary components from the bronze or cement sinks to the painted metal cabinets all yield a subtle yet artistic feel.

A work of art in itself, the home’s dramatic, centrally located stairs float beautifully between its four floors with a massive pendant light commanding the space above. This amazing source of illumination was created by Milan-based Argentinian designer Franco Gomez-Paz. The bulbous, almost theatrical, design inspired the balance of the organically designed fixtures throughout the residence.

The top floor hosts the main living areas including the delightfully modern kitchen, which features bold espresso walnut cabinets accompanied by a mix of black and stainless Miele appliances. Meanwhile, a Cambria quartz kitchen island, featuring waterfall edging, is complemented by a walnut eat-in bar… an inspired layout.


Opposite the kitchen is a large dining area that will comfortably accommodate up to 10 guests. Also on this floor is a relaxed family room, with glass doors opening up to a large north facing balcony. Here, one can dine al fresco on the outdoor dining table with a meal grilled on the built-in barbecue. The dining area flows effortlessly into an oversized living room featuring a fireplace and floating walnut cabinet.

The sophisticated living room opens onto a tremendous balcony that overlooks one of the most desirable walk streets in Manhattan Beach. From this deck, one can enjoy gazing at the Pacific Ocean and much of Palos Verdes. This space includes an abundance of neutral-toned floating cabinets and a stacked marble fireplace, as well as the final stop for the residential elevator. The rooms are surrounded by black metal-framed Fleetwood windows that allow natural light to pour into the home.

The bottom floor possesses a nice flex space, perfect for a workout area or office, while just above, on the entry level, is a three-car garage with a modern metal-framed glass garage door. Discreetly tucked away here is the Lifesource Water Filtration system with descaler, a Beach Cities’ necessity.

Rare it is for a Sand Section home to claim a yard but the topography of this lot allows for a flat grassy front and side yard, supplying added space for kids, or a pet, to run and play. In addition, it results in a unique ground floor main entry and a large flat patio area that is perfect for entertaining or simply relaxing and enjoying the sunset. Top it all off with just what every beach house needs—an outdoor shower to rinse off after a surf—and this home truly has it all: grace, convenience, and stunning views.





A Modernist Iconic Home in Studio City

A Modernist Iconic Home in Studio City

This iconic home in Studio City, a brick and glass house, once home to acclaimed graphic and industrial designer Roger Kennedy, who designed it with Mid-century modern architect Bernard Zimmerman, FAIA, was built in 1970 on nearly a half-acre lot.

The unique, 2,000-square-foot property is situated in an area “known for its prominent residents active in the film and television industry since producer Mack Sennett developed the silent-film era studio today known as the CBS Studio Center on Ventura Boulevard, just off Laurel Canyon,” says Realtor Michael D. Phillips.

Westerns of the 1940s and 1950s, as well as television productions such as Leave It To Beaver, The Mary Tyler Moore Show, Gilligan’s Island and Big Brother were also filmed on-site.

In collaboration with his friend and architect Zimmerman, Kennedy chose to shape in this neighborhood—which has many restaurants, shops and nightspots—a house for himself and his wife, Lois, as well as his ideal design studio, all under one roof.

“The Kennedy Residence offers an outstanding example of something exceedingly rare in Los Angeles: a pure Modernist house executed in brick and glass, rather than the lighter post-and-beam structure typical here,” explains Phillips.

Possibly inspired by modernism movements in the United Kingdom and continental Europe (in the 1960s), and a few American architects such as Ulrich Franzen and Arthur Dekker, traditional brick construction is reinvented here with a sculptural aesthetic that opens up the masonry with floor-to-ceiling windows and leaves the material exposed inside.

Solid brick implies a degree of permanence and Kennedy himself once told veteran architectural Realtor Crosby Doe that he intended “the house to last 200 years.”


“With Zimmerman, Kennedy worked out a program that anticipated the loft living being pioneered by artists in New York City and Downtown Los Angeles at just about the same time, with a dynamic open plan for what he used as the residential quarters,” Phillips explains.

Sweeping views of the San Fernando Valley, soft north light and privacy characterize this house, where Kennedy’s old studio can be used as an office or a master suite.

“Even though this modern icon was something of a sensation when first constructed, and was featured on the cover of the Home Magazine insert of the Los Angeles Times, it is so secluded, it’s invisible in plain sight, yet offers light, air and city vistas,” says Doe.


Michael D. Phillips 310.927.9189
and  Crosby Doe 310.275.2222
of Crosby Doe Associates, Inc.

List Price $1.595 million


Modern Heaven In The South Bay

To truly understand an exclusive South Bay estate like 941 Via Nogales is to experience it. Mere photos do not sufficiently express the sheer grandness of its rooms, nor its abundance of heavenly views. A home like this must be felt; look out over the vast Pacific, the white water vistas of the entire Queen’s Necklace and over downtown Los Angeles, and one is swept away.

“Meticulous attention to detail, scale and volume, have created this timeless masterpiece,” explains Chris Adlam of Vista Sotheby’s International Realty.

The magnificent showpiece awaits a charmed individual to match its refined elegance and stateliness. While its incredible volume may at first glance make the home appear almost museum-like, once inside, it is welcoming and summons scenes of a life shared with friends, family, and colleagues. Beyond this harmonious feeling, the home inspires with insurmountable quality from design to construction.

Notably, the estate was conceived by developer Subir Chowdhury, a consultant, and author known as the “quality expert” according to the New York Times. He has written 15 books, many of which have saved Fortune 500 companies billions of dollars with his best business practices and philosophies.

Well, warranted are his honoraries, as the quality in the home expresses a perfect state of craftsmanship, architectural design, and spatial nature. Perched atop Palos Verdes Estates, along a lushly landscaped street of properties worth millions, this modern masterpiece is discreetly tucked into the hillside.

Protected by a lovely slate roof and trimmed with copper rain gutters and mahogany eaves, the home is expansive; at just over 7,100 square feet, there is tremendous scale and openness via a flowing layout.

One easily envisions the ultimate charity event held here. From the music room, where guests can sip cocktails to the sounds of a pianist, to the formal living room, where a party can move about the graceful sitting areas of the home, through to the gorgeous dining room with built-in buffets providing ample storage, to the family room, then on to the expansive balcony overlooking the Pacific.

Throughout the home are soaring, architecturally detailed ceilings dotted with skylights, with the centrally located, light-filled atrium creating a dramatic ambiance. The walls are swathed in black iron windows and glass doors while the entire back of the home on both levels are trimmed in massive Fleetwood glass doors that open up its entirety to gorgeous vistas.

Both feature tremendous balconies with awe-inspiring views of the ocean, neighboring trees and pretty landscapes. Upper and lower balconies alike have room for outdoor dining and living areas, and also include built-in barbecues, refrigerators and a cooking prep area.

On the lower balcony is the pristine infinity pool that appears to spill off into the sea. “The striking views across the infinity pool span up the coastline, and include city lights, as well as from Malibu and beyond,” says Adlam. A few steps down from the lower balcony one can cozy by the firepit on cool nights while children run and play on the grassy lawn further below.

On the top floor, the state-of-the-art chef’s kitchen is well planned and includes every convenience, from an oversized Thermador range with grill and griddle to refrigerated Sub-Zero drawers and multiple dishwashers. Uniquely, and conveniently for the tidy entertainer feeding hungry guests at the eat-in bar, the kitchen has an additional cleaning area and dishwasher at the adjacent marble-topped wet bar. Here, effortlessly beautiful statuary marble countertops are complemented by warm wood-grained cabinets throughout.

One descends the modern stairwell and arrives at an impressive foyer; this center space connects the downstairs bedrooms and common areas. Just across is the 500-plus bottle wine cellar that looks like a work of art (or a display in a Michael Mina restaurant), which is conveniently located near the eight-person home theater. There are four bedrooms on this level as well as the master suite.

The en-suite bedrooms all have clean lines, high ceilings, and iron casement windows. Each bath is individually designed with fresh tile patterns blending glass tiles, marble, concrete, and unique light fixtures. The serene master suite, meanwhile, includes one of the five sleek modern fireplaces in the home, with the one here designed in rough-cut limestone.

The space is comprised of a large comfortable living space with two sets of Fleetwood glass doors that open to the balcony, which is just steps to the hot tub and infinity pool. The master bath is rich in design with floor-to-ceiling, marble-framed vanities and floors, self-cleaning his-and-hers toilets, and a luxurious steam shower and jetted tub. Completing the master suite is a large closet with a plethora of built-ins for two.

Loaded with every au courant amenity one could possibly wish for, this smart home is controlled by a savant system by Crestron and includes a residential elevator as well as a three-car garage. Meticulously detailed, the surrounding landscapes, stone retainer walls and modern gates provide privacy while beautifully blending with flora and fauna.

“This exceptional home raises the bar on luxury,” concludes Adlam. “Words and photos do not do it justice… there’s simply nothing else like it.”


Chris Adlam of Vista Sotheby’s

International Realty

List Price


First Class Malibu Villa

While the beachside homes of Malibu receive most of the attention, the oceanfront community offers a number of secret neighborhoods. Located on the north side of Pacific Coast Highway, these properties stun with breathtaking views, generous acreage, and unparalleled privacy.

While set sway from the prying eyes of paparazzi and casual day-trippers, discerning homeowners are quick to appreciate the balance of amenities here: accessibility to the area’s natural and man-made charms—boutiques and specialty shops, restaurants, beaches, hiking paths and winding horse trails, with a bonus of generous acreage and seclusion.

Malibu Park, bordered on the north by the Santa Monica Mountains Recreation Area and on the south by Zuma Beach, is one of those areas. Quiet roads swing by well-hidden homes. Here, the lively and sophisticated center of Malibu, let alone the chaos of Los Angeles, seems like a distant memory.

Turning onto Merritt Drive from Busch Drive, the verdant basin of land that underlines the mesmerizing vista of mountains and sky enhances this impression. Perhaps it’s the solid wall, tinted the faint yellow tone of a European summer, that runs along two sides of the property, but Southern California seems to vanish, replaced by the quiet countryside of Italy.

The gate opens, confirming this feeling. The one-story ocean-view home, washed in the same glow, is at once grand and welcoming, its almost 12,000-square-foot size only dwarfed by the splendor of the incomparable setting.

Composed of three generous parcels, the property totals close to seven acres. Veiled by distance and foliage, neighbors seem nonexistent. Impeccably landscaped, the grounds conjure up memories of Europe’s legendary formal gardens—The Villa Borghese, The Tuileries—with flower-lined pathways meandering throughout, past lemon and orange trees (one, conveniently situated just outside the home’s kitchen).

There are pomegranate bushes, laden with ruby red fruit, here too. Benches beneath decades-old shade trees are picturesque spots for reading or meditation. As the weather warms, the flower garden, planted with roses and agapanthus, vibrates with color, while a vegetable garden with raised wooden beds serves up an abundant array of vegetables and herbs.

Why leave the tranquil comforts of a lazy Sunday morning at home for the drive to the Malibu Country Mart and weekly farmers’ market when the produce here rivals anything you might find there?

The world, in fact, is happy to come to this doorstep—where it can be easily accommodated. The driveway holds up to a dozen cars; a subterranean garage has parking for a half-dozen more (with its double-gated entryway, it’s the perfect place to stash a burgeoning collection of vintage vehicles). Those arriving to play in a casual tennis tournament will find a full-size tennis court with a backboard for solo practice.

A covered pergola with stadium seating overlooking the playing field is the perfect place for guests to enjoy strawberries and cream, a nod to Wimbledon’s storied tradition. Of course, snacks here mark a serious upgrade: fruit harvested from the garden. Later, friends enjoy a dip in the pool and relaxing in the spa before dinner is served; others can express their energy on the bocce ball court.

Nano doors that fully open the dining room to the pool eventually beckon the party inside. A glass ceiling filters the light to cast a glow over the room, while flames in the fireplace ease the transition from day to night. With the dining room situated towards the park-like grounds, dinner here is buoyed by the incomparable serenity and peace of the surroundings. Later, there will be drinks in the grand setting of the formal living room, coddled by the warmth of good conversation and, as the evening’s ideal top-off, a movie in the home’s media room with its oversized motorized screen and plush furniture.

Entertaining, however gracious, is only one aspect of what a home must accomplish. It must also demonstrate an ability to support a family’s daily activities. To this end are generous bedrooms with walk-in closets that allow everyone a space of their own, guest rooms to host friends and family, an inspiring place in which to work and, in a house of this size, comfortable quarters for live-in assistance.

Exceeding expectations, this home also is poised to take advantage of Southern California’s pleasant weather: each bedroom opens to the outdoors, framing magnificent views. En-suite bedrooms feature generous soaking tubs, steam showers, and bidets.

Yet, unlike many homes of this size, which attempt to overcome their shortcomings with showy features, this residence has an air of informality that is ideally suited to a community where jeans and a t-shirt is the appropriate uniform for every occasion. Similarly, here luxury is in the details—fine materials and flawless craftsmanship.

Consider the marble in luscious, rare colors (rose, racing green) that elevate the home’s 10 bathrooms; the mother of pearl tile in a powder room; the custom Provencal-inspired kitchen; the library, with its hand-carved built-in bookshelves; and, the expansive master suite, where two bathrooms, two dressing rooms with cedar-lined closets and a gym create a private sanctuary.

Features, from the custom screen doors to the home security system, which commands everything from the light patterns to the music—is of the highest quality. There are even outdoor dog houses and a dog washing station for family pets. Truly, this home has it all—and then some. Let others come here. With all of this at one’s fingertips, why ever leave?

LIST PRICE $18,000,000



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