Hidden Beauty

Secluded in a cul-de-sac in Pacific Palisades, this home stuns with its views and its grandeur

Written by Abigail Stone | Photography by Paul Jonason
Offered by Anthony Marguleas, Amalfi Estates
List price $6,899,000

Just north of the Getty Villa, a curving road right off Pacific Coast Highway winds up towards 468 Surfview Drive. Set into a cul-de-sac at the top of the hill, the home is hidden from view by a thick wall of hedges. Enter through the wooden gate and you’re momentarily taken aback: The house, much larger than you would expect, sits on a promontory sunken just below the road level. A wide stairway leads down to the imposing wrought iron and glass front door, the pathway shaded by a gracious portico. Lush grass spreading out from either side wraps around the house—a welcome hint of the elegance you’ll find within.

Stepping inside the home confirms its striking first impression. The living room unfurls, leading you to a wall of windows framing the backyard and the expanse of sky and sea beyond. Generous without being cavernous, this room is large enough to dwarf a grand piano, yet still intimate enough to feel cozy—a delicate balance that portends days spent around the fireplace as a family, reading or catching up, as well as entertaining friends and business associates. There’s also a carved wooden bookcase built into one wall. The formal dining room is nearby, set into a spacious alcove.

Secluded to the right corner of this floor, the large kitchen allows a chef to take charge while shrouding his or her work in mystery; the delicate morsels whisked out to the living room as the only preparatory proof. Such work is made easy when the kitchen boasts a Viking stove, a Sub-Zero refrigerator, an expansive island and a separate, capacious pantry.  There’s also a built-in breakfast nook, ideal for morning meals or as a place to hang out and chat while dinner is being prepared. A secluded bedroom, tucked into the same corner and accessible by a separate entrance, is perfect for live-in help or as a private enclave for guests who value the ability to come and go without disturbing the family.

It’s the backyard—the space around which the family’s life revolves, especially on the weekends—that draws most visitors. The chairs around the fire pit feel like an extension of the living room. Though you may bring a book out here with the best of intentions, it’s forgotten as you find yourself transfixed by the view. On a clear day, you can see the Queen’s Necklace all the way down the coastline, out towards Catalina and up towards the Channel Islands. The sense of privacy here is equally intoxicating. With the next-door neighbor dropped out of sight down the hill on one side, and State parkland, with its many hiking trails on the other, it’s easy to forget that the hustle and bustle of the city is so close. The amenities of Palisades Village, the elegance of Santa Monica’s shops and restaurants, the laid-back beach community of Malibu, the freeway—all of it just moments away.

With its rock surround, the saltwater spa and pool seem to melt into the landscape. A riot of tropical plants vying for attention astound with unique shapes and florid colors. There’s a full outdoor kitchen here, and a small bar, tucked just inside the house, which opens to this area with a stable door; guests  will certainly appreciate that you have all the mixings for their favorite cocktails.

There’s no need to leave the house to work out, or even to go to work—there’s a full gym here, including a steam shower, and the meticulously designed and beautifully carved wood library offers enough space that inviting your colleagues to work at the house would be a frequent occurrence. In fact, with two workstations and a fireplace, it’s a wonder you make it into the office as often as you do. An adjoining den is a convivial spot for a meeting or to relax with a glass of wine as you review the events of a busy and productive day.

Upstairs, the master suite commandeers the space along the back of the house. Everything here is oriented towards the view, from the sunken bathtub set into a window to the long balcony that runs alongside the room and culminates in a large terrace. Two fully-appointed walk-in closets, each with the capacity to hold four seasons worth of clothes, round out the amenities. The three other en-suite bedrooms on this floor match this one in luxury. With equally vast walk-in closets, magnificent views and fireplaces, they provide everyone sanctuary within their own private and individual space.

Sometimes, sitting outside in the evening, watching the sun sinking into the sea and the lights twinkling along the coast, you’re reminded of that summer in Positano. You love traveling, but you love coming home even more. And really, who’d blame you?

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