Written by Abigail Stone | Photographs by Paul Jonason
Trousdale Estates, just up from the Soho House, is one of the city’s most desirable neighborhoods. Veer right onto Doheny Road and the hustle and bustle of Sunset Boulevard quickly fades in favor of the area’s rolling hills and serene roads. Mature trees nod to the neighborhood’s origin as part of Greystone Mansion grounds. Balancing privacy with accessibility, it’s no wonder that some of Hollywood’s most legendary names—Elvis Presley, Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and Tony Curtis—have called these streets home. Its mandated height restrictions ensure backyards with unobstructed views. Located in a city that now stretches from seaside Malibu to urbane Downtown and over to the Valley, and within easy driving distance of Beverly Hills’ world-class shopping and multi-starred restaurants, this part of the 90210 is in the center of it all.
Situated at the end of a cul de sac, 335 Trousdale Place is located on one of the area’s highest points, which becomes clear the moment you pass through the teak gates echoed in the home’s monumental front door. Even before stepping inside, you glimpse the stunning view through this glass front. It seems to offer the whole city in one inspiring scene. From Downtown to the ocean to the Getty Center, here is the sight of Los Angeles at its most mesmerizing, pulling you through the house toward the backyard.
“There’s a reason why Trousdale is the highest price per square foot in the city; seamless indoor-outdoor, organic, modern Beverly Hills living,” says Branden Williams of Hilton & Hyland, who is listing the luxury estate for $27.5 million. This 270-degree panorama has stiff competition in the home itself. In an enclave that boasts architecturally important houses by such famous architects as Wallace Neff, Paul R. Williams, A. Quincy Jones and Frank Lloyd Wright, this organic modern home, with its sleek, low profile, more than holds its own.
Steps lead down from the home’s front hallway into its elegant living room. Here, inviting, sensual furniture—a sinuous boomerang sofa, modeled after those designed by Adrian Pearsall, and velvet barrel chairs clustered around a fireplace set into a show-stopping marble wall on one side, with fur-covered armchairs grouped with a long leather couch on the other—created expressly for the home, exude glamour.
At night, the city lights create a dramatic background for cocktails, while the highly polished built-in teak wood bar puts everything close at hand. But, of course, it’s all about the view that forms the focal point of every room, from the dining room, where a live edge table for 10 sits under a shimmering modern crystal chandelier, to the kitchen with a breakfast table under another stunning light fixture, to the master bedroom featuring bronze details that catch the sun’s rays, to the master bathroom, where you can enjoy daylight along with a steam shower. Where else in the world, apart from Southern California, can you truly maximize the singular pleasures of indoor/outdoor living?
All are accounted for here: early morning laps; a post-dinner turn in the hot tub; a glass of wine at sunset; a nap in the outdoor guest house featuring sliding glass Sky-Frame doors to welcome in the sunshine. Such is the benefit of Los Angeles’ temperate climate, of which this house takes full advantage.
The house also reaps the aesthetic rewards of the exquisite materials used throughout: gold-veined marble in the guest bathroom, a rich millennial velvet channel headboard in the master bedroom, a living wall in the guest house. Complementing these elements are the home’s top-of-the-line kitchen appliances from Wolf, Miele and Sub-Zero, and state-of-the-art accessories including an oversized television and vintage Italian touch lamps in the media room, not to mention a sumptuous fur rug and a gleaming brass desk in the office, all luxuries befitting a property of this caliber that’s move-in ready.
With a roomy, fully-finished three-car garage that can be easily outfitted to hold three additional show cars, and a generous motor court able to accommodate almost a half dozen more, as well as plenty of street parking, this showpiece estate is one to share with friends. And with five bedrooms, there’s plenty of room for guests. Invite them at will, just know that it’s likely they’ll stay a while.
PRESENTED BY BRANDEN WILLIAMS AND RAYNI WILLIAMS
OF HILTON & HYLAND
LIST PRICE $27,500,000
Once home to actors Reese Witherspoon and Ryan Phillippe, this Gerard R. Colcord-designed estate at 1524 Stone Canyon Road in Bel-Air now is on the market for $15.999 million. Expect almost 9,000 square feet of charming Medieval-style living space boasting four bedrooms (most notably, a spacious master wing featuring a sitting room and wet bar); a great room with a soaring pitched ceiling and brick fireplace with built-in seating; and a media room. Among the home’s standout features: “I would say the dramatic high ceilings and exposed beams in the great room and master bedroom that are a Colcord signature,” says Tim Mullin, who is co-listing the property with Rick Ojeda and Nick Segal, all of Partners Trust. Rounding out this home’s special appeal is a guest house and park-like grounds replete with a sprawling terrace, full barbecue, pool and spa, and canyon and hillside views.
Jane Fonda and Richard Perry’s gated Beverly Hills estate is available for $9.995 million, listed by Jade Mills of Coldwell Banker Global Luxury. Found at 1575 Carla Ridge—in coveted Trousdale Estates—the four-bedroom residence boasts 7,000-plus square feet of open, eco-conscious living space on two levels, complete with walls of glass, vaulted ceilings, photovoltaic electric panels, bamboo flooring and a stunning glass elevator. Outside, the 36,272-square-foot lot offers a resort-like setting showcased by covered and open patios, a solar heated pool, viewing pavilion with fire pit and meditation garden with fountain—all with breathtaking canyon and ocean vistas.
Written by Wendy Bowman | Photography Courtesy of William Rust
The Beverly Hilton’s iconic Trader Vic’s has paved the way for a new upscale hotel. Now open in its place, the art deco-inspired Waldorf Astoria Beverly Hills adds a touch of sophisticated flair to the spot that once housed the retro Tiki bar—complete with panoramic views of the city from the rooftop deck, award-winning chef Jéan-Georges Vongerichten’s first West Coast restaurant and the tranquil Swiss spa La Prairie. The hotel is the brand’s first new build on the West Coast and second California property, joining the Waldorf Astoria portfolio of 26 hotels and resorts.
“This has been a dream of Owner Beny Alagem (who also owns The Beverly Hilton, which sits adjacent to the Waldorf Astoria) for years,” says Luc Delafosse, managing director of Waldorf Astoria Beverly Hills, a collaboration between architect and master planner Gensler, Perkins+Will, Oasis West Realty, Hilton and Pierre Yves Rochon Inc.
“The -acre property is a one-of-a-kind hospitality destination, with lushly landscaped grounds and gardens, approximately 6,300 square feet of indoor meeting and special events space, state-of-the-art technology offerings, and a ground-level outdoor dining terrace.”
Situated at 9850 Wilshire Blvd.—at the corner of Wilshire and Santa Monica boulevards, near other newcomers such as the Gratitude Beverly Hills restaurant—the 12-story hotel features 119 deluxe rooms and 51 suites priced from $815 per night.
Expect oversized accommodations featuring floor-to-ceiling windows opening onto private balconies, along with villa suites boasting manicured individual terraces and breathtaking views of the Hollywood Hills and urban canyon of Century City.
The hotel’s public spaces mesh legendary Hollywood glamour with the Streamline Moderne style of the 1930s and ’40s. Chic touches throughout include the triple-height lobby with a contemporized art-deco design, hand-painted murals, custom crystal chandeliers and elegant Lalique installations. Richly upholstered furniture in soothing tones of celadon, taupe and white is accented by alluring artwork.
Look for a trio of world-class dining venues helmed by legendary French Michelin-starred chef, Jean-Georges Vongerichten, and his hand-picked team of culinary experts: signature restaurant Jean-Georges Beverly Hills, as well as The Rooftop by JG and Jean-Georges Beverly Hills Bar. Among the most popular items on the menus (which showcase locally sourced ingredients) is the ahi tuna tartare with crushed avocado, radish and ginger dressing; avocado carpaccio pizza with serrano chili, cilantro and lime; beef tenderloin; and tasty cocktails, like the ginger margarita.
Rounding out this property are special amenities and services. Think a private Rolls Royce house car offering complimentary drop-off service within a two-mile radius; private cabanas at the rooftop pool; deluxe spa treatments using products from white caviar to pure gold at the La Prairie Spa; and makeovers at the Tracey Cunningham Salon, with services by celebrity hair colorist Tracey Cunningham. (Not to mention a personal concierge assigned to every guest.)
“The Waldorf Astoria Beverly Hills offers guests an opportunity to encounter unmatched luxury, world-class design and exclusive services in a one-of-a-kind hospitality experience that is unlike any in Los Angeles,” says Delafosse.
WALDORF ASTORIA BEVERLY HILLS
9850 WILSHIRE BLVD., BEVERLY HILLS, CA, 9021
310.860.6666 | WALDORFASTORIABEVERLYHILLS.COM
Written by Abigail Stone | Photography Courtesy of Paul Jonason
Presented by Kim Pollard, Jenro Realty Company
Brentwood is undeniably one of the most desirable and affluent enclaves in Los Angeles. And for good reason. Perfectly situated within easy driving distance to Santa Monica and Beverly Hills and with the best the city has to offer, its generous tree-lined streets are bordered with beautiful homes. Top-rated public and private schools draw families. It’s not unusual to bump into friends, neighbors, and classmates while dining at one of the area’s fine restaurants, shopping at Whole Foods or perusing Sunday’s farmers’ market. The Brentwood Country Club, the Brentwood Country Mart and Brentwood Village are favorite gathering places for eating and shopping.
In proximity to Brentwood Village, on an oversized lot (more than 13,000 square feet) less than a mile west of the 405 and south of Sunset, you’ll find 128 Granville Avenue. Shielded by a beautiful wooden fence and electric farmhouse gate, the stately shingled home features an elegant motor court paved in silver travertine. A three-car garage is skillfully integrated into the design. Though the style of this house nods to the coastal cottages of Cape Cod, its elegance and panache is pure Los Angeles.
A giant red door introduces a bright welcome opening to a grand two-story foyer that leads through the first floor to the backyard, confirming the magnificent proportions that belie what is first suggested by the home’s exterior. An octagonal window above the front floods the space with light, illuminating details—finely turned moldings, rich walnut floors—that distinguish a beautiful home from a merely cookie-cutter one.
These details don’t stop at the front door. Everywhere you look are estate-quality finishes: arresting honey onyx marble covering the powder room; book-matched Macuba white marble cascading over the kitchen’s generous island; and a Jerusalem marble fireplace forming the focal point of the formal living room. They are also in the small touches that the home’s builder thoughtfully included: two washers and dryers in the laundry room, the generous closet in the upstairs hallway, the kitchen’s double ovens, double dishwashers and Sub-Zero drawers. And, of course, this attention to detail is most apparent in the home’s layout. Taking into account the needs of a modern family, it deftly balances public and private space, skillfully navigating the indoor/outdoor life that underscores the quintessential Southern California lifestyle.
Consider the sunroom, tucked just to the right of the front door. With more people working remotely, finding the perfect spot for a home office is tricky. It needs to be just far enough from the main action to be quiet, yet located where it enables you to keep an eye on the home’s comings and goings, whether it’s the children arriving home after school, a daily UPS drop-off, visiting neighbors, or a messenger bearing an unexpected floral delivery. This spot fulfills all the requirements of a modern workspace. Finishing touches—built-in surround sound (a feature throughout the home) and a window seat, ideal for a quick cat nap—make it a place where one looks forward to spending time.
“…attention to detail is most apparent in the home’s layout. Taking into account the needs of a modern family, it deftly balances public and private space, skillfully navigating the indoor/ outdoor life that underscores the quintessential Southern California lifestyle.”
The gourmet kitchen is a prime example of SoCal living at its finest. This one, situated at the apex of the home’s open-plan suite of entertaining rooms, which includes a formal living room, family room and dining room, is not just a centerpiece, it’s a showpiece. With a Wolf six-burner range, a side-by-side Sub-Zero refrigerator and freezer with four drawers, an in-counter Wolf microwave and a double oven, it offers an unobstructed sightline to the backyard and the pool (a convenience for the cook who’s also a parent). Tucked into a hallway: a generous pantry and a climate-controlled wine cellar ensures the perfect bottle is always at hand and ready to uncork at the end of a long day.
Three sets of oversized French doors open these rooms to the generous backyard. Shaded by a pergola that mutes the sun’s rays, transmuting them into soft, filtered light, the home’s exterior doubles its entertaining space. There’s plenty of room here for an outdoor living and dining room. With the pool set into the lawn just beyond, children can splash while adults carry on conversation.
A spiral staircase winds down from the balcony off the master bedroom on the second floor; although, given the luxury bestowed on each of the en-suite bedrooms on this level, they all vie for the honor of “master” status. The opulent master edges out the others by virtue of the size of its bathroom, with a steam shower large enough to fit two comfortably and access to two walk-in closets. At night, when sinking into the capacious tub lit by a skylight, you can sometimes glimpse the stars twinkling overhead. No need to wish on them. Life is good.
This charming Spanish-style home looks like it’s right out of the Deep South—complete with a gated drive leading to an all-white, columned exterior boasting a gracious front porch and covered balcony, all nestled amid lush green trees. But make no mistake…although the theme continues inside with a hidden prohibition bar, this newly built abode is thoroughly modern—from its elegant interiors featuring a custom mural by famed Mexican street artist Iskar to its entertaining outdoor environs highlighted by a sparkling Baja-ledge pool and loaded cabana.
“The unique Southern character and charm, coupled with all of today’s modern conveniences, gives the home a unique twist,” says Debbie Rauh of Rodeo Realty of Beverly Hills, who is listing the property for $3.799 million. “When you walk inside, what is so unique and interesting is the charming Southern traditional feel, yet it has an open contemporary concept that aligns perfectly with the overall aesthetics.”
Found at 832 N. Ogden Drive—in the Melrose Village neighborhood, within easy walking distance to The Grove, Farmers Market and Fairfax District—the three-level, the five-bedroom residence was completely redone by Shai Abishoor of House of Shoor Design in 2017. Expect almost 5,000 square feet of opulent open living space highlighted by soaring ceilings, distressed French oak flooring, art-deco light fixtures, custom cast-iron doors, encaustic cement tiles by Ann Sacks and Tabarka Studio, and a home-automation system.
Among the stand-out features: a gourmet kitchen featuring vintage nautical brass fixtures and statuario marble countertops, along with a natural stone-finished rooftop deck replete with a built-in lounge area, bar, barbecue, cozy fireplace, and dramatic views of Century City and Hollywood Hills. A grand open living room leads to the home’s heavenly backyard, showcasing a shimmering pool with a large shelf ideal for sunbathing, a relaxing spa, and an adjacent building sporting an inviting walk-in bar.
“What I think makes this property so special is that the developer is an artist himself,” says Rauh. “He built the house as a means to express his creative and artistic vision, which is evident as you tour the home. This artistic masterpiece was selected out of hundreds of homes for sale in an area to be featured on the exclusive TV show Behind the Gates.”
PRESENTED BY DEBBIE RAUH
RODEO REALTY OF BEVERLY HILLS
SOLD PRICE $3.565 MILLION
Written by Wendy Bowman
Written by Wendy Bowman
Home to some of Hollywood’s most glam gatherings—including more than 200 annual red carpet extravaganzas—The Beverly Hilton is upping its special-occasion game with a new multimillion-dollar urban oasis. Designed as a seamless indoor-outdoor event experience, complete with fashionable furnishings and living succulent walls, The Gardens opened in June and adds extra flourish to the property’s already thriving event operations.
“We’ve always wanted a dedicated outdoor space to take full advantage of Southern California’s amazing weather, where we would be able to create unique and quintessentially ‘California’ experiences,” says Sandy Murphy, the hotel’s general manager. “The Gardens enhance the already extraordinary event experience at The Beverly Hilton—from the renowned International Ballroom that hosts the Golden Globe Awards to the other three ballrooms.”
The Gardens are designed for various occasions, including weddings, social affairs, fashion shows, launch activities, press junkets and photo shoots, as well as corporate meetings and retreats. Expect two distinctive and versatile settings: The largest space at 6,650 square feet, the alfresco Wilshire Garden features a lush green lawn and living walls boasting more than 5,000 varieties of succulent plants, and accommodates up to 600 guests at round tables or ceremony-style seating; the connecting 1,760-square-foot Secret Garden hosts up to 100 amid palm trees, cozy nooks, chic furnishings and a striking waterfall feature.
“The rich, living succulent walls make a stunning backdrop for events, and the glass doors between the Wilshire Garden and Secret Garden provide a seamless transition from one space to the other,” says Murphy. “What makes the space so unique is its versatility. It offers the perfect blank canvas for any type of event.”
“We’ve always wanted a dedicated outdoor space to take full advantage of Southern California’s amazing weather, where we would be able to create unique and quintessentially ‘California’ experiences.”
– Sandy Murphy, General Manager of The Beverly Hilton
Also new on the lineup is an expansion of the hotel’s popular Beverly Hills Collection of meeting spaces and ballrooms with the addition of the California Terrace. The 1,220-square-foot area is highlighted by a retractable wall of windows, bringing abundant light and space to the pre-function area and elegantly connecting to the Beverly Hills Ballroom.
“From high-profile celebrity galas to fast-paced corporate affairs, the hotel’s skilled team has events down to a science, from catering to operations,” says Murphy. “We already offered a wide variety of spaces, and The Gardens just expands our versatility even more…so that we truly have something for every type of event.”
THE GARDENS AT THE BEVERLY HILTON
9876 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90210
310.274.7777 | beverlyhilton.com
Written by Abigail Stone | Photography Courtesy of Lucas Cichon and Nick Springett
Presented by Timothy Di Prizito and Joyce Rey, Coldwell Banker Global Luxury and Mauricio Umansky, The Agency
List Price: $35,555,000
Unlike other cities, Los Angeles does not reveal its secrets to the casual visitor. The best parts of the city—marquee restaurants, top shops—are hidden from easy view. The same is true of the best homes. This is certainly true of Beverly Hills. The city that tourists know about, the one at which they gawk and visit, is only the tip of the iceberg. The creme de la creme of the city’s properties are a well-kept secret. Long winding roads and gates keep all but invited guests at bay, with one of the best addresses in Beverly Hills only known to a few.
Beverly Park, well-concealed in the hills above Beverly Hills, although an easy drive from the center of town, is not only a world unto itself, it’s a world unlike any other, exclusive as they come. Created to evoke the legendary properties of the past, the 100-acre neighborhood boasts a rarefied group of famous residents, including Sumner Redstone, Mike Medavoy, Denzel Washington and Mark Wahlberg.
It’s here that you’ll find 72 Beverly Park. Located in the northern part of the gated and secure community, behind tall, mature hedges, the house is well-hidden, with little gleaned from the road. The house truly stuns. Designed by Richard Landry, who has created homes for Gisele Bundchen and Tom Brady, Wayne Gretzky, Eddie Murphy, Rod Stewart and Michael Jackson, among others, and appears regularly on Architectural Digest’s annual list of top designers and architects, the flawless 20,000-square-foot contemporary is the centerpiece of an astoundingly large, flat and beautifully landscaped 6.78 acre parcel.
Commanding astonishing views across green hillsides and the bustling city below, the sprawling property seems to extend forever, neighbors veiled by distance and lush topography. Mature palms and towering pines surround a perfectly manicured lawn dotted by all the amenities that define a world-class resort. All for the enjoyment of you, your family and your guests. A sunken tennis court, pool and spa, waterfalls, walking trails and a plunge pool create a secluded world, protected from prying eyes and nosy paparazzi. State-of-the-art safety features include a security pavilion, surveillance cameras and a safe room. In addition, the community’s diligent patrol and stringent safety measures ensure protection.
A formal dining room, a living room with a fireplace and French doors
that open onto a multi-tiered waterfall, and spacious family room
that seamlessly connects to the large grassy pool area
form the nexus of daily life.
The unassuming front gate and intimate motor court belie the majesty of the house, a sinuous amalgamation of glass and stone, brightly punctuating the verdant terrain. Really two residences in one, the 6,100-square-foot multi-level guest residence and entertainment pavilion is connected to the 14,600-square-foot main house via a futuristic steel-columned bridge and canopy with circular cut-outs that play hide-and-seek with the sun.
Only once you step inside the main home is the full impact of its grandeur apparent. The clever interplay of light and space creates an ideal flow that supports both daily living and sophisticated entertaining. The soaring entryway, a dramatic welcome, is an ideal vantage point from which to admire the generously proportioned rooms and sprawling property seen through the home’s expansive windows. Any visitor or guest greeted here is immediately awed. High walls of glass frame the exterior and flood every inch of the space with natural light, which sparkles off the interior’s lustrous pale finishes. A formal dining room, a living room with a fireplace and French doors that open onto a multi-tiered waterfall, and spacious family room that seamlessly connects to the large grassy pool area form the nexus of daily life. Gracefully melding into each other, it’s easy to imagine this scene as the setting for a black-tie museum gala for a few hundred guests, effortlessly gliding from indoors to out, one room to another, as waiters sashay among them, proferring canapes prepared in a kitchen suite that’s artfully positioned to one side. Shimmering stainless steel Viking appliances, a sub-zero refrigerator, a huge walk-in pantry and separate butler’s area offer a grand space that would put any chef immediately at home.
Yet, while the home would serve as the ideal backdrop to myriad occasions—a formal luncheon with flower-strewn tables scattered across the lawn, an afternoon charity auction, evening cocktails, pool parties—its harmonious dimensions are scaled so as to also support the intimacy of day-to-day living. A private office with direct access to the master bedroom can easily open to the family room; an outdoor kitchen near the pool area suggests casual weekend barbecues. For families whose jet-setting lifestyle reveals relatives and friends across the globe, guest quarters—wholly self-sufficient with five bedrooms, a full kitchen and its own living room—accommodates extended visits. And, despite plenty of space in the main residence, it also can house a full support staff.
With numerous amenities—elevators, parking for a party’s worth of vehicles, sumptuous bedroom suites, capacious walk-in closets, dressing pavilions for both the tennis court and the pool—the home represents five-star living at its finest, rivaling the most exclusive hotels in the world and pampering those who’ve earned it. This estate compound, a hallmark of opulence, evokes the ultimate in luxury, relaxation and peace of mind. Truly, a club for those living at the pinnacle.
Written by Wendy Bowman | Photography Courtesy of Fogo de Chão
The Beverly Hills site of Brazilian-themed restaurant Fogo de Chão has been around for 12 years, complete with gaucho-clad chefs moving from table to table to tempt guests with giant skewers of savory, fire-roasted meats like the house specialty, Picanha—a tender, juicy cut of top sirloin. Now there’s even more reason to visit the La Cienega landmark, thanks to a recent remodel thoughtfully designed to pay homage to Fogo’s Southern Brazilian roots.
“We offer guests a fun, energetic and engaging atmosphere with a unique, Southern Brazilian [flair] that, while modern and contemporary, still maintains the roots and tradition of our very first restaurant in Brazil,” says Larry Johnson, CEO of Fogo de Chão. “The new design boasts an atmosphere that is warm, contemporary and timeless to really enhance the guest experience.”
The redesigned restaurant, located at 133 N. La Cienega Blvd.— just north of Wilshire Boulevard, near Matsuhisa, Lawry’s the Prime Rib, SLS Hotel and Beverly Center—was completed by George Kelly of L.A.-based Kelly Architects. Among the highlights: a 16-foot, bas-relief rendition of “O Laçador”—a nod to the original gaucho monument erected in 1958 in Porto Alegre, Brazil, the home of the original Fogo de Chão—along with an outdoor patio sporting a living greenery wall.
Adding to the experience is an expanded Bar Fogo menu, offering a more casual dining option, featuring new small plates, cocktails and menu items starting at just $4 during weekday happy hour. Some of the most popular selections range from braised beef rib sliders to Brazilian empanadas and grilled beef tenderloin skewers, along with other seasonal options, including a refreshing lentil quinoa salad, blackberry arugula salad and carrot ginger soup, as well as the mango ginger martini.
“The new Bar Fogo menu is our largest bar menu innovation since arriving in the United States 20 years ago,” says Johnson. “Similar to our lunch and weekend Brazilian Brunch offerings, the Bar Fogo platform is designed [to] give guests more opportunities to enjoy Fogo at a variety of price points with compelling value.” Tie on those bibs, and get ready to enjoy the feast!
FOGO DE CHÃO
133 NORTH LA CIENEGA BLVD.
BEVERLY HILLS, CA 90211
Written by Abigail Stone | Photography Courtesy of Paul Jonason
Offered by Anthony Marguelas, Amalfi Estates
List Price $4,795,000
A view of the ocean and easy access to town. A rambling home by a noted architect. A house imbued with history and movie lore. California style permeated with a touch of classic East Coast comfort. And, of course, beauty in spades, with wood-burning fireplaces, a master suite with generous closet space and a sumptuous bathroom. Looking for a home that checks off all the criteria on your list can be challenging. Until coming across this hidden gem at 17751 Tramonto Drive.
Located in a quiet enclave, just a short drive up the Pacific Coast Highway and easily reachable from Sunset, this perfectly positioned home accesses the mellow charms of Malibu, the polish of Pacific Palisades and the sophistication of Santa Monica with a few minutes drive. Beverly Hills, Westwood and Brentwood are also within reach (a boon in these traffic-intense times). “Perfectly positioned” can also describe this home’s setting: on a corner lot on Tramonto Drive, perched high upon a promontory. Wrap-around windows showcase a breathtaking and ever-changing view of the ocean. On a clear day, the panorama seems to extend across to Catalina and all the way north to Point Dume. Should one worry that other homes will interrupt the view, height restrictions on surrounding properties ensure that it’ll be yours to enjoy, unobstructed, for generations to come.
Dating back to 1947, the home, designed by Mid-Century architect Alfred“Hap” Gilman (who’s also behind the Santa Ynez Inn), was one of the first residences to be built in the area. Naturally, given its long history, it’s also the repository of legend. According to actor Peter Fonda, who references the home in his liner notes for the soundtrack to Easy Rider, the house, which was once owned by fellow actor Robert Walker Jr., inspired The Byrds’ music for the cult-classic film. With its clean lines, wide expanses of glass, post and beam construction, and access to gardens from each area in the house— all Gilman signatures—it’s easy to see the home as the muse for an experiment in modern living and out-of-the-box thinking. Then there’s the architect’s playful side, revealed in ingenious nooks and crannies, hidden private spaces and quirky details, such as the window over the built-in office in one of the Jack-and-Jill bedrooms found in the front of the house. Seamless updates by the current owners enhance this home’s natural gifts: solid construction, a celebration of the surrounding landscape, a balance of public and private spaces and tons of natural light. And, in the fall, liquid amber trees turn a brilliant scarlet, washing the property with the beauty of an East Coast fall.
The kitchen, dining room and living room encompass most of the first floor, offering easy access to the backyard (where, should you desire it, there’s plenty of room for a generous pool) to enjoy the mesmerizing ocean view. Though these spaces merge into one another—a bonus for the large parties this home can easily accommodate—each is deftly set apart from the other to better balance the needs of daily life, allowing occupants to enjoy time together while still pursuing their own interests. A study, just around the corner from the living room portion of the main floor, takes full advantage of the home’s views and supplies a bit more privacy for times when solitude is an absolute necessity. Skylights ensure that every room is bright and inviting.
This home is full of secret sanctuaries; and older children will appreciate having their own space. The bedroom just beyond the kitchen faces out to the garden. Above it, the sprawling master bedroom suite, which extends over most of the second floor on this side, mimics the view from the study: a mesmerizing seascape that never fails to enchant. There’s enough space here for a well-appointed sitting room. This retreat also includes a step down master bathroom, with a bathtub big enough for two, and, around the corner, a generous walk-in closet.
More solitude is found in the aforementioned trio of rooms at the front of the house. With its long balcony overlooking the backyard, they lend themselves to a variety of uses: as the perfect home office set-up, for independent teens or grown-up children, or inviting private quarters for live-in assistance. Hidden downstairs is another retreat: a basement finished as a cool screening room.
However, it’s at sunset that this home truly glows. The sun dipping into the ocean spreads its warmth throughout the house, reaching into every corner. It’s an aspect of Los Angeles only a few are privileged to experience in person. In this home, you’re one of them.
Pacific Bougainvillea brings 63 new single-family homes to Torrance
Written by Alisha Henson | Renderings Courtesy of Pacific Communities
Pacific Bougainvillea offers custom single-family homes. Constructed smart by design, the contemporary three-to-five bedroom floor plans provide warm, functional, and energy efficient spaces with an open layout. Planned with at least one bedroom and full bathroom on every floor, the site of the 63-home subdivision is fit to take a new spin on multi-generational living. Built on a once vacant lot that served as the median on Normandie Avenue, this South Bay gem offers home designs ranging from 1094-2818 square feet, starting in the mid $700,000s. “Pacific Bougainvillea is providing what’s needed in this community and is a wonderful addition to the city of Torrance,” says sales rep Ivery Summers.
Written by Wendy Bowman
Seeking a chic getaway in the Mojave Desert? Eric Lavey and Michelle Schwartz of The Agency are offering the Gucci House for $7 million. Owned by British fashion heiress Patricia Gucci—granddaughter of House of Gucci Founder Guccio Gucci—the 18.5-acre compound is situated at 57425 Palma Seco Circle, behind private gates in the mountains above Palm Springs, and features almost 11,000 square feet of living space spread between the main home and two guest houses. Along with commanding panoramic views of the Coachella Valley, additional highlights include a massive chef’s kitchen, private sundecks in each bedroom, as well as a pool, spa, tennis court and home theater.
Casino and resort developer Steve Wynn has parted ways with his modern Mediterranean-style estate in Bel-Air, sold to Beverly Hills doctors Sheila Nazarian and Fardad Mobin for $16.5 million. Located at 565 Perugia Way—in the exclusive enclave of Lower Perugia Way, on almost an acre overlooking the Bel-Air Country Club fairways—the gated, 11,000-square-foot property features five bedrooms (most notably, an elegant master suite with a fireplace, private balcony, and dual baths and walk-in closets); an expansive media room; and a fitness area with sauna and steam room. Venturing outside, one finds numerous terraces ideal for al fresco dining, a putting green, koi pond and waterfalls. The Agency’s Mauricio Umansky, Leonard Rabinowitz, Deedee Howard and Jack Friedkin brokered both sides of the deal.
As a young boy growing up in Los Angeles, in a family of modest means, real estate entrepreneur Aaron Kirman used to ride his bike to an upscale neighborhood in the Valley just to glimpse all of the expensive homes for sale. He also begged his parents to take him to open houses. Despite suffering from severe learning disabilities—including dyslexia and a speech impediment that prevented him from saying the letter “R”—he entered the real estate ranks at age 18 while attending USC and never looked back.
Fast-forward to today, and the 39-year-old is one of the most successful real estate agents not only in L.A., where he is based, but across the globe as well, amassing an exclusive client roster rife with CEOs, celebrities and royalty, selling $3.5 billion in homes to date. He also appears regularly on CNBC’s Secret Lives of the Super Rich, and was named the 12th top real estate agent in the U.S. by The Wall Street Journal in 2016. Here, Kirman, president of Aaroe Estates, the luxury property division of the John Aaroe Group, divulges to DIGS how he got into real estate, his personal abodes, the secret of his success and more.
HOW DID YOU GET INTO THE REAL ESTATE BUSINESS?
I put myself through college selling real estate. When other kids were in school and partying, I was working and obsessed with real estate and doing deals. I fell into a cool niche selling architectural homes by R.M. Schindler and John Lautner, and people started to recognize my name. Then I was an executive and ran the architectural division at Hilton & Hyland for about nine years, and shifted into the estate division at John Aaroe Group about five years ago. Now, we have the largest market share of the most expensive homes in country.
WHAT IS YOUR REAL ESTATE FOCUS NOW?
It just continues to grow with some of the country’s most expensive estates. We recently sold the Danny Thomas estate for $65 million, which was the second-highest sale in Beverly Hills. I now have about $650 million in active inventory. We have five estates above $50 million; I like to specialize in uber-high-priced and very unique homes. I’m also working on building my team, which has been a fun challenge. We have about 30 on our team. I’ve been selling solo for many years, and now have the dynamics of a team. I like to call them my kids, even though some are 60 years old. I like to watch their careers grow; it’s been inspiring for me. They need me, and my portfolio and contacts, and I can teach them.
TELL ME ABOUT SOME OF THE HOMES YOU HAVE IN YOUR INVENTORY RIGHT NOW. Some of my actives include the Edie Goetz estate in Bel Air for $79 million (where the socialite lived and hosted extravagant parties), and an $85 million mansion in Beverly Hills that both Cher and Eddie Murphy lived in at one time. From there, I have a stunning $60 million compound on the ocean that was in a TV show and has been leased by some of top celebrities in the country, and a gorgeous, uber-modern $49 million house owned by fashion designer Charles Park of Sugarlips. I also have a bunch of beautiful moderns priced from $20 million. I still love listing some of my old stuff, like a beautiful [Richard] Neutra in Hollywood Hills. It has significant architecture, and I’m looking for the right buyer who’s going to restore it.
WHO ARE SOME OF THE MOST MEMORABLE PERSONALITIES YOU’VE WORKED WITH?
I’ve worked with sheiks from the Middle East, Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia; celebrities from Orlando Bloom to Rihanna to Nicki Minaj; and fashion designers like Jeremy Scott. Everyone is so interesting, and they all have a unique story. What’s fun is the diversity, from royalty to celebrities to CEOs to just ordinary people. I also love helping my friends buy their houses and seeing the growth of some of my friends. I’ve represented some friends who were buying starter homes 20 years ago and now they’re in $15 million houses.
IS THERE ONE TYPE OF ARCHITECTURE THAT PARTICULARLY APPEALS TO YOU? I’m personally a big fan of Mid-Century homes. Houses done in the 1960s, and sometimes ’50s, were so advanced and ahead of their time, with walls of glass and indoor-outdoor spaces. Some of those architects were masters at figuring out the right house to put on the right site. Lately, I’ve been a fan of transitional architecture, where you have a traditional style and more modern interiors. I’ve seen a lot of that during my travels in Europe.
WHAT IS THE HOT AREA RIGHT NOW?
Los Angeles is the hottest real estate market on the planet; it’s crazy how hot our market is. There is so much wealth all over and so many people from across the globe—from Europe, Asia and the East Coast—are pouring money here. L.A. is hotter than New York and other markets that used to be bigger. We have some of the most expensive sales in the world right now in Bel-Air, Beverly Hills and the Hollywood Hills. The price increases we’ve seen to date are astronomical. We have had four sales of about $100 million, and that’s crazy. We never would have been close to demanding those dollar amounts 10 years ago. It’s amazing, and it’s only going to go up. L.A. is cheap, according to the world market. You get so much bang for your buck here for whatever your budget is: more land and space, and that’s what’s driving our market to be so good.
WHAT ARE THE MOST VALUABLE AMENITIES PEOPLE ARE SEEKING?
One is privacy, which is the most important desire for people with wealth, and the second is grounds or view. We have sold homes with almost every amenity possible—from theater-sized media rooms to wine cellars that could hold 80,000 bottles—but, primarily, people want land, privacy and a view.
DESCRIBE YOUR DREAM PROPERTY?
I sell really big, gorgeous, opulent homes…and I like simple, beautiful homes. I live in a high-rise, and I just bought a house in Beverly Hills with walls of glass. It’s a modern house with a pool, great indoor-outdoor flow and an open floor plan, and it’s great for entertaining and living a happy life. I personally don’t have a desire to live in a huge house, although I do love to sell them.
WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE PART OF YOUR HOME?
I love my master bedroom; it’s my retreat—my space where I have my privacy and my time alone. There’s nothing like being able to go home and rest in your room at night. In my high-rise, I love my view. I’m on a high floor and can see the entire city—from Downtown to Century City—and that’s also pretty great.
WHAT DOES LUXURY MEAN TO YOU?
Being able to live the life I choose to live. That doesn’t necessarily come in the form of material objects. I’m blessed to have pretty much any material object I desire, but it really means to live a great life and to spend time with friends and family, to eat well, and to travel and see the world. I live a very wonderful life that is well-rounded, and I’m proud of that. It’s not easy to do that at the level of real estate I do. I take time for family, friends and myself.
TO WHAT DO YOU ATTRIBUTE YOUR SUCCESS?
In general, successful people are very strategic; you have to be. You have to be ahead of the curve, and able to make the curve. You have to be creative. Successful people don’t want to follow the pack, but they have to be ahead of the pack. Strategic alliances, partnerships and team work also are important. Marketing and advertising are super important as well. Even print; people say print is dead, but I disagree. People still love to read, and that’s what sells. Tech is uber-important in the national and international world; we’re spending more energy and money on that. Social media is super important, and continuing to develop contacts and the networks we have. Taking time to tell stories about the properties and clients, even ourselves, is important. I always like progressing and finding bigger and better ways to do something.
WHAT’S YOUR BEST PIECE OF REAL ESTATE ADVICE?
The world has changed, and it’s a really competitive business. But, if someone wants to get in it, they need to be passionate and prepared to work super hard and find what is going to make them different so they will stand out from the crowd. The main piece of advice is you should specialize in something and be unique, and if you do that, you will have a great chance at success. For me, I like to tell the story of someone with a modest upbringing who had challenges growing up, and for the grace of God and luck, has sold $3.5 billion of homes to some of the most famous people in the world. I like people to know that they can do whatever they want to do with hard work. It’s not always based on who you know and having a privileged background. I look back and I’m super grateful, and sometimes I pinch myself and say, ‘Wow, I did it.” But I always knew I would and I feel like we’ve just begun. I’m not sure where we’re going, but we’re just beginning.
WHAT DO YOU ENJOY DOING WHEN YOU AREN’T WORKING?
I love to travel and explore the world, and I mediate every day. I love dinners with friends; I just spent a Sunday by the pool with lots of friends. I love to be by the water, whether it’s a pool or the beach. I also love to bike ride. I just like to live.
WHAT DOES THE FUTURE HOLD FOR YOU?
We’re doing a lot of TV these days. I’m a spokesperson for CNBC’s Secret Lives of the Super Rich. I love getting interviewed on TV about where the market is and where we’re going. I also love building a team that’s already one of the most knowledgeable and successful in the country, and getting bigger and better every day. I’d like to expand our market share. We have the best inventory in L.A. and abroad, but I would like to develop more international and national alliances.
Photography Courtesy of Matthew Momberger and Michael McNamara
Written by Constance Dunn | Photography Courtesy of SF Jones Architects
“I design social spaces,” says architect Stephen Francis Jones. “Spaces where people want to enjoy themselves and have fun.” Indeed, the architect has crafted spas, collaborative workspaces and eateries for a litany of high-profile chefs and restaurateurs, from Wolfgang Puck and Alain Giraud to Chris Simms and David LeFevre—the latter two names very familiar to Beach City diners.
Jones arrival at his position as one the preeminent restaurant architects of his day is a function of time, talent, and a keen understanding of how to design such venues for modern sensibilities—plus, knowing how they are markedly different from residential and other types of commercial ventures. “Restaurant spaces have a lot more artistic freedom,” says Jones. “A lot of the time the clients are looking for you to come up with something really cool and exciting.”
His career seems to be marked with just a bit of luck, too. From designing high-rises in Boston and working in Europe with prestige Barcelona firm Richardo Bofill to creating some of the hottest spots in L.A., Jones’ bio appears as a succession of doors opening, one after the other. To this, Jones, who was raised in Orlando in a working-class family of eight, led by a “hippie dad who was a silk-screen printer,” laughs and points out a piece of career wisdom: “It’s about positioning yourself to be in front of the right doors, so when they open, I can seize opportunities.” This he’s done.
Earlier in his career, while working as an in-house architect for Wolfgang Puck, Jones gained an intimate understanding of how restaurants function. Not just operationally—but dynamically, as communal, private/public spheres. His big break came with being charged with designing Spago Beverly Hills in the late-1990s upon its move from Sunset Boulevard. After that, it was off to the races, resulting in an L.A. portfolio filled with landmark venues, from a complete refresh of Century Plaza Hotel to the design of La Brea Bakery and the Hollywood restaurant-bar-bowling alley, Lucky Strike Lanes.
In the South Bay alone, Jones, who lives in Manhattan Beach (UCLA graduate school for architecture brought him West), has designed six restaurants for Simms’ Restaurant Group and chef David LeFevre—Simmzy’s, M.B. Post and Lazy Dog Restaurant & Bar among them. Jones’ works, however, plus his creative mindset, are not just limited to eateries. “One of my focuses right now is really about the evolution of the workplace and the play place,” he explains. “Right now there’s a big, fuzzy line between work and play.” It’s a “fuzzy line” that Jones has been exploring with designs that facilitate the utmost levels of comfort, flexibility and stimulation—beyond the physical sense. Case in point is a project Jones recently completed in the Bay Area: an amenity space for a sprawling communal office campus that quickly sold out its tenancy.
When asked about the next big trends in restaurant design, Jones hints at shipping containers to house pop-up restaurants and features that play well with social media, like a selfie wall. But whether he’s designing a donut cafe in Osaka or the next big-hit eatery in the South Bay, a perennial remains: “I try to create a story that ties into the community,” says Jones, whose bike rides along the Strand inspired the story at M.B. Post. “I took photos of the lifeguard stands and volleyball posts.” Later, those visual signifiers made their way to the walls, underneath the bar and to other areas of the restaurant. Even some of the reclaimed wood used in the restaurant is the color of the local lifeguard stands, with their unique markings faithfully replicated on the planks. The communal table, for instance, bears the number four, Jones’ go-to location to play local beach volleyball. “I love that I have a client based in my hometown,” says the architect. “When I did M.B. Post I really took it personally in terms of wanting to make sure the design tied into the lifestyle of Manhattan Beach.”