Modern-chic Home in Manhattan Beach

Pair soaring unobstructed ocean views from a walk street corner lot in Manhattan Beach with a stunning modern Michael Lee-designed home and the result is simply amazing. With unfussy, straightforward design the foundation for what this townhome is all about—the views, the light, and savoring life—25th Street and Highland Avenue is mere steps to the sand and the adjacent grassy lawn at Bruce’s Park. Walkability to both north and south Manhattan Beach is fantastic from here. Commuters, meanwhile, have an efficient route to Rosecrans and Vista Del Mar.

This gorgeous, three-year project began as a labor of love for homeowners Jon and Kim Friedman. “We have always loved architect Michael Lee’s modern style, contemporary lines and dramatic combination of wood stone and glass,” shares Kim. Planning for more than a year, the Friedmans set out to make the very best use of every square inch of the 2,300-square-foot abode.

Lee’s distinctive stamp on the project: the wood and steel roof built with cantilever engineering; clean, modern lines and transitional indoor-outdoor spaces accessed through Fleetwood pocket doors.

“Our goal was to develop townhomes that were visually stunning and with blurred transition from outside to inside,” explains Kim.

They successfully maximized the living space on the top level where the wood floor seamlessly transitions to almost identical porcelain tile floors on the enormous outside deck.

Built on the reverse floorplan, the townhome’s bottom floor includes two bedrooms, one that might also function as an office with ocean views. Both rooms have private baths with floating vanities. Sharing the same floor is the two-car garage plus two parking pads, and an outdoor shower. Unique to this area is a property with on-site parking for six cars. “The corner lot allows for larger outdoor spaces for landscaping and parking; for example, the parking pads are roomy enough for an SUV,” says listing agent John Altamura of Altamura Real Estate Group.

Occupying the townhome’s second level are two remaining en-suite bedrooms, one of which is the master suite. This contemporary space features frameless corner windows that maximize views of Palos Verdes to the south and Malibu to the north, and also includes a massive private balcony with a clear line of sight down the walk street.

The focal point, however, is the striking floor-to-ceiling stone fireplace. Add the convenience of recessed, remote-controlled window coverings and one can cozy in at night with ease. The lovely master bath, meanwhile, includes an ocean view peekaboo window built into the shower, and a freestanding, tulip-style soaker bathtub. In the master bath and throughout the home are floating vanities that nod to the modern characteristics of the home. A large walk-in closet completes the master suite.

“A Michael Lee design always incorporates lots of natural light,” states Altamura while ascending the stairs. Meticulously designed and built, the floating staircase is a gorgeous mixture of glass and substantial wood built onto an almost sculptural iron support beam. The backdrop—a stunning limestone feature wall—feels like a work of art. Once atop the stairs, a mesmerizing picture window blasts views of the Santa Monica Mountains and Malibu and ocean vistas as far as the eye can see.

The mixing of opposing elements—rough and sleek, clean and textured, matte and polished—is evident in the upstairs space that includes a powder room, the kitchen, dining room and indoor-outdoor living areas. “Knowing that the Friedmans wanted a monochromatic design, I knew to create drama and interest,” states Deborah Gear of Deborah Gear Interior Design, who did so by starting “with a mixture of finishes and textures.”

Examples of this approach include the highly textured cream limestone for the exterior stone, entry and strategic areas in the living room, along with gorgeous and sleekly veneered cabinets in soft gray amid porcelain counters and warm wood cabinets.

The lustrous floor-to-ceiling stone fireplace anchors the adjacent living room with massive Fleetwood pocket doors opening out to awe-inspiring vistas on the balcony. Here, there is room for outdoor dining and living areas to relax while one prepares a feast on the built-in barbecue. Throughout the home is a similar use of materials: wood, exotic stone, unique porcelain tiles, high-gloss cabinets and leathered slabs.

Wide plank oak flooring, pure white walls and superior craftsmanship raise the bar for townhome living, as does automated shades throughout that maintain the clean, modern look. There is also pre-wiring for home automation by Crestron and vantage lighting control.

“This three-year project has been a labor of love—it feels like creating a 3D art project!” says Kim. After working closely with contractor Tyler Krikorian, as well as Gear and Lee, the couple’s modern-chic beach house was complete. A dream born in Manhattan Beach.



LIST PRICE $4,999,000


Chic Party Picks

1 Frontgate
Mooreland Heights Wreath

2 L’Objet
Pinecone Spice Jewels
(Set of 2)

3 Circa Lighting
Mia Large Chandelier Designed by John Rosselli

4 Jonathan Adler
1948 Dinner Plate

5 Z Gallerie
Victorial Toasting Flutes

6. Ralph Pucci
Murano Blown Glass Designed by Fabio Maria Micucci
& Created by Maestro
Andea Zilio,

7 Pottery Barn Monique Lhuillier Marlowe Flatware

8 L’Objet Garland
Spice Jewels (Set of 2)


Vibrant table setting by West Elm,


beachy chic retreat

Beachy Chic Retreat

Expect breathtaking ocean and whitewater views from this fully remodeled Broad Beach Bluff retreat in Malibu. The four-bedroom dwelling can be found at the end of a gated driveway at 31654 Broad Beach Road, complete with 4,456 square feet of living space boasting floor-to-ceiling windows and wide-plank oak flooring.

4,456 SQ. FT.
$7.995 MILLION

“The open floor plan with high ceilings and the ‘beachy’ chic interior design with great indoor-outdoor flow is what everyone is looking for in a beach house today,” says Sandro Dazzan of The Agency, who is listing the property for $7.995 million. Among the highlights: a massive great room with fireplace; sleek kitchen with a center island, Wolf and Sub-Zero appliances, and a built-in breakfast nook; and an ocean-facing master suite sporting a spa-like bath with an oversized tub and steam shower. Outdoors, the 5,450-square-foot lot showcases large Ipe-wood decks ideal for entertaining, along with a full kitchen, spa and fire pit…not to mention stairs to a sandy beach.


2,510 SQ. FT.
$3.195 MILLION

Fifty Shades star Jamie Dornan has placed his Mid-century Modern home in Beverly Hills on the market for $3.195 million. Situated at 3122 Nichols Canyon Road, the Edward H. Fickett-designed residence was built in 1959, and then re-conceptualized and expanded by modernist architect Val Powelson in 1966. Think 2,510 square feet of single-level living space replete with a central atrium boasting a tranquil water feature, as well as a dining room that opens via floor-to-ceiling glass doors to a pool and spa, deck and fire pit. “The glass box-like atrium floods the home with natural light, while walls of glass provide the perfect indoor-outdoor California lifestyle,” says listing agent Jeff Kohl of The Agency. “From the large pool and outdoor deck ideal for dinner parties to kid-friendly elements including an enclosed side yard with a sandbox, this home is the ultimate haven for buyers seeking approachable exclusivity in one of the most coveted areas of L.A.” 

Relaxed Elegance

WeHo’s exclusive Design District welcomes the elegant and intimate La Peer Hotel this summer

Written by Wendy Bowman | Images Courtesy of Gulla Jonsdottir Architecture  + Design

When L.A.-based architect Gulla Jonsdottir began planning the new La Peer Hotel in West Hollywood’s eclectic Design District, the Iceland native took creative cues from the surrounding neighborhood, drawing inspiration from readily available muses such as fashion, high-end furniture, artists and poets. 

The result?

A chic, urban oasis targeted to sophisticated yet equally laid-back guests—complete with indulgences such as cocktails served via cart and a cozy, olive tree-shaded pool sporting a vertical garden and dangling light fixtures, alongside fanciful flourishes from feather chandeliers and fine European furniture to a leather cocoon wall and bespoke paintings, photography and poetry from Jonsdottir’s colleagues and friends.

“We are so proud to be a part of the Design District and look forward to La Peer becoming an integral part of the community,” says Nick Rimedio, general manager of the new Kimpton hotel. “West Hollywood will soon have the chance to enjoy all of the great programing, inclusive diversity, style and playful irreverence Kimpton brings to every new project. It’s such a great fit, and we are going to have a lot of fun!”

Found in the heart of West Hollywood at 627 N. La Peer Drive—between Santa Monica Boulevard and Melrose Avenue, within convenient reach of countless galleries, shops, restaurants, nightclubs and movie studios—the four-story, Art Deco-style building will feature 105 rooms and suites priced from $450 per night.

Of special note: a fourth-floor penthouse that will showcase custom furnishings from Jonsdottir’s “Heimaland” collection.

One of two new Kimpton projects hitting the L.A. market in 2017, La Peer is set to debut in late August (with the 216-room Everly Hotel slated to open in June, just steps from the intersection of Hollywood and Vine).

Expect a chic and comforting aesthetic at La Peer, with a brushstroke of understated elegance featuring earth tones and natural materials such as board-form concrete and leather walls; white oak wood flooring; curved brass ceiling details; soft plaster walls; solid liquid surfaces; and bronze columns.

Glamorous 6-foot round light sconces will emit an ambient glow throughout the lobby lounge. Also sure to strike a pleasant chord with guests is a new restaurant concept helmed by chef Casey Lane (of The Tasting Kitchen and Casa Apicii) and a poolside fitness center, as well as a 4,000-square-foot private rooftop terrace and 8,000-plus square feet of indoor-outdoor dining and lounge spaces—all surrounded by lush landscaping and hand-crafted lanterns.

What a way to kindle the ideal urban retreat.