Some places give off an energy that is decidedly of-the-moment: just a few steps inside these places, visitors sense a strong personality, pleasant atmosphere and unique character. In Hollywood, the discreet yet renowned Galerie Half ticks all these boxes and more.
Thanks to owners Cameron Smith and Cliff Fong, the design gallery first opened in 2006—a tiny space that inspired its name—then moved to its current location on Melrose Avenue in 2009. It has since become a de facto reference for design connoisseurs. Inspired by a vast array of influences from modern classics, to minimalist Belgian architecture, to hip-hop, the eclectic yet highly curated selection of furnishings and objects reflect Smith and Fong’s broad approach.
Combined with Western antiquities, architectural relics, African sculptures, 19th-century and primitive benches or tables are pieces by European masters such as Poul Henningsen, Le Corbusier, Børge Mogensen, Jean Royère, Greta Grossman, Poul Kjaerholm, Serge Mouille, and Arne Jacobsen, among many others.
Never afraid to mix items from different eras, as well as anonymous pieces with those created by famous designers, the Galerie Half duo work hand-in-hand to make the space both approachable and refined. While Smith travels several times a years to Europe to buy new pieces for the gallery, Fong is in charge of displays.
In Galerie Half, the sense of flow and limited number of objects and furnishings evoke the feeling of being in a home. All items are placed in carefully considered spots to receive the perfect amount of light (whether natural or artificial). Artworks (paintings and photographs) are also an important part of the backdrop, helping to personalize every corner. New arrivals constantly renew the space, where patina and original finishes shape a timeless, peaceful and exquisite environment. galeriehalf.com
Looking for a great place to wind down after a long day, catch a meal before a show or maybe just gaze at stars? Then be sure to check out this hidden gem in the heart of Tinseltown. Tucked away in historic Columbia Square—a revitalized mixed-use complex that birthed the Golden Age of Hollywood—Paley. restaurant is named for the artistic and innovative era shaped by former CBS CEO William Paley, and has become known as the designated power-lunch meeting and lunch-break spot for folks from nearby studios and offices. During dinner, lucky guests might even get to catch a glimpse of some celebrities enjoying an impromptu meal with friends and business associates (think Oprah and Keanu Reeves).
“Lunchtime is always vibrant and energetic with our neighbors from the L.A. film and music industry,” says Christopher Roache, managing director of Paley., which opened in April 2016 in a building that once housed Nestor Studios, Hollywood’s first film production company that became part of CBS Studios in 1938.
“We’re also infamous for our daily happy hours, where guests enjoy a glass of wine or cocktail to toast to the end of their work day. Dinner always attracts a mixed clientele from pre-theater dinners heading to shows at the Palladium or Pantages Theatre to local residents.”
Paley. is part of the Japanese hospitality brand Plan Do See, which operates 19 properties worldwide. Expect an art deco-inspired dining room with soaring ceilings and elegant Mid-century décor that transports diners to the La-La Land of old, along with a casual patio surrounded by lush greenery. Chef Brian Hill (former chef/owner of coastal Maine’s critically acclaimed Francine Bistro) serves a simple yet well-curated menu of classic dishes laced with local and seasonal ingredients, many grilled on an attractive wood-burning hearth or roasted in a custom-built oven. Among the most popular items? Lobster Mac & Cheese, Wagyu burgers and seared diver sea scallops with braised leeks.
There’s also a full lineup of signature cocktails, including the popular Babe (a twist on a lychee martini with a hint of lavender named after William Paley’s beguiling wife). Recent launch, “The Garden at The Paley. Patio” invites patrons to kickstart the weekend early with specially priced cocktails and bar bites from noon to sundown. And, for insiders, an exclusive no-cost “Paley. Privileges” membership program offers fun perks like a 50-percent discount off dinner on Monday and half off wine bottles on Tuesday.
“We’ll continue to thrive and be a local hot spot, yet a cozy place for all of our neighborhood locals, but we would also like Paley. to become one of the ‘must-visit’ spots in L.A. for out-of-towners,” says Roache. “After all, we’re in the midst of where all of Hollywood started, and stepping into our restaurant will bring you back to that glamour…we will continue to tell the story and history of how it all started.”
Upon setting out to create L.A.’s newest accommodations, Kimpton Hotel and Restaurants’ Creative Director and Global Senior Vice President of Design Ave Bradley took a cue from Mid-century architecture and the surrounding Hollywood Hills neighborhood. The result? The Kimpton Everly, a stylish property that celebrates the local laidback lifestyle—complete with knock-out vistas, an eclectic art collection and a lively bar that is sure to be the next big hot spot.
“The Everly is located at the base of the Hollywood Hills, with 360-degree views of the hills and city skyline,” says General Manager Ashley Gochnauer.
“Just steps away from the iconic intersection of Hollywood and Vine and the Capitol Records building, it provides easy access to L.A.’s famous attractions and offers panoramic views of the nearby Hollywood sign, Los Angeles skyline and Pacific Coast, while also providing an escape from the hustle and bustle of famed Hollywood Boulevard.”
Situated in Beachwood Canyon, the hotel is the Kimpton brand’s third property in Hollywood and features 216 guest rooms (including 12 suites), priced from $280 per night. Expect environs highlighted by soaring ceilings, exposed concrete, white oak flooring, bright white walls, vintage and custom contemporary furnishings, and potted succulents throughout. A wide-ranging display of art features works by established and up-and-coming L.A.-based artists, while a 500-square-foot conservatory boasts walls of steel and glass and an over-stuffed blue velvet banquette.
Among the food and drink offerings is the open-air lobby lounge Ever Bar, serving light bites and imaginative music-inspired cocktails—like the Bone Thighs & Harmony, made with St. George Shochu, Grand Marnier, pomegranate and duck confit bone broth. An adjacent all-glass library room is available for private get-togethers, while the counter-style Jane Q eatery offers a specialty coffee program side by side with Executive Chef Bryan Podgorski’s fresh take on California farmers’ market fare. Think signature dishes such as the avocado parfait with organic Straus yogurt, cucumber and house-made focaccia for dipping, and monkey bread stuffed with duck confit and mushroom duxelles and topped with Taleggio cheese.
As for the hotel’s services and amenities, a fifth-floor pool deck features a 35-foot pool surrounded by chic cabanas and fire pits, while a 24-hour fitness center offers cardiovascular machines and free weights, personal trainers and yoga sessions on the pool deck. Additional perks include in-room yoga mats and complimentary bicycles, as well as a trio of underground ballrooms featuring exposed concrete and clerestory windows.
“L.A. has always been an important region for the Kimpton brand, and we couldn’t be more excited to bring a fresh take to the Hollywood hospitality scene,” says Gochnauer. “We know The Everly will thrive in such a lively, creative neighborhood and support the brand’s growth in the Southern California market as well.”
Visiting the newly opened DREAM Hollywood resembles a scenario from an elaborate Tinseltown film, complete with a dramatic indoor-outdoor lobby sporting retractable walls that exudes a California vibe. Beyond that is access to a Lincoln Continental right off the assembly line, along with a multitude of TAO Group restaurants and nightclubs; celebrity-crafted workout options; a retractable rooftop pool that doubles as a dance floor; and a special suite with a private screening room. All this in a nine-story Killefer Flammang-designed tower that pays homage to mid-century architects such as John Lautner and Richard Neutra via stunning contemporary interiors.
“The hotel has an exciting, vibrant atmosphere with beautiful rooms, and a plethora of food and beverage options for our guests,” says Ayo Akinsete, DREAM Hollywood’s general manager. “Our clientele is a discerning type of guest that is looking for excitement and energy.”
Ten years in the making, the new property now occupies an entire city block of more than 150,000 square feet and is part of an overall $110 million hospitality complex conceived by L.A.-based real estate developer Relevant Group. Situated at 6417 Selma Ave.—on the lively corner of Selma Avenue and N. Cahuenga Boulevard in Hollywood, just minutes from the Griffith Observatory, Walk of Fame and Hollywood Hills—the hotel’s accommodations include 178 chic guest rooms and suites (most notably, an 1,800-square-foot Guest House suite that holds the aforementioned screening room, as well as floor-to-ceiling windows offering sweeping views, a private terrace and sculptural black marble tub). Expect neutral tones complemented by pops of orange, black walnut wood flooring, and custom abstract wallcoverings depicting L.A.’s iconic landscape atop plush feather beds with goose down pillows.
Food and drink offerings include a quintet of restaurant and nightlife venues operated by TAO Group that are both within and adjacent to the hotel. Among them: The Grill at Highlight Room (a new rooftop concept serving California fare for breakfast and lunch); Beauty & Essex (a 10,000-square-foot restaurant and lounge featuring multi-ethnic dishes, not to mention a pawn shop); TAO Asian Bistro and Avenue (a 300-seat restaurant and lounge); and the fast and casual Luchini Pizzeria & Bar, serving pizza by the slice and more.
DREAM Hollywood is plentiful in services and amenities, too. Imagine 3,000 square feet of meeting space; a pedestrian alleyway linking the hotel to the surrounding dining and nightlife offerings; and, topping it all off, a 1,000-square-foot gym designed by Gunnar Peterson that offers guests health and wellness experiences curated by the elite celebrity trainer side by side with a cutting-edge gym and group workouts atop the property’s roof.
“The hotel brings a new sophistication and elegance to Hollywood,” says Grant King, managing director of Relevant Group. “It serves as anchor to this new, emerging Hollywood district.” A dream come true.
6417 SELMA AVE., HOLLYWOOD, CA 90028
323.844.6417 | DREAMHOTELS.COM
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
Written by Wendy Bowman
A newly completed quintet of ultra-luxe homes, Above the Penthouses is set to transform the 15th floor of The Residences at W Hollywood—complete with world-class finishes and features, the utmost in customized technology, four-star amenities, and sweeping views of Downtown and Westside L.A.
“When The W Residences were originally developed, the top floor was left as raw space,” says Ron Barnes, principle of Vine Street Advisors Inc., developer of the project in conjunction with HEI Hotels & Resorts. “As soon as we took on the project to sell the 133 residences on the floors below in 2011, we also started thinking about how we could create something truly unique not only in L.A. but on the West Coast as well. As we studied the market and renaissance of Hollywood, and started looking at the new home construction in the hills, we saw an opportunity to do something of high design and thoughtful execution. It took six years, but the finished homes speak for themselves.”
Situated at 6250 Hollywood Blvd.—at the intersection of Hollywood and Vine, adjacent to the W Hollywood Hotel—the new Above the Penthouses collection was completed in June 2017 and includes five three- to five-bedroom custom homes ranging from 2,256 square feet to 5,078 square feet (with wraparound terraces reaching up to 1,000 square feet).
Ben Bacal of Rodeo Realty is serving as the exclusive listing agent for the penthouses, whose prices range from $3.5 million to $9.75 million.
Expect the penthouses to boast industrial chic style replete with luxury finishes and materials, including raw concrete columns accented by finished metal detailing, rich wood grains displaying hints of metallic glazes and hammered metal cabinetry offset by highly polished concrete flooring.
Each home also features a BAM Luxury-designed Crestron Control System to integrate audio, video, lighting, shades and HVAC.
Two of the units—the Axiom and Altair—are awaiting design direction from their new owners, while three additional units have been fully outfitted by SFA Design. Among them: The Griffith, featuring built-in wine storage, a retreat room/library, media room, and shower with views of the Hollywood Hills and Griffith Observatory; The Vista, with a drop-down projector and screen that transforms the living and kitchen areas into a private home theater at the touch of a button, and a kitchen overlooking the historic Taft and Broadway buildings; and The Bower, highlighted by a master retreat sporting a wet bar, showroom-style walk-in closet and private terrace.
Residents also will enjoy a bevy of hotel-inspired amenities, including the concierge-style “Whatever, Whenever Service.” Among the other top-notch offerings is a rooftop pool deck with outdoor kitchens and dining areas; 24-hour valet service; a fitness center including Pilates, yoga and weight training equipment; a screening room; and a dog park.
“We designed these five homes with specific lifestyles in mind,” says Barnes. “Each of the residences has a personality of its own, yet all are united by the energy and atmosphere of Hollywood that inspired them. Most significantly, Above the Penthouses is set above the skyline, with each home’s surrounding view providing an unmatched experience for its future owners. This, combined with the exquisite design, top-tier amenities and the hopping city below, ensures that owners will experience the Hollywood lifestyle in luxury unheard of in L.A.”
ABOVE THE PENTHOUSES
6250 HOLLYWOOD BLVD.
LOS ANGELES, CA 90028
310.724.7100 | W-ABOVETHEPENTHOUSES.COM
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 Wendy Bowman | Photography Courtesy of Brian Thomas Jones
A La La Land-inspired video tagged “Oak View Land” touts the virtues of this Spanish Colonial Revival compound, complete with performers sashaying inside and outside of the estate to show off its charming virtues. When all is said and done, the property does not disappoint when it comes to star appeal, with a trio of adjacent abodes, an alluring pool casita and much more. Plus, it’s been said that a portion of the compound is situated on the former estate of legendary actor Clark Gable, adding to the Hollywood aura.
“This home infuses modern luxuries with the romance and architectural detail of the Golden Age of Hollywood,” says Mark Rutstein, who is co-listing the property with Horacio LeDon, both of Iconic Homes, Partners Trust, for $8.5 million. “The grand, gated entrance makes you feel [like] you are entering a resort in the fabled Santa Barbara/ Montecito area, and once inside, high vaulted ceilings with exposed beams, coupled with modern luxuries, make the experience a paradoxical ‘old meets new’ pleasure.”
Situated at 16780 Oak View—on a 1.5-acre knoll overlooking Ventura Boulevard, with striking city and mountain views—the seven-bedroom compound was designed by architect John Andrews. Completed in 2014, it features more than 10,100 square feet of separate but cohesive living spaces in the main, guest and staff houses, as well as the pool casita. Expect high-quality details, including Moroccan influences in the intricate tile work, metallic light fixtures, graceful arches and porticos, along with French encaustic cement tiles from Nicaragua and groin-vaulted ceilings.
Additional highlights include 60-plus fully operational solar panels, and bi-folding doors in the living and family rooms, bar area and master bath that open to create a seamless indoor/ outdoor feel. Outdoors, the massive lot features brick pathways and a multitude of courtyards and patios ideal for a serene retreat.
“The sheer size of the home and property as it relates to the surrounding areas [is] remarkable,” says Rutstein. “The home is supposed to be a respite from stressful external influences.” Truly an escape from hustle and bustle of L.A.
HORACIO LEDON OF ICONIC HOMES,
LIST PRICE $8.5 MILLION
Written by Wendy Bowman | Photography Courtesy of Matt Walla
Visiting the new Hotel Indigo Los Angeles Downtown is like cracking open a long-forgotten time capsule of the surrounding neighborhood, circa the late 1800s to the 1920s, complete with stylish decor that hints at the Fiesta de las Flores parade, pre-Hollywood glamour, underground tunnels and speakeasies, and starlets and directors of the time period, all paired with industrial touches that nod to the area’s current resurgence. The best part? It’s all captured in a design story told through the eyes of Anna May Wong—the first Chinese-American movie star, who resided in the area during its heyday—by interior designer Hirsch Bedner Associates (HBA).
“Per Indigo’s brand standards, each hotel design must reflect the local area within a story drawn from a five-block proximity of the hotel’s location, making each project incredibly unique and deeply rooted in its locale,” says HBA Associate Richard Tennill. “Since Indigo Downtown Los Angeles is the largest Indigo in the world and a flagship project, HBA was able to research and thoroughly develop four different narratives from Downtown Los Angeles for this project.”
Situated at 899 Francisco St.—just one block from LA Live and Staples Center—the 18-story, Gensler-designed building features 350 rooms and suites priced from $229 per night. Expect some rooms to feature a mural over the bed that imagines what Anna May could have seen out of the window during her time, while other more masculine rooms have been created around “The Director” theme, using brown and maroon tones that recall the leather and woods found in an office. Three sophisticated suites depict Anna May’s rise to fame via luxurious finishes and art.
The historic imagery also is woven throughout the hotel’s public spaces, with the lobby featuring large murals of ghosted flowers over images of decorated carriages and crowds, along with a hat wall representing what young starlet Anna May might have looked down on from her room as she watched men walking to work. A custom chandelier composed of 30 large spokes hangs above the reception desk and illuminates a free-standing, floral-decorated “penny-farthing” bike set on display, while the elevators have three distinct looks that each represent the era of inspiration.
Even the hotel’s food and beverage programs reflect the culture and history of L.A., from the classics of the Golden Age of Hollywood to the modern trends of today’s Downtown culinary scene. “Our city and neighborhoods are truly a melting pot, and represent one of the most culturally dynamic culinary scenes in the world,” says Bruce Curry, Hotel Indigo Los Angeles Downtown’s director of sales and marketing. “Our menus were designed to reflect that diversity, concentrating on local flavors and neighborhood favorites.”
Look for 18 Social, the hotel’s top-floor cocktail lounge, to include a wide selection of locally brewed drafts, some of California’s finest wines and an assortment of cocktails ranging from the FDR martini—created by the former president to celebrate the end of Prohibition—to a locally created twist on the Moscow Mule, the Pineapple Mule. Meanwhile, Metropole Bar + Kitchen, the hotel’s ground-floor restaurant, showcases menus using local ingredients and featuring everything from small bites such as tuna poke tacos to locally-inspired favorites such as the French dip. Upscale fine-dining options include honey miso baked wild sea bass and duck confit risotto with foie gras foam.
One of two new InterContinental Hotels Group properties hitting the L.A. market in 2017, Hotel Indigo debuted at the end of March, with the 73-story InterContinental Los Angeles Downtown set to open this summer, adjacent to the Financial District. “Both hotels are managed by IHG, which is bringing its first hotels back to DTLA in more than 20 years,” says Curry. “We are not only bringing flagship, new-build iconic hotel properties to the market, we are also bringing choice, as some many of the downtown hotels are represented by a single brand. This is great for travelers, and also great for the city.”
899 FRANCISCO STREET
LOS ANGELES, CA 90017
Written by Wendy Bowman | Photos Courtesy of SPF Studios
The year was 1913, the setting Los Angeles. Cecil B. DeMille shot the first feature film in Hollywood, silent western The Squaw Man; the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County debuted; the L.A. Aqueduct was completed; and Georgia “Tiny” Broadwick became the first woman to parachute from an airplane, landing in Griffith Park. Most notably, Artemesia was born.
A 13,290-square-foot castle-like dwelling nestled in a historic Hollywood Hills enclave on the site of a former hunting lodge, Artemesia is one of the largest Craftsman residences in the U.S., and has been lovingly restored during the past 25 years by former advertising and marketing executive Lenny Fenton—complete with surprising touches, such as the second-largest residential pipe organ in the country, six massive Batchelder tile fireplaces, and an upstairs sleeping porch with five Murphy beds—and now is available to purchase.
“You will never find another property like Artemesia,” says Sally Forster Jones of John Aaroe Group, who is listing the property (along with an adjacent buildable parcel) for $11.75 million. “It is one of the most unique, impressive and special properties that I have ever represented. Not only has the property been meticulously restored and maintained, it has an incredible, rich history. The home and the grounds are in themselves stunning works of art, and the location and privacy is unbeatable. There is simply nothing else like it.”
Situated on a gated, private street in Los Feliz—atop a 300-foot-high canyon hilltop offering unobstructed city and ocean views—the gated, three-story estate was built for construction magnate Frederick E. Engstrum by Commonwealth Home Builders and designed by architect Frank A. Brown. Among the highlights: Nine bedrooms (most notably, a sizeable master suite boasting a walk-down, sunken Roman shower and a 1,200-square-foot sitting room with a Louis Comfort Tiffany glass ceiling); a dining room that seats 40; an 1,800-square-foot ballroom that opens to a 100-foot long terrace with panoramic city vistas; a silk damask-lined living room with the aforementioned pipe organ (built by Murray Harris with an estimated worth of $1.1 million); and seven baths with original tile.
In addition, a gourmet kitchen features professional-grade appliances, Calacatta marble countertops and a large mahogany center island; while numerous technological updates include fiber-optic surveillance and data cables, a solar-powered estate gate, radiant kitchen flooring, and new heating and cooling systems.
Outdoors, one finds almost two acres of landscaped and gated parkland with hiking paths; a new pool and spa; a terrace with fire pit; and a waterfall that cascades into a reflecting pool, down a canyon stream bed and into a huge pond. Rounding out this property’s special appeal is a detached carriage house sporting a one-bedroom studio, garage and rooftop entertaining deck.
“The ideal buyer is someone who has a true appreciation for the architecture, craftsmanship and history behind this home,” says Forster Jones. “It is perfect for someone who is seeking privacy and security in a location that still puts you just minutes from all the action.” For the right purchaser, Artemesia will be more than just an impressive estate…it will be a property that is destined for adoration for years to come.
Written by Wendy Bowman | Photography Courtesy of Wonho Frank Lee, Ray Kachatorian and Clay Larsen
Seven days a week, Australian-born siblings Curtis and Luke Stone throw open the doors of their European-style butcher shop at 10 a.m. and begin offering a selection of premium meats from small, boutique farms in the U.S. and around the globe alongside house-made charcuterie, sandwiches, pastries, meat pies, sausage rolls and St. Ali coffee from Australia. When nighttime rolls around, the pair invites diners into Gwen LA’s dining room to enjoy a sumptuous tasting menu of butcher-shop selections, including charcuterie and dry-aged Australian Wagyu, house-cured meats and game— from rabbit to grouse— cooked over the kitchen’s Argentine-style fire pit. As another option, diners also can head to the patio or one of two bars to order everything from terrines to smoked lamb ribs via an a la carte menu.
“Gwen is the only restaurant and butcher counter in Los Angeles where you can get imported Wagyu beef from Australia,” says Luke Stone, who opened the 80-seat Hollywood eatery in July 2016 with his brother, L.A. chef and Bravo TV sensation Curtis Stone. “It’s quite special and absolutely delicious.”
Located at 6600 Sunset Blvd.—in a renovated 1920’s building—the 7,000-square-foot restaurant is Curtis’ second foray into the L.A. restaurant scene: He first opened the intimate, critically-acclaimed Maude in Beverly Hills in 2014, where patrons partake in a 10-course chef’s tasting menu that changes monthly.
Both eateries are odes to family members (Maude named for their paternal grandmother—and Curtis’ first culinary mentor—and Gwen LA named after their maternal grandmother, who lived on a family farm outside of Melbourne, where as boys the brothers were first exposed to livestock farming). Both went on to start their careers in a butcher shop, before Curtis started cooking in Michelin-starred restaurants and Luke helmed a flower shop.
Expect Art Deco-inspired environs designed by New York-based Home Studios, complete with soaring Guastavino tile ceilings, crystal chandeliers, a pink-topped marble bar sporting chinchilla barstools and velvet booths in a dusty olive palette. The heartbeat of Gwen is the butcher shop, offering chef-minded specialty items made in-house and used in dishes for the shop and restaurant. A shared tasting menu prepared by Executive Chef Gareth Evans (formerly of Maude) leads guests through an enchanting three-, five- or 10-course feast that is anchored by up to 20 large format grilled, roasted and fire-cooked meat dishes. (Think venison with artichokes and black trumpets, and Wagyu with pastrami, carrots and potatoes.) Seasonal salads, vegetable dishes, house-crafted courses—such as handmade pasta, rillettes and terrines—and desserts are orchestrated around the entrée. The cost? Expect $55 to $185 per person (with steak supplements available).
Then there’s the drinks. Customers can find a variety of creative cocktails crafted by Bar Manager Jerome Morris (like the Collins Family, with kiwi, pomegranate, aloe and rum); and global wines hand-picked by sommelier Fahara Zamorano.
Carnivores take notice: From day to night, butcher shop to dining room, Gwen LA is all about the meat… with a lot of complementary provisions thrown in for good measure.
Written by Jenn Thornton | Photography Courtesy of Casa Kimberly
If the walls of Casa Kimberly could talk, the question isn’t what they would say, but how much and how loud. Especially when considering the tempestuous relationship of onetime inhabitants Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor, whose torrid love affair that started on the set of Cleopatra in Rome incited international interest (and prompt admonishment from the Pope). So furiously documented was their dalliance that the couple sought refuge far from the prying eyes of the paparazzi, and found it in the still sleepy town of Puerto Vallarta.
LEGENDS IN TIME
Set above Banderas Bay, with the Sierra Madre Mountains looming in the background, Casa Kimberly was the place to keep a public love private. But, outraged at the idea of an unmarried couple living together, local nuns protested. So, “Richard went to the priest and asked what he could do for the church,” explains Janice Chatterton, the current owner of Casa Kimberly, now a boutique luxury hotel. First, he purchased Burton House across the street and built the puente del amor (or “bridge of love”) connecting it with Casa Kimberly. This provided the appearance of the couple living separately and bestowed Burton with an escape route after a row with Taylor, who would “lock the iron gate at the end of the bridge so he would be unable to cross back over,” states Chatterton. Burton also bought a large piece of property to build a new school.
What was once a love nest for Burton and Taylor became a labor of love for Chatteron, who spent five years renovating Casa Kimberly, its every aspect “designed with a romantic notion in mind,” she says. “It embodies the glamorous nature of celebrity, of course, but also pure passionate love and the drama that usually accompanies it. That drama and glamour is present in the structure—the clean open spaces made of stone, marble or tile, and accented with crystal chandeliers and elegant art. An attempt was made to celebrate and immortalize their great love.”
In this she succeeded. The hotel’s Iguana Restaurant & Tequila Bar references the film The Night of the Iguana, shot in Puerto Vallarta. Its tequila bar is in the same area Burton had his own bar; and the original heart-shaped pink marble bathtub that Taylor commissioned gives star-quality to the sweeping Elizabeth Taylor Suite, which also sports vast views and a large private terrace with a swimming pool and Jacuzzi.
Guided by her aesthetic intention to blend classic Colonial Mexican architecture with a sense of Hollywood glamour and European sophistication, Chatterton’s Casa Kimberly rework resulted in two resplendent, mostly open-air buildings featuring abundant courtyards and terraces. At its heart is an exploration of romance: that of a baritoned Welshman and his violet-eyed beauty, and of a designer and great architecture. It’s just as the cupola over the bed in the Elizabeth Taylor Suite declares: vive el amour—long live love.