Written by Wendy Bowman
Jonathan Genton of L.A.-based Genton Property Group refers to the company’s new 12-story, 59-unit Four Seasons Private Residences-Los Angeles as a stand-alone development that is destined to redefine world-class luxury living—complete with a soaring tower offering breathtaking views via massive glass walls and folding doors, paired with a stellar lineup of five-star amenities and service. Not to mention a massive top floor penthouse priced at $50 million that could become the most expensive condo ever sold in L.A.
“The guiding light here is ‘quintessential L.A.,’ with the best-of-class people and firms,” says Genton, founding partner of the privately held real estate investment company that is developing the project in conjunction with a management team from the Four Seasons Private Residences, global architecture firm Callison RTKL and Webcor Builders. “What we have achieved is a quintessential L.A. building in an irreplaceable location, with an L.A. lifestyle, in a service-rich environment with a world-class brand that is L.A.”
Situated at 9000 W. Third Street on an acre of land adjacent to the Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills—between Beverly Hills and the fashionable North Robertson District—the mid-century-style residences will offer convenient access to top dining, shopping, cultural and entertainment options. “If you live in L.A., there are a few nodes where you want to live,” says Genton. “This is one of those neighborhoods…in the heart of West L.A., with all of the dining and shopping, and proximity to Century City, central job corps and high-value office markets.”
Living options include 58 custom residences, ranging from 1,800 square feet to 6,000 square feet, priced from $3 million to $16 million. In addition, the crown jewel of the project is a 12,000-square-foot penthouse that occupies the entire top floor and features a private, 9,000-square-foot rooftop garden oasis and pool offering 360-degree vistas of the city, along with direct elevator access and a private six-car garage. The building is set to begin welcoming residents in mid-2019, with units outfitted by top L.A. designer Martyn Lawrence Bullard focusing on drama, glamour and timeless sophistication. Expect open-concept indoor/outdoor living spaces inspired by California modern master Richard Neutra, replete with gourmet kitchens sporting professional grade appliances and built-in cabinetry; master bedroom suites highlighted by spa-like en-suite baths featuring a deep soaking tub, separate glass-walled showers, and his-and-her marble vanities; and resplendent rooftop gardens.
Residents also will enjoy numerous hotel-inspired amenities and services, including a 3,250-square-foot fitness center designed by celebrity personal trainer Harley Pasternak and offering spin, cardio and weight equipment, personal trainers, and private yoga, sauna and steam rooms. Among the other top-notch offerings is an IMAX theater with access to PRIMA Cinema and private movie screenings, as well as an exclusive chef’s kitchen serving up a private culinary experienced curated daily by a renowned AAA, Five-Diamond chef, and a heated saltwater lap pool flanked by cabanas and fire pits.
To ensure the ultimate experience, “we want to make sure we partner with the best people, offering our residents the best of class in everything that they touch [and] that we’re affiliated with,” says Genton. “That starts and ends with the Four Seasons.” By blending the Four Seasons brand with the West L.A. location and architecture, “we’re offering an authentic product,” he adds. “It will be looked at as one of these buildings that’s very special…they only happen a few times in a lifetime.”
FOUR SEASONS PRIVATE RESIDENCES-LOS ANGELES
9000 W. THIRD STREET
LOS ANGELES, CA 90048
Written by Joclene Davey
Stylists Crystal Comeau and Danielle Carbone are offering a fresh approach to the salon experience in the South Bay. Built with creative intention, Salon 1085 in Hermosa Beach is set in an industrial modern space where impeccable hair design prevails and superior customer service is executed with professionalism. A lifetime dream for the decades-long friends, Comeau and Carbone launched Salon 1085 earlier this year to offer the community exceptional service in a polished atmosphere. “The most important thing for me was professionalism,” shares Comeau, whose second aim was “to provide a truly unique experience for our clientele.” With these goals in mind, the duo created chic surrounds for clients to enjoy a high-end experience. Comeau and Carbone selected acclaimed Hermosa Beach architect Larry Peha of Peha & Associates to design the salon. Known for the firm’s “Lifestyle Integration Architecture,” Peha approached Salon 1085 with his keen philosophy that “a space needs to be as smart as it is beautiful.”
“We hoped to design a building that portrayed class and style, which in turn would reflect the type of service and product you would receive from the salon,” he shares. “We approached Peha and our interior designer Takara Belmont with a few ideas like an industrial modern building, high ceilings and a lofty feel,” says Comeau and Carbone. “Both really understood our vision and we couldn’t be happier with the outcome.”
Peha—well-known for his modern commercial design—created a space that makes an architectural statement via unique design and the mixing of complementary and contrasting materials. Meanwhile, Belmont added masculine touches to the industrial space through exposed ceilings with distinctive hanging panel details, layers of reclaimed wood and stained cement floors. Stations made with hand-selected reclaimed zebra wood are sleek and contemporary, with gleaming stainless steel counters adding a hint of femininity. Softer touches throughout the state-of-the-art space include gorgeous glass chandeliers, three-dimensional metallic wallpaper by Phillip Jeffries and cozy Takara Belmont chairs for guests’ ultimate comfort.
The culmination of pulling all the pieces together was a decade in the making. “For years, Crystal and I worked towards building a clientele based on professionalism and relationship so that one day we could provide a space for our clients to enjoy personalized service from us… as well as [from] our staff,” shares Carbone, also acknowledging Comeau’s late grandfather as someone who understood the pair’s vision and helped cultivate the salon. With their mutual desire to offer a unique salon experience in the South Bay, both Carbone and Comeau quickly admit that hair design is frankly fun! To celebrate this, one must stay tuned for monthly soirées, holiday parties and other specials, like the recent Mother’s Day Blow-Outs and Mimosas, or its upcoming Grand Opening Party.
While attending the party, pick up heavenly products from Oribe and R+Co, to name a few of the salon’s many luxe product lines made from tried-and-true organic ingredients.
1085 AVIATION BOULEVARD
HERMOSA BEACH, CA 90254
Written by Wendy Bowman | Photography Courtesy of Shane O’Donnell
Paul Ferrante opened nearly six decades ago as the very first showroom in the famed Melrose Place design district, quickly elevating its status as the go-to lighting and antique brand of designers, entertainment moguls and darlings of the silver-screen. Now, after an extensive redesign, the legendary firm known for its impeccable craftsmanship and unsurpassed attention to detail is leaving Pacific Design Center to return to its original home in L.A.’s premier design district, just in time for its 60th anniversary.
“Paul Ferrante has always been a destination showroom,” says Tommy Raynor, who co-founded the family-owned and-operated company with the late Paul Ferrante in Los Angeles in 1956. “People from all over the world travel to visit our Melrose Place showroom, and that still remains the same, though everything on the street has changed dramatically. Melrose Place has changed from a quaint, quiet row of antiquarians and hairdressers to a bevy of fashion and tea houses. We decided to renovate and remodel because, like everything, over time things need to be updated. We view the remodel as a ‘facelift.’ We kept the bones and enhanced the already existing beauty.”
Situated at 8464 Melrose Place, the brand-new showroom debuted May 1. Expect 3,500 square feet of timelessly designed space created by the Paul Ferrante team in conjunction with bicoastal architect John Armstrong. Reflective of Paul Ferrante’s design aesthetic, the redesigned showroom reflects clean neoclassical features rooted in Palladian styling, such as black, iron-cased windows and French oak flooring.
The newly remodeled showroom offers high-end interior designers, architects and landscape designers a selection of 18th- and 19th-century Italian, French and English lighting, furniture and accessories, as well as a signature line of custom reproduction lighting and furniture handmade by artisans at the Paul Ferrante factory in Culver City. Known for constantly creating new products and rolling them out throughout the year, two of the newest offerings available include the Vertical Branch chandelier and The Starlight chandelier.
“We plan to enjoy our newly renovated space,” says Raynor of the Melrose outpost, which joins standalone showrooms in New York and Chicago. “It truly showcases our products so beautifully.”
PAUL FERRANTE SHOWROOM
8464 MELROSE PLACE
LOS ANGELES, CA 90069
DIGStv with Constance Dunn gives you a exclusive behind the scenes look around Meridith Baer Home’s massive Los Angeles interior design and home furnishing warehouse lead by famed interior designer and home stager Meridith Baer herself.
Meridith Baer discusses how she transition from screen writer in her 50s to become one of the most well known names in interior design for the last decade, with all the challenges and the payoffs — an inspiring storying of a self made woman in business.
For more information on how to get in touch with Meridith Baer Home visit their website:
As told to Wendy Bowman
Yvonne Arias regularly turns over millions of dollars in real estate. She works with a variety of clients and in the past six years has earned a reputation as a specialist in hotel residences, emerging as the most successful broker to date at The Ritz-Carlton Residences at LA Live and The W Residences in Hollywood. Arias’ in-depth knowledge of the city’s rental market, property management, marketing and interior design has made her a valued resource as a consultant for real estate developers and investors.
She also sells and leases high-end homes throughout L.A. DIGS talked with the founder and CEO of The Property Lab (ThePropertyLabre.com)—an upscale boutique real estate brokerage firm headquartered at The Ritz-Carlton Residences at LA Live—to find out how she got into real estate, the decision to focus on high-end hotel properties, the perks of living at these dwellings and more.
Where did you grow up and how did you wind up in L.A.?
I moved around a lot as a kid. After earning a bachelor’s degree, I came to Los Angeles, as that seemed to be where you could really go after success.
When and how did you decide on a career in real estate? Have you always wanted to be a Realtor?
I was going after a really tough career pursuing acting. Although exciting in the beginning, I was ready for something new. I wanted a different career path and became interested in investing in a property, particularly something residential. So, I decided to pursue my real estate license. It was one of the best decisions I ever made.
Discuss your real estate focus now and what made you venture into this area.
I’m known as a specialist with hotel residences and also known as a leasing expert. One of my mentors, who is a very successful real estate broker in L.A., started with leasing and I followed in his footsteps. He gave me my first lease listing at The Ritz-Carlton Residences at LA Live, and I’ll always be grateful to him for that.
What does being a hotel resident expert entail?
It’s a pretty uncommon niche, as there are only a few hotel residences in Los Angeles. I happen to have had a great deal of success at both The Ritz-Carlton Residences at LA Live and also The Residences at W Hollywood. It entails having the clientele who are seeking this type of living arrangement, and also knowing the product well. Since these properties are so expensive, prospects expect you not only to know a lot about the particular property you’re selling, but also about competing properties.
Are condo hotel properties a good investment right now?
I am seeing more and more popping up all over the world. Here in Los Angeles, the Four Seasons Private Residences in Beverly Hills is currently underway. These properties seem to be a good investment, as there aren’t many of them, and this makes them more exclusive. Not only that, they’re all five-star properties, so they have that added attraction as well.
What is your no. 1 tip for someone looking to buy a luxury condo in L.A.?
Don’t wing it. Work with an expert who can offer you the proper guidance.
What do you love about selling hotel properties?
They’re such gorgeous, prized properties and really are the stars of their area. The Ritz is the star in Downtown, and the W is the star in Hollywood. I feel lucky to be doing business at these buildings.
What’s the most beautiful/exclusive space you’ve ever sold?
What comes to mind is a stunning, three-level home in Malibu that was featured in the film Sex and the City 2. This was a jaw-dropping oceanfront property for one of my favorite clients.
Tell me about some of the properties you have in your inventory right now.
One of my favorites is a designer-furnished condo on the 45th floor at The Ritz-Carlton Residences at LA Live for just under $4 million. It’s a huge, three-bedroom home that features massive windows offering a view of downtown skyscrapers, nearby mountain ranges and the bustling city. Another perk: The owner is including all of the furnishings, which makes moving easier for the lucky new resident.
What makes for the perfect residential hotel space?
The justification of hotel residence living is about the services and amenities. A hotel property should offer the owner and their guests an ease of living.
What services/amenities are people seeking when purchasing a hotel residence?
A recent client was interested in a helicopter pad. This potential buyer wanted to be sure he could be ahead of the game with L.A. traffic. Other than that, most people want to feel that sense of security that is offered in a five-star building. The presence of a 24-hour staff offers peace of mind to a lot of residents.
To what do you attribute your success at The Ritz-Carlton Residences at LA Live and The W Residences in Hollywood?
Some great people who introduced me to these buildings, and I definitely thank the powers that be. I’m really grateful for the number of transactions I’ve done at these buildings during the past six years.
What is your take on the revitalization of Downtown Los Angeles; how has it evolved and what new developments are you seeing?
It’s changing right before our eyes. Right now, I’m watching the new Oceanwide Plaza and Circa projects going up along Figueroa Avenue. I can’t wait to see the finished products.
Do you have any advice for breaking into the L.A. real estate market?
The market is hot right now; be prepared to compete.
If you weren’t working in real estate, what would you like to be doing?
I think I’d be a pretty good chef. When I’m not working, I love to cook. I’m still not ruling that out.
What does the future hold for you?
I’m not sure, but I bet it’s going to be great.
Commenting on a great Strand home seems redundant. It’s not unlike saying, “Lovely day, isn’t it?” on a sunny afternoon at the beach. Yet a gracious, sprawling home on a walk street in Manhattan Beach, along one of the most prime corners of the Strand, is a good study in going beyond what’s expected—even when expectations are sky high.
The five-bedroom, approximately 5,500-square-foot home was envisioned as an elegant beachfront haven for holidays and family gatherings by the northern California couple who commissioned it in the 2000s. Its location in North Manhattan Beach—a couple minutes walk from El Porto and laid-back sidewalk eateries, plus an easy hop away from LAX—was a further draw. The design is timeless: an American, shingle-style home in the vein of traditional Northeast coastal homes—but with strong California lifestyle elements. And it’s the home’s exceedingly well-executed classicism, from shingle cladding and a lighthouse feature to leagues of finely handcrafted details throughout, that makes it stand out among a sea of beautiful homes.
IN AN AUTHENTIC WAY
Erik Evens of Evens Architects was lead architect on the home. Evans Architects, which focuses on classic design styles, is the partner firm to KAA Design, an L.A. firm founded by architect Grant Kirkpatrick with a well-defined contemporary and Modernist focus. (Classic or contemporary, as a collective, KAA Design Group’s work is plentiful in the South Bay.) Veteran South Bay builder David Garinger was responsible for the construction, and Chris Barrett did the interiors. “When the clients came to us, they were unsure about what the aesthetic of the house should be,” recounts Evens. “After a period of exploration, we came to realize that this kind of East Coast shingle architecture feels right by the ocean. It has this connection to the sea and spray and smell of the ocean. It just feels right here.”
An inviting palette of gray shingles, crisp white woodwork and stone masonry on the exterior signify a bona fide traditional coastal home. So does the harmonious configuration of the home—its wings, curves and sections are resolved in a pleasing and cohesive unity. Even the roofline, a complex mingling of gabled, flat, hipped and even octagonal, is sculpted. “We were really careful with the proportions, the details of the vernacular and the details of the architecture in a way to make it feel authentically that kind of style,” says Evans. “The biggest challenge was adapting in an authentic way that East Coast, shingle-style vocabulary and making it work here in Southern California. It’s so easy to go astray.”
A CALIFORNIA ADDRESS
Because California coastal architecture is premised on making the most of a friendly year-round climate, unlike East Coast or New England architecture, this home has been smartly tailored to make the most of its Strand address. “It still uses the language of the shingle-style architecture,” says Evans, “but it addresses a more California lifestyle.” A temple to the outdoors is found in a covered terrace on the main, middle floor. The terrace connects to the living room via pocketed, sliding French doors. The result is a grand space, kitchen included, that opens up to sea and sky, without personally having to star in the show. The design assures that views into the home are obscured from beachgoers and passersby on the Strand. “It was designed so you’re here, but you’re not in a fishbowl,” explains Broker Bob Content. “You’re removed from everything, but your view is still maximized.”
It’s a consistent theme of the house. Whether reading on a covered patio off a bedroom or enjoying drinks at Strand level, one can partake in the jewels of beachfront living while simultaneously maintaining a discreet distance from the beach itself. (While the luxury of having such privacy in a well-populated area is a rare feature, Content also mentions the home’s three-car garage with carport combine as a particularly winning feature for a Strand property.)
Views from the home stretch from Palos Verdes to Malibu’s Point Dume, and you’re front row to the great waves and surfing along the 34th Street break. Because of the home’s ideal position, on a corner lot along a generous walk street (versus being situated between two homes), there are beach and ocean views along the entire side of the home in addition to the beach-facing frontage.
THE POWER OF DETAIL
Enough can’t be said for the fine details and craftsmanship throughout the home. No corner, no surface, it seems, has been left untouched by high-toned design; prudent and tasteful. The home’s beauty is notably fresh, too, since the property has scarcely been used, and has been impeccably maintained since being completed over a dozen years ago. “The home is brand new for all practical purposes,” notes Evens. “It looks very crisp and perfect.” “The finish work is second to none,” says Content. “It’s subtle and sublime.” At every turn, there’s crown molding, refined wainscoting or elaborate base molding. Cabinetry is custom walnut. Each window, down to the smallest porthole, is trimmed and detailed. Floors are quarter-sawn oak. “It’s cut in a certain way to give you a tiger-eye pattern,” adds Content.
The oversized marble slab island in the main kitchen is from France, and is velvety matte to the touch. “It’s no longer available,” says Content, describing how the quarry’s reserve of the material, more desirable than Calacatta marble for its warm, gold and bronze tones, has been exhausted. The winding staircase that’s housed in the “lighthouse”—an octagonal wing with clerestory windows—is a triumph of fine carpentry, winding in a distinctive narrow curve from the ground floor to the top of the house.
Given the importance of first impressions in architecture, the entranceway is appropriately substantive in size and detail. “We devoted a fair amount of real estate in the house to the entry and the stair hall to make it feel more grand and special, and not just a cubby hole that you come into,” says Evens. “It’s very unusual for a walk-street house of a Strand house in Manhattan Beach. It feels more East Coast.”
In the end, the effort is more than just having details for details sake—it’s about establishing a genuine atmosphere of substance and distinction throughout. There are no afterthoughts in this home. Even the elevator, a hotel model with walls of raised wood panels and a soft glow from tucked-away lighting, is a place of quiet elegance.
California touches abound on the ground level of the home, what Evens aptly calls “a good time space.” It’s a recreational floor that opens the home to the beach and the Strand. Thanks to strategic landscaping and a stonework patio, there’s a respectable distance from the public bustle. Spaces include a sunny game room with fireplace, a living room and a quaint clubroom. A nice touch is the full-sized kitchen, plus the built-in marble bar along the elegant walnut-floor hallway. If one has guests, even long-term ones, this level works as a standalone apartment.
Head to the home’s uppermost floor—there are three total—and one finds a family sanctuary. Four of the five bedrooms are on this level, including a master bedroom wing that commands the beach-facing, gabled end of the home, directly in view of the Pacific. Of note is the cathedral ceiling in the master bedroom. Created by the intersection of two dormers and gable on the roof, it creates a cozy geometry in the room. This, and a “spiderweb” transom window (a popular design motif from the Arts and Crafts movement) situated above the generous doors of the balcony, adds graceful, traditional notes to the room, and also help divvy up light beautifully, particularly during sunsets.
Written by Wendy Bowman
Where can you find a powder room that doubles as an art installation with antique glass tiles and floral-and-striped wallpaper; a high-tech media room highlighted by a custom-painted ceiling mural and petite wine room hidden within a closet; and a nursery showcasing a handmade macramé baby swing and puppet theater? All under one roof, at the 53rd annual Pasadena Showcase House for the Arts, one of the country’s oldest and largest home and garden tours.
Running through May 21, this year’s tour features a stately English Tudor-style home that has been completely redone by more than 20 of the area’s top interior and exterior designers using the latest color trends, concepts, products, and technology. Visitors also can peruse boutiques featuring 22 curated merchants from throughout California offering a wide range of items, including jewelry, linens, gourmet food, clothing and gifts, and also enjoy everything from gourmet sandwiches to mini-pizzas at The Wisteria Terrace Restaurant and Ivy Court.
Designed by noted architectural firm Marston & Van Pelt, the home was built in 1916 for $25,000 for lawyer-turned-actor Samuel Hinds (best known for his role as Peter Bailey in the 1946 film It’s a Wonderful Life) and his wife. Most recently, the residence has hosted several movies and TV shows, including La La Land (its loggia and garden backdropped the garden party where Ryan Gosling’s character played the piano); Beaches (as the home of Barbara Hershey’s character); and the 1985 version of Alice in Wonderland, along with episodes of Mad Men and Parks and Recreation.
“One of the reasons this house is so special is that it’s never been a Showcase House before,” says Dana Marevich, the tour’s 2017 benefit chair. “Additionally, this house is surrounded by mature trees. You can’t see it from the street, so a lot and people are very curious to view the inside of the home.” Visitors to the residence will find more than 7,000 square feet of living space including six bedrooms, six baths, a living room, library, dining room, conservatory, kitchen, laundry room, servants’ quarters and enclosed sleeping porch. Outdoors, 2 acres of park-like grounds feature numerous rose bushes, an arbor, more than 100 trees of various species, a small stream with waterfall and footbridge, along with a pool, badminton court and plentiful seating areas.
Those seeking design ideas will find inspiration in areas such as a teen bedroom decorated with endless shades of gray to create a monochromatic glam-rock vibe; a light and airy kitchen outfitted with an exquisite china hutch adorned with beautiful carvings; and an elegant, modern dining room crowned by a twisted Venetian glass chandelier. The loggia is one of the estate’s most picturesque locales, complete with a palette of navy and peacock blue, with gold accents, aged patina ceiling and romantic sheers. Parking and complimentary shuttle service for this year’s tour available at the Pasadena Rose Bowl. Tickets are $35-$45, with proceeds going to local music and arts programs.
For more information, call 714.442.3872
or visit PasadenaShowcase.org.
Written by Joclene Davey
Natural fibers are dominating the interior design marketplace with reinvented classics of grasscloth wallpapers and earthy rugs. Layering these trends together creates a timeless, beach-chic quality befitting the relaxed Southern California lifestyle. No longer just for traditional or beach cottage homes, these natural elements have slipped neatly into transitional, contemporary and even modern homes. “Visually, we like seeing texture and layers in rooms. With the rising trend of exposed windows to bring the outside view and elements into a room, the use of drapes, which once added that pop of color or texture to walls, is on the decline,” shares interior designer Michelle Patterson of Jigsaw Design Group in Manhattan Beach.
“Furthermore,” she adds, “using grasscloth, linen, and even cork to cover a wall adds texture to a room and can be done in a subtle way. I tend to see my clients, who want to try wallpaper but are a little afraid of committing to a busy print, feel more comfortable going with a grasscloth or linen type material.”
Topping the list for wallcoverings, grasscloth has quickly become the luxury designer’s go-to product. Typically composed of multiple natural materials like sisal, jute, hemp and arrowroot, these exquisite cloths are arduously created by the weaving together of thin cotton threads and grass strands that are then attached to a lightweight rice paper backing. The result is unique due to differences in strand thicknesses and color. The complicated production process adds cachet and makes for an expensive product ranging between $75-$350 per roll.
“One of our favorite wallpaper resources is Phillip Jeffries,” says Patterson of the company’s “new perspectives in the grasscloth segment” along with its creations of “unique finishes and designs.” The Rivet Collection, for example, has actual rivets patterned into the cloth, and there’s also the Metallic Grasscloth Collection. “We are also seeing a lot more patterns and textured wallcoverings offered within their Cabana and Basket Weave,” notes Patterson.
Layering multiple textures in a space completes the au naturel approach, with the earthy natural rug the ideal foundation. Though the sisal rug once dominated this category, it has opened up to include seagrass, jute, abaca, and hemp, among others. Exciting patterns and colors also are being woven into these typically neutral rugs to bring personality and enliven a room.
“These go-anywhere rugs add visual interest without overpowering your decor, shares Rebecca Stafford, marketing coordinator for Serena & Lily.
“Woven from organic fibers, they summon the beauty of the outdoors. Other options include our patterned rugs, wool rugs and durable cotton Dhurrie rugs.” Each rug fiber offers slightly different characteristics. Seagrass, the most stain resistant, is well-suited for areas prone to heavy traffic; jute is softer underfoot can be dyed and woven into interesting patterns. Combining jute with chenille is cozier to the touch and can be found in a variety of patterns for texturing and layering in a space.
Abaca’s hearty fibers are hand-loomed into elegant and naturally durable rugs. Recently, a dynamic collaboration between designer Mary McDonald and Patterson Flynn Martin produced lovely examples of the abaca rug. “When it comes to our exclusive abaca designs, we love to push the envelope by creating intricate and unique patterns you won’t find anywhere else; handwoven and 100 [percent] natural, these rugs are an investment worth making,” states Kim Healy, marketing coordinator for Patterson Flynn Martin.
Classic design, coupled with attention to detail, define this graceful collection of large-scale geometrics, all of which set the stage for the well curated natural home.
In the relaxed Southern California lifestyle home, one can truly appreciate the earthly luxury of a natural surround.
Written by Virginia Fay | Photography Courtesy of Amy Bartlam and Mary Costa
Creating a kitchen that is at once inviting and visually pleasing is integral to making a house a home. A rising trend in realizing this aesthetic is the mixing of materials for a look that’s a little less on the nose, and a feel that’s warmer yet still intentional.
With the goal of fashioning a modern farmhouse, interior designer Kate Lester was tasked with creating a “luxurious, bright, and open” kitchen that would be “a space where [the homeowners] could not only entertain, but where their kids could also do homework, play games, and interact with the rest of the family.”
To achieve an elevated farmhouse charm in a livable space, Lester took inspiration from traditional elements like wood paneling, simple millwork and glass accents, and created a less rustic version. “The lacquered cabinetry, carrara marble, and tile with a contrast grout are all thoughtful additions that bring a chic, stylish element to this classic concept,” Lester says. As a special touch, the oven hood is made of the same cerused oak as the flooring.
In a totally different iteration of mixed materials, Caitlin Murray of Black Lacquer Design used luxe elements like polished brass fixtures, Nero Marquina marble, and high-gloss cabinets in deep British racing green to create a modern, glamorous kitchen.
Murray says the availability of more options, like diverse tile and engineered stones, has instigated an uptick in mixing materials. “People seem to be less timid about trying combinations that previously weren’t deemed practical due to notions regarding resale value or short-lived style,” Murray says. “Now that so many aesthetics are being celebrated, it seems these old rules are less relevant.”
Blending styles and elements in the kitchen can create warmth and sophistication in almost endless combinations. As Lester says, “When you mix materials, you give the space added texture, depth, and dimension, and that will always result in a more sophisticated, curated feel.”
Written by Virginia Fay
Adding richness in ways both subtle and striking, marble is an ideal material for out-of-the-ordinary home décor, as no two slabs share precisely the same pattern. Today, a white-and-gray motif called Carrara is one of the most popular, says interior designer Nancy Mayerfield. When decorating, she says, homeowners are won over by marble’s “natural feel, coloration and depth in the material.” For a striking combination, Mayerfield especially likes to pair marble with natural materials.
Take one such white-and-gray design that she contrasted with floral wallpaper in a bathroom setting. “Marble was a natural backdrop for a vibrant and organic wallpaper. It works beautifully with the overall design of the space,” says Mayerfield.
Continuing the traditional use of marble in kitchens and bathrooms, Kara Smith of SFA Design says the recent high demand for the material indicates a turn away from tile. With variations across the spectrum—from light to dark, delicate to bold—nearly any look can be achieved with marble. In designing an open, white kitchen, Smith says, “We wanted the kitchen to be light and airy, so we chose a white marble with warm veining.”
To create a smaller impact that still packs a punch, marble is popping up in accents like clocks, cutting boards and coffee tables. A subtle pattern on a tabletop, meanwhile, elevates a room with a luxurious look that’s not cost-prohibitive. While Mayerfield often turns to marble for conventional kitchens and bathrooms, she says it also works well for walls and flooring, and often selects the material for furniture like consoles and dining and coffee tables.
With the almost endless iterations of marble, it is universally appealing just about anywhere. As Mayerfield says, “Marble works well with any style.”
Written by Virginia Fay | Photography Courtesy of Brian Ferry
Once relegated to dated spaces, wallpaper is in the midst of a new heyday. Popping up to add interest to rooms of all sizes, the many modern iterations of wallpaper allow you to customize the design of your home with impactful statement walls and mellow backdrops alike.
Nick Cope, who founded Calico Wallpaper with his wife, Rachel, says wallpaper’s new popularity stems in part from its “dramatic aesthetic impact” while being both functional and beautiful. “Art can just exist as a conceptual entity, but design has different requirements. We strive for our work to do both,” he says.
Sometimes considered only suitable for small rooms at risk of overwhelming those larger, the Copes believe that the right wallpaper can complement spaces of any size. “A powder room can make for a wonderful little jewel box, yet these patterns can also exist in a grand stairwell,” Nick says.
With patterns ranging from delicate to whimsical to eye-catching, wallpaper is equally ideal for dressing up a child’s bedroom or an elegant dining room. Illustrating this versatility, Calico designs draw inspiration from a variety of sources, from marbling to water rivulets to Japanese pottery. The Willow pattern, named for the Copes’ first child, is “comprised of abstractions that explore the movement in the flow of a rivulet, the weep of a willow and the weightless descent of a cherry blossom,” says Rachel.
By contrast, the muse for the Satori Collection is Kintsugi, or ancient Japanese pottery repair, and “an esteem for the traces of the past,” Rachel explains. “We created the collection out of a desire to become more alive to the history that surrounds us, and to embrace the changes that come with the passage of time.”
With a vast array of wallpaper designs on the market today, from metallic to geometric to illustrated, this trend is back in a big way.
177 DWIGHT STREET, SUITE 3R BROOKLYN, NY 11231
New on the market for $24.995 million is a lavish resort-style estate developed by J&L Development President and CEO Tarique Jalil, with architecture and interior design by Cain Calderon Leon of Cain Interiors & Construction. Presented by Aaron Kirman and Louis Evans of John Aaroe Group and Drew Fenton of Hilton & Hyland, the contemporary Bel-Air property is modeled after a grandiose resort, complete with panoramic canyon, city and ocean views and collapsible walls of glass for a seamless indoor-outdoor living.
Set on a hillside at 1737 Bel Air Road, the gated residence features 13,000 square feet of opulent living space, including nine bedrooms—most notably, a penthouse-style grand suite consisting of a guest room; private pool; 2,600-square-foot deck with access to a private studio; dual closets; and his-and-her baths (hers boasting a $60,000 tub). Among the other show-stopping features are a hotel-style lobby with full bar; gym and yoga studio with a Stott Pilates Reformer machine; Cohiba smoking lounge; climate-controlled, 650-bottle wine-preservation room; 2,000-square-foot living room; gourmet stainless-steel kitchen with Sub-Zero and Gaggenau appliances; day salon with massage, hair, makeup and manicure/pedicure facilities; and 16-seat professional theater with 130-inch screen. Meanwhile, a sprawling outdoor entertaining area offers a kitchen; theater; 60-foot limestone infinity-edge pool and spa; sculpture garden; 18-foot Indonesian limestone water feature; and Zen promontory with tub. Rounding out the home’s resplendent offerings is a 1,200-square-foot guest house with two bedrooms, two baths, a living room, dining room, kitchen, laundry and 1,800-square-foot observation deck overlooking the Pacific. Not to mention the five-car garage and 12-car motor court.
1737 Bel Air Road photo credit Matthew Momberger and Jim Barsch
The former Regency Pavilion-style home of Academy Award-winning director John Schlesinger (best known for his work on Midnight Cowboy) has hit the market for just under $15 million. Situated at 1896 Rising Glen Road, on a cul-de-sac above Sunset Plaza, the most show-stopping features of the residence are its privacy, scale and spectacular city to ocean views—all of which have been enjoyed by the likes of the Rolling Stones, Richard Gere, and Cindy Crawford through the years.
“The property is adjacent to the Bird Streets, which has become quite the sought-after neighborhood,” says listing agent Chris Dyson of The Agency. “It sits on approximately 1.25 acres of complete privacy; you can’t see any part of the house from the road (hence the reason so many amazing people have stayed here). Plus, it boasts a unique and explosive view.” Much of the 64,000-square-foot lot is flat, which is incredibly unique for the hills. The four-bedroom home recalls many details reminiscent of Hollywood’s Golden Age, including terrazzo flooring; a screening room; living room with walk-in bar; and brick-paved pool area.
Photo credit Marc & Tiffany Angeles + Joe Bryant/ The Agency
Director, producer, and screenwriter Rob Cohen of The Fast and the Furious film franchise has purchased a contemporary five-bedroom, five-bath home in Woodland Hills for $1.755 million. Situated at 5316 Lubao Avenue—in the desirable South of the Boulevard neighborhood, adjacent to well-known hiking trails and country clubs—the home was built in 1950 and has since been meticulously remodeled to include 4,650 square feet of living space rife with high-end designer furnishings and imported distressed wood flooring throughout.
Among the highlights: a grand master retreat with a separate office/den, sitting area with fireplace, luxurious spa-like bath and 340-square-foot walk-in closet; gourmet kitchen featuring a center island with a five-burner stove, designer cabinets, stainless-steel appliances, double oven, custom granite countertops and stainless-steel backsplash; and a lushly landscaped 18,017-square-foot lot sporting a basketball court, patio and barbecue area, and Pebble-Tec pool and spa. Michael Chez and Christina Anwar of Rodeo Realty served as the listing agents.
5316 Lubao Ave. photo credit Wayne Ford