In the early 20th century, film director Thomas Ince founded Inceville, a studio ranch spanning over 19,000 acres alongside the Pacific Ocean that, by the mid-1920s, would be transformed into the small residential haven of Pacific Palisades, then populated by only about 100 homes.
Back then, like now, the cool, sunny climate and vast views stretching over mountains and ocean were a major attraction for prospective residents. Add to that a family-friendly local culture, superb schools and a leisured downtown and it’s clear how Pacific Palisades remains a sought-after star of affluent Los Angeles living.
In the Upper Riviera, a particularly desirable Pacific Palisades neighborhood known for its expansive lots, sweeping views and serene brand of privacy, is a new luxe hideaway: a five-bedroom designer home set on nearly one acre of land. The home’s sharply contemporary silhouette is ideal for its surroundings, and exceptional for the area, which is largely populated with traditional shingle and Mediterranean styles.
Cradled by mountain and ocean views and flush with big sky panoramas everywhere you look, the property’s clean cut, white-wall architecture is a dramatic showcase for its natural, larger-than-life environs.
“It’s got the most amazing views of the ocean and Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy, and the quality of construction is just over the top,” says Santiago Arana, real estate agent and managing partner at The Agency. “It has so much sunshine and high ceilings, it’s almost like an art gallery.”
There are marble features throughout the home and the kitchen is stocked with cutting-edge appliances. Handcrafted details, such as the exposed bar-joist ceiling with metal decking in the main living space, gild the home with a dramatic, industrial feel. Floors are an inviting mix of French oak and concrete. With a soft gray patina, etched with a map of swirls and veins, the concrete floors add warmth and visual depth to the home’s minimalist design.
The home’s central living space is on the main level, a place of soaring ceilings that includes a spacious living room, dining room and chef’s kitchen that meld with the outdoors via a pocket door stretching from floor to ceiling. Outside, there’s a landscaped collection of spaces, from a quiet seating area ideal for breakfast or stargazing, to a lounge that’s adjacent to the living room and perfect for al fresco gatherings.
Speaking of parties, there’s a gleaming barbecue station, bar and changing quarters that prime the outdoors for year-round use. That, and a glamorous infinity pool and spa that rest at the lip of the property—its elevated, mountain-side position offering a dreamlike experience where one can soak while surveying an epic span of land, sky, mountains and ocean. In the midst of this outdoor playground is a green lawn with neatly landscaped bushes and an old-growth tree standing poetically to one side.
The floor directly above this central level is where one finds the exceptional master suite, set apart from common areas by a long hallway. Meant as a private wing unto itself, the bedroom faces the outdoors via a wall of windows. One can intake in the fresh mountain air while lying in bed and ponder the home’s carousel of natural sights, from the hazy light of morning to the vivid rush of colors at sunset and the twinkle of night stars. Other niceties include a fireplace, cozy sitting room and bright yoga studio with a balcony. Not to miss is the sunlit bathroom, pure white and with a soaking tub placed strategically along the windows.
Meander to the floor above to find three more glamorous sleeping quarters. Ideal for housing guests or designating as the children’s wing, this level includes a pair of bedroom suites, both with walk-in closets. There’s also a spacious junior suite with a terrace to wake up to uplifting ocean views.
While the home is amply sized (along with its five bedrooms are seven bathrooms), local zoning allows one to add an extra 2,000 square feet of living space. Also, for all its substantial durability (the home is constructed from steel and concrete), one can customize the layout. “It’s built like a fortress,” Arana explains,
“yet it allows you the flexibility to move the walls and create your own floorplan.” That’s because, consistent with the home’s contemporary style, the interior walls are not structural, they are partitions, so one can reconfigure with ease.
The home’s Upper Riviera location is another plus. Located on the east end of the Palisades, the home is less than three miles from downtown, and close to Brentwood—about 10 minutes by car from Brentwood Country Mart, for instance. The ocean is about five miles from the property, and canyon hikes are steps away, leading to local treats such as Rustic Creek and Hidden Waterfall.
One enters the home from its top floor, where the sleek entry hall has been designed with a commercial-grade elevator poised to whisk one to one of the three floors beneath. Also on this level is the garage and manicured motor court, an inviting spot that fits up to nine cars, complete with ocean views.
It’s the home’s strategic location, married with its impeccable modern style that offers the rare promise of a year-round, fresh-air lifestyle—along with heaps of luxury and privacy. On a fine day or starlit night, there’s nothing finer.
SANTIAGO ARANA OF THE AGENCY
310.926.9808 | LIST PRICE $12,750,000
PHOTOGRAPHS COURTESY OF THE AGENCY
The average closed sales price as of August 27, 2018 for single family homes in Pacific Palisades is $4,651,439, which is $558,428 more than homes were selling during the same period last year.
There are (34) fewer home sales this year versus last year for the same period, January 1st through August 27.
“Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment.” — Buddha
A total of (8) single-family homes have sold in Pacific Palisades for over $10,000,000 thus far in 2018, with a total closed sales volume of $637,247,439, which is $62,657,503 below the total closed sales volume of $699,904,942 for the same period last year.
Turning onto El Medio, one is struck by the quietness of the road.
Is it really possible to have just passed the busy village of Pacific Palisades, with its many cafes and sophisticated shopping, including the highly-anticipated Palisades Village set to open this fall?
The final destination—601 El Medio—is just minutes from the popular enclave, but seems worlds away.
No doubt this one is among the very best.
Rising from an expansive corner lot, seemingly drawn from a calmer time, the house at 601 El Medio is set off by wild yet lush landscaping, its dark wood clapboard exterior highlighted with mint-green trim channeling the palette of its surroundings—the rich earth and leafy expanse of Will Rogers State Park, the sparkling ocean—into something warm and welcoming.
The home’s graceful front portico and subtly bowed front window underscore this feeling.
The interior of the home only amplifies the promise of its exterior. In keeping with the tradition of a Craftsman home, every detail, from the crown moldings to the simple yet substantial hardware, to the tile work and wood mantled fireplaces, serves to elevate the home from the merely pretty to the architecturally sublime.
Its southern exposure, just slightly west of due south, keeps the interior temperate year round, even during Los Angeles’ notorious heat waves.
Cool and inviting, this home’s natural milieu lends itself to gracious hosting, whether the occasion is a dinner party, a long alfresco lunch in the garden, or afternoon cocktails.
It’s easy to imagine the dining room, for example, as the setting for a bountiful Thanksgiving.
Located just right of the front door and flooded with light on two sides, the space could easily accommodate a long table for 16.
A pass-through from the expansive kitchen makes it easy for one to move a colorful array of side dishes onto the table at the beginning of the meal and, just as easily, whisk them away at the end.
Open to the main entryway, yet set off by two half-room dividers, the space is inviting for latecomers held up by the holiday traffic.
And certainly, given the home’s six bedrooms, hosting family and out-of-town guests is assumed.
French doors open the large kitchen to the home’s side alley, providing a natural corridor for transporting food to the backyard.
(Here, dogs can scamper before their own dinner or happily lap up scraps.)
The kitchen’s walk-in pantry provides plenty of room for staples so that one is always prepared to feed a crowd of kids that will naturally gather here after school.
There’s also ample space for a table for the family that materializes around meal prep without hampering the cook’s pathways from the deep farmhouse sink to the multi-burner Viking stove, to Sub-Zero refrigerator and back.
The gleam of polished wood floors steers everyone into the house, past guest bedrooms layered with luxurious natural materials and artisanal touches—French doors that open onto the garden, lustrous dark wood cabinetry, stone shower floors and marble countertops.
(One room, with its reclaimed barn wood floors, beamed ceiling, and skylight, is currently being used as a gym. It would also make a luxurious bedroom, opulent home office or expansive craft studio.)
There’s a family room here, too, and a tall wine fridge, poised for easy access from the dining room, the living room, or the garden.
Given Southern California’s picture-perfect weather, made even more pleasant via ocean breezes blowing in off the Pacific, the home’s heated patio is another natural spot for entertaining.
Here’s the place for long leisurely lunches in the Italian style dinner parties that last well into the night, lit by candles and fueled by ideally chosen vintages or an evening picnic in the spacious
Asian-styled garden. It’s not surprising to learn that this romantic space, with its winding stone pathways, graceful trees and the music of its boulder fountain has been the backdrop for a wedding.
Upstairs, each member of the family has a private space of their own.
Every bedroom is a retreat, with a wrap-around porch. In the generous master suite, two sets of French doors lead to this feature and frame nearby treetops.
Coupled with the vaulted, beamed ceiling and a majestically tiled fireplace, this space feels like a cabin sanctuary.
Adding to the getaway feeling: a substantial shared closet, bathroom with a custom granite wave sink and a round Japanese soaking tub made of such fine fiberglass that it precisely mimics the traditional heavy stone version.
In the terrace off the master bathroom, one finds the perfect setting for morning sun salutations.
Or, with a glass of wine in hand and stars twinkling overhead, a mini vacation at the end of the evening.
On Sundays, one might slip out to nearby Pacific Palisades Charter High School for the area’s weekly farmers’ market.
In addition to the abundance of organic fruits and vegetables on offer are delicious provisions including jars of bacon jam, Corn Maiden’s tamales, fresh croissants from BreadBar and Bountiful Bakeries’ carrot cake.
Later, one obviously stops to see the puppies from Star Paws Animal Rescue Group.
Might there be another puppy to add to the mix? What’s one more? After all, every dog needs a good home.
No doubt this one is among the very best.
Photography by: Paul Jonason
This beautiful, secluded home, located on 919 Rivas Canyon Road, a private road, just east of Palisades Village, perfectly balances Old World craftsmanship and modern amenities in a fairytale setting
Finding a home that strikes the ideal balance—between isolation and convenience, Old World craftsmanship and modern amenities, proximity to nature and accessibility to culture—is at the heart of finding the perfect house in Los Angeles. If such stringent criteria has thwarted your search, the home at 919 Rivas Canyon Road may be the answer to your prayers. Unique in its detailed architectural charms, singular in its natural beauty and unparalleled in its feeling of quiet solitude yet only moments from the city’s world-class offerings, the home’s magical sylvan setting provides an inviting respite from the exhausting pace of everyday life.
Located just east of Palisades Village and north of Sunset, Rivas Canyon, a private, creekside lane abutting the trailhead to Topanga State Park and populated by just over a dozen addresses, feels like another world, where privacy, seclusion and nature are of paramount importance. As the chaos of the city quickly fades from memory, it’s easy to forget that one is only a few minutes to the sophisticated shopping and restaurants of Brentwood, Santa Monica, Pacific Palisades and Beverly Hills. Zoned for horses, avid equestrians will appreciate the ability to not only locally board their animals, but also to ride them over the bridle paths of Will Rogers Park and onto its facilities.
Formerly part of the vast Will Rogers holdings, this property, a saltbox-style home referred to by locals as “The Red House” for its deep crimson color, was the street’s original estate property. Nestled under a canopy of majestic old oak and sycamore trees on just over an acre of land, it was built in 1940 by Avery Rennick, a renowned furniture maker. Rennick’s handiwork is evident at every turn: highly polished cabinetry, heavy wood doors, and detailed moldings layer spaces with beauty. No wonder a who’s who of Hollywood heavyweights, including Myrna Loy, Zsa Zsa Gabor, and screenwriters Jean Holloway (The Ghost and Mrs. Muir) and Gary L. Goldman (Total Recall) have all called the property home.
While old, the home is far from antiquated. Nimbly bridging past and present, it has been restored with meticulous attention to enhancing its historical beauty and updating to accommodate the needs of an active, modern life. Light-filled rooms distinguished by burnished wood floors and walls of crystal-clear windows overlooking the verdant setting underscore the home’s aura of peace and tranquility. It’s said that the living room’s paneled walls were inspired by a display in the American Wing of NY’s Metropolitan Museum of Art, and, over the fireplace (one of three in the main house), a television is artfully concealed.
A soothing palette of subdued deep grays, blues and greens imbues the perfectly proportioned rooms with serenity. Updated bathrooms proffer intriguing penny tile designs that straddle the delicate line where historical accuracy meets the modern need. There are two bedrooms on the second floor of the front house—a spacious master bedroom and a junior bedroom with a separate dressing area—while the guest house, added to the main home in the 1940s, with its two bedroom suites, offers teenagers, guests, in-laws or live-in assistance the autonomy of a separate entrance. Downstairs, a den, and a guest bedroom, currently being used as a home office, and a dining room overlooking the backyard bring a soothing rhythm to the home’s pleasing floorplan.
A spacious kitchen, with an expansive center island, cathedral ceilings and custom-made glass and steel doors, partners the main house with the guest quarters. Open to the expansive patio, with its fire pit, full outdoor kitchen and a dining area, canopied by a lush pergola fragrant with wisteria, this storybook outdoor courtyard is the space around which most of the activities of the home revolve.
Located just beyond the central entertaining pavilion and separated from the street by a towering privacy hedge of lush poplar trees, the large spa looks out over a generous lawn. There’s a wine cellar here too. Carved into the hillside, the cool cave keeps prized vintages at the ideal temperature, ensuring that this home will be the setting for many a memorable feast, bounteous with vegetables plucked from the home’s garden patch and fragrant with herbs from its garden.
For the larger events that are an inevitable part of an active social life in Los Angeles, the sprawling, park-like grounds easily accommodate crowds of 100 or more. Guests will thrill at the winding paths that meander through oak, citrus and flowering trees, leading up through the wooded landscape, past areas for play, rest and reflection and to a private gate above which provides secure access to the Alphabet streets of the Palisades and the soon-to-be-complete Village center.
Whether you work at home or just need a spot to work out, the light-filled garage and carport, with windows that offer a view onto the street to watch for visitors or deliveries, is the ideal setting. As an office, its short distance from the main house offers the perfect amount of space that keeps work life and home life at a comfortable distance from one another. It would also make for a spacious yoga studio, meditation room or gym, as there’s plenty of room for a Pilates reformer or two.
When it comes to real estate, the adage is location, location, location. While others may need a vacation to find their peace and tranquility, the owner of this abode need only come home.
Home sweet home, with nothing like it in the whole city. Magic abounds, and happily ever after awaits.
Presented By: Ellen McCormick
Berkshire Hathaway, 310.230.3707
List Price: $6,800,000
The latest iteration of DC’s Batman Ben Affleck has reportedly just landed a $19,250,000 Pacific Palisades estate, some $8M or so over initial budget estimates among entertainment people in the know. It has sent the gossip bees a-buzzing with theories as to why — A new girlfriend, upgrade for the kids, a splurge after a successful year, all of the above? Realtor.com gives you the full scoop, gossip and all. The home features an immense 13,453 square footage on 1/2 acre, and is considered an “entertainer’s dream house” and any cursory look at some of the photos will show you why. Take a full look at the listing information here.
Ben Affleck will now be neighbors with Lebron James who just dropped $23M on his recent home located at 568 N. Tigertail Rd. in Brentwood. Jim Carrey has a house here, too. As do Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg; the icons live, perhaps not surprisingly, within a few doors of one another.
Brand New East Coast Traditional on Napoli Drive in Prime Riviera Palisades. Spacious living room with fireplace, formal dining room with butler’s pantry, study with built-ins and bar. Gourmet chef’s kitchen with breakfast area opening to a large family room with fireplace and oversized sliding doors leading to the outdoor entertaining area with fireplace.
Upstairs master suite with separate sitting area, dual bathrooms and two large walk-in closets along with three spacious additional bedrooms and family room. Downstairs features a screening room, gym, family room with full bar, temperature controlled walk-in wine cellar and maid’s room. Expansive beautifully landscaped backyard with pool, spa, outdoor bbq and guest house. Entertainer’s dream house.
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According to a Trulia research report, $1 million may no longer get buyers into the luxury home market – it’s more like $5 million as the new bar for luxury living. In fact, even $5 million homes are becoming less exclusive, as the number of these homes is five times higher than in 2002. Of all the listings, over 7,000 were listed in the top 100 U.S. metros in 2017 – 0.28% were listed at $5 million or more.
Brentwood had only (7) closed sales in 2017 under $1.5 million, and (73) closed sales over $5 million – that’s 29.2% of all of the homes sold in Brentwood last year. The average closed sale price was $4,277,878 in Brentwood last year.
Comparatively, Pacific Palisades had only (1) closed sale under $1.5 million last year, and (52) over $5 million, which represented 20% of the total market sales. The average closed price for Pacific Palisades was $3,989,789 last year.
On the other hand, Santa Monica had (28) sales under $1.5 million, and (32) sales over $5 million, which represented 12.8% of total market sales in 2017.
Interestingly, of the (758) single-family home sales combined in these areas last year, a total of (24) homes sold over $10 million and the share of $5 million plus homes sold was 20.7% of the total market. The highest closed sales price in Brentwood, Pacific Palisades and Santa Monica last year was $23,000,000. (South Bay had (54) total sales above $5 million in 2017, representing 3.59% of total market sales.)
“Millions saw the apple fall, but Newton was the one who asked why.”
— Bernard Baruch
Written by Abigail Stone | Photography Courtesy of Paul Jonason
It’s true that Los Angeles County offers many beautiful homes. Whether you’re looking for a beachside condo or a woodland cabin, its vast terrain contains something for everyone. For discerning buyers, however, the list shrinks considerably; true luxury demands that elusive combination of location and amenities that dovetail to facilitate one’s lifestyle. The ideal home must be within easy driving distance of work and the best that the city has to offer, from multi-star restaurants to world-class museums, beautiful beaches to wild hills. For frequent travelers, a swift commute to the airport is a necessity. It should offer an elegant setting for opulent entertaining on a grand scale and amenities such as a butler’s pantry, a pool and spa, housekeeper’s quarters, and parking for at least three cars too. It must be private and secluded. If security is a prime concern, a gated community is best. Suddenly, the inventory of available properties dwindles to a trickle. Throw in the desire for a stunning view of the water and only a handful of homes remain. Of these, 16300 Shadow Mountain stands out as exemplary.
Located in the desirable Ridgeview Country Estates, just west and north of Pacific Palisades, the home is situated close to the top of a beautifully landscaped winding road whose every turn seems to ease the stress of daily living. The exclusive gated community, one of a small fraction in the area, includes only 46 homes, each custom built, with two guard gate entrances, one at Bienveda Avenue and the other at Shadow Mountain Drive, ensuring access from both the east and west side of Los Angeles.
Architect Dan Lang, whose motto is “elevating experience in daily life,” put that credo to work when he created this house, one of few in this exclusive neighborhood whose design offers panoramic ocean views, front and center. It’s there, framed across the vast living room, from the moment you step inside the more than 7,000-square-foot property. You find it while relaxing in the master bathroom’s soaking tub; and again in one of the bedrooms. It’s visible from across the elegant terrace and from the stepped garden, whose vineyard slopes down the hillside, culminating in a large grassy plain that offers a space for sunbathing or perhaps a bocce ball or tennis court. And, of course, it’s the mesmerizing focal point of the family room and the grand living room.
It’s a home that impressed agent Cindy Ambuehl of The Agency, who quickly grabbed the listing. “Rarely,” she says, “do you find a home of this quality in a 24-hour guard gated community that also boasts sprawling views from the Palisades vineyard to Catalina island. This home offers luxury and serenity in an A-plus location.”
Befitting a home created in the modern Mediterranean style, sunlight suffuses its spacious interior. Melded with the imposing 31-foot height ceiling and the open-concept design of the first floor, the first impression is one of elegance and grandeur, a feeling the home’s details reinforce. There’s the beautifully balanced exterior with its arched doorway. A spiral staircase gracefully that swirls up from the entryway to the second floor. A row of Italian marble columns that not only elegantly define the boundaries between the front entry and the living room, but also create a gently arched arcade that steers one towards the other rooms on this floor. Tucked into the spacious corner to the left of the front entrance, a library lacquered in a deep and vibrant emerald green takes its cues from those in aristocratic English country estates. Gracefully arched windows, built-in shelves and a grand fireplace produce a sumptuous and regal setting that elevates the home office. There’s a family room/den, a spacious spot for watching television or casual entertaining. Boasting a long bar and plenty of space for a long sectional, you’d be hard pressed to find a better backdrop for a Super Bowl Sunday party.
With its gracious proportions, this home was designed with lavish grand-scale entertaining in mind. For a serious business dinner, there’s the dining room to the right of the entryway. More casual events might suggest brunch or supper al fresco on the large patio that stretches across the back of the house. And the terraced back garden is a dramatic locale for a charity event. Certainly with its impeccable views up and down the coastline, from Santa Monica to Malibu, a New Year’s party is a must, whether it’s a sit-down dinner for 200 or a cocktail party for twice that amount. The chef’s kitchen is certainly well equipped for a crowd, enviable not only for its design, which brings a beautiful rhythm to cooking, but also for its rare Brazilian blue lapis granite countertops, creating a sensual setting.
Upstairs, the private rooms are equally opulent. The master bedroom flaunts sweeping dual walk-in closets and a secluded master balcony; the master bathroom is oriented towards the sweeping panorama. Three other en-suite bedrooms feature similar luxuries. And as to be expected in a house of this caliber, there’s a separate space, complete with a pullman kitchen, ideal for live-in assistance. It might also function as a mother-in-law suite or place for extended-stay guests.
Sometimes, especially on the weekends, while sitting on the terrace and reading the paper, you have to remind yourself that you’re not in the secluded Tuscan countryside but in Los Angeles, a city of more than 10 million people. If this is what they must mean by having the best of both worlds, you’ll take it.
CINDY AMBUEHL OF THE AGENCY
424.321.4947 | LIST PRICE $8,750,000
Written by Abigail Stone | Photography Courtesy of Paul Jonason
Of all the canyons in Los Angeles, Mandeville is unique. It is the only one that leads nowhere. While this might be a deterrent for those seeking a shortcut to the valley, residents here couldn’t be happier, as there are fewer outsiders racing through the leafy roads.
Privacy is but one of the many appeals of this woodsy enclave, which mixes refinement with rusticity in equal, perfectly balanced, measure. Hollywood icons Harrison Ford and Norman Lear are longtime residents. Lachlan Murdoch has a home here, as does Ari Emanuel. Only moments from the 405 to the east and PCH to the west, the locale combines proximity to the best of the city with pastoral pleasures (to which the many bicyclists and equestrians who reside here can attest).
Hikers are drawn to the gentle rise of West Mandeville Fire Road, at the top of Westridge Road, and the Sycamore covered valley of Sullivan Canyon that winds below. In fact, its trailhead is within walking distance of the home at 13600 Bayliss Road, with the view of these lush rolling hills forming the bright-green backdrop of its elegant profile. Visitors are certain to know they’ve arrived at the standout address, even before their map app confirms it. All eyes are drawn to the understated luxury of this residence built by Drexel Luxury Homes, a firm well-known for building extraordinary real estate on the Westside.
The quiet grandeur that the home’s exterior promises, its interior more than fulfills, from the moment you’re ushered through the large pivoting front door and into the magnificent foyer, with its 22-foot-high, crisp-white paneled walls. This is a home designed for the kind of entertaining forged from deep, longstanding relationships. The dining room, its decor inspired by Chanel’s iconic jacket, creates a sophisticated setting for the innovative stylings of a private chef, telegraphing a perfectly composed meal made with items procured from Santa Monica’s renowned farmers’ market, and paired with top-rated vintages from California’s best vineyards. Even the powder room, with its inky black mosaic tiles, wall covering and white floor with negro marquina marble border, communicates sophistication.
A team of caterers will quickly feel at home in the expansive gourmet kitchen, which features the latest top-of-the-line appliances by Miele, Wolf and Sub-Zero; a 36” farmhouse sink set into a natural stone countertop; an oversized island, and generous custom cabinetry. For al fresco events, the outdoor grill and bar offers a work station. Whether plans call for a lavish charity cocktail event; a private viewing in the screening room, featuring upholstered walls, lush carpet and state-of-the-art audio-visual technology; or an intimate breakfast meeting under the covered outdoor patio, this home handles all occasions with aplomb, easily transitioning from intimate setting to stately stage. Sliding Fleetwood doors fully open the living room to the outdoors, a boon for when the crowd morphs from a few close colleagues to a few hundred associates. The lounge on the second-floor landing presents yet another location for a tete a tete or to conduct a casual meeting while the main party is in full swing downstairs. And, of course, Crestron’s SmartHome system offers control via phone. Complementing the home’s exterior (spacious enough for one to build a pool) is an outdoor shower and an outdoor powder room.
At this level of living, an executive is not only free to control his own hours but, just as often, to put in a full day of work from home. A quiet office, paneled in rich wood, provides the ideal setting for taking back-to-back conference calls, conducting research, or hosting important private meetings.
Upstairs, the 14-foot ceilings in the master bedroom create a room truly befitting its moniker. The layered details of the downstairs rooms continue here: paneled walls, a fireplace with custom-made mantel and marble surround, a minibar, and expansive his-and-her closets. The master bathroom is more than its equal. Sparkling underneath a crystal chandelier, two large vanities, a double-sized glass-enclosed steam shower and a freestanding tub on a stone platform rival those found in the city’s best hotels. The three other en-suite bedrooms on this level are equally lavish, with walk-in closets and Porcelnosa tiled bathrooms. For live-in assistance or guests, a similar set-up is tucked into the corner of the first floor.
With Brentwood, Santa Monica and the Palisades all moments away, there are certainly days when you’ll heed their clarion call. But more often, you’ll find yourself choosing to stay home. But then, when everything you need is right here, with the world more than happy to come to your doorstep, there’s truly no need to leave.
Written by Abigail Stone | Photography Courtesy of Andrew Bramasco
Presented by Adam & Ally Jaret, Teles Properties
List Price: $12,750,000
There’s an idea of California living that draws its portrait of a beautiful home from the movies. It’s a world of gleaming white marble-topped kitchens, shimmering pools, stunning views and linen sofas. Oversized sliding pocket doors integrate the outdoors. There are spacious garages, master baths for two and walk-in closets with center islands.
But these are not just fictions dreamed up by a set decorator. They exist in the Pacific Palisades, with its quiet curving streets, walkable village full of cafes and intimate restaurants, striking views of the Santa Monica Mountains, and proximity to the beach all inspiring an idyllic backdrop. In fact, two of the authors of this dream, Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks, live here, with 1545 Amalfi Drive sitting between their homes. (Coincidentally, director Nancy Meyers’ home is also located within this enclave.)
“When you walk into this new home, you feel a certain warmth and charm that is typically reserved for an older home. You can see all the future family dinners and celebrations that will take place throughout this home,” offers Ally Jaret, listing agent for the property. Newly constructed under the eagle eye of Metro Capital Builders, 1545 Amalfi Drive is the sum of attention paid to beautiful details that may not be obvious to casual observers. What they will notice is that the home somehow feels more solidly built than most.
Panes in the windows are a bit larger, the front door a little thicker, and the quartz slightly more glittering. The impression is of a space that is at once light and solid, casual and elegant. There is the interplay of matte and shiny in the richly colored wall tiles in the downstairs bathroom, the intricacy of the unique hexagon marble tile pattern in each of the showers, the 33-foot-long zero edge pool, and the Tuuci umbrella that presides over the outdoor kitchen with its polished barbecue, shading a grill master from the sun during an afternoon cookout, or a trio of bartenders hired for an evening event.
It’s a home designed to easily morph from an intimate family space to an inviting party setting: the kitchen is separated from the formal dining room and there’s a full butler’s pantry for nights that call for a private chef; there’s direct access from the front door, past a coat closet and a guest powder room; and the fully-finished lower level, where the acoustically-built screening room and chilled wine room are located, is accessible from the backyard.
Yet the home also has been architected to handle the needs of day-to-day living: the open plan kitchen merges with a breakfast area that overlooks that stunning pool; large sliding doors connect the family room with the backyard, and there’s even a shaded area that encourages the easy mingling of those who prefer spending afternoons outdoors opposed to staying inside with a good book.
Downstairs wraps a luxurious mother-in-law suite into the floor plan along with the aforementioned screening room. In fact, with a bedroom downstairs and one tucked into a corner of the main floor, overlooking the pool, two sets of visiting relatives can enjoy equally sumptuous accommodations and autonomy, with the ability to come and go without disturbing the family’s regular routine.
Underscoring it all is a constant feeling of durability. The home can handle the wear and tear of family life, retaining its beauty for years to come, to survive children racing up and down the stairs, splashing pool parties and birthday barbecues; teenagers congregating in the downstairs lounge after school; even an assortment of vehicles in the six-car showroom garage, from the family SUV to a weekend sports car. Marble tiles in the bathrooms, Cosentino Dekton countertops in the kitchen, Pennsylvania natural bluestone on the exterior patio—every material finish in this home was specially selected with beauty and longevity in mind.
“Every design decision adheres to the Metro Capital Builders’ signature of smart, functional craftsmanship,” says Reza Akef, principal of Metro Capital Builders. “We are not building just another home; we are creating a future family’s lifestyle.” Quite beautifully, in fact. One is especially grateful that the master suite echoes a five-star hotel, with its sitting area and bathroom built for two, rich with expensive Italian Calacatta Marble. The space presents the privacy a couple needs to support their relationship within the whirlwind of an active family. There’s a full wet room with a tub and then a separate steam shower; a wet bar with filtered water, plus plenty of closet space to accommodate two different wardrobes, one with an ever-growing sneaker collection and sentimental t-shirts, the other a pile of multicolored cashmere sweater and fanciful heels. Sometimes, while enjoying a few stolen moments here, sitting in front of the fireplace after dressing for a party and looking over the balcony at the kids and their friends cannonballing into the pool, you toast to good fortune.
You’re living the life that others only see in the movies.
Written by Abigail Stone | Photography Courtesy of Paul Jonason
Presented by James Respondek and Antonio Mollica, Sotheby’s International Realty
List Price: $5,395,000
There are many things to love about Los Angeles. The weather, of course. Access to the best produce. The healthy lifestyle. What other city in the world offers all the benefits of living close to pleasures afforded by natural wonders, like hiking and surfing, along with incredible cultural offerings, from world-class restaurants to the finest museums?
Ideally you’d love a home that’s sequestered enough to feel like a private retreat, yet within easy driving distance of the city’s highlights. Throw in stunning views of the fabled Pacific Coast, likened to the perspective from the captain’s chair of a private jet or from the deck of a luxury ocean liner, and space that is designed to take advantage of the indoor/outdoor living for which Southern California is known. And, if it could be LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Platinum certified, indicating the highest level of green built technologies, with perks like radiant heated floors, solar power and fully-retractable sliding glass doors that open the home to cooling sea breezes, then you must have wished on a lucky star, as this describes 17876 Vicino Way.
The home, located just up Porto Marina Way, tucked in the enclave known as Castellammare and adjacent to the Getty Villa, is accessible from both Pacific Coast Highway and Sunset Boulevard, a boon in these traffic-dense times. Yet, despite its proximity to the delights of Malibu, the shopping and dining of Santa Monica, and the small-town feel of Pacific Palisades, once you’ve stepped through the home’s wooden gate and into its courtyard, the outside world seems to disappear. Perhaps it’s the fragrant smell of lemons wafting off a tree bursting with fruit. Or it could be the mesmerizing flicker from the outdoor fireplace, or the inviting sunken lounge area, which connects with the den just inside the Fleetwood sliders. Or perhaps it’s the gentle lull of the waterfall working its magic, massaging away the stresses of daily life.
The home is oriented to take full advantage of its proximity to the sea. Standing at the front door, the ocean panorama is framed through disappearing Nano glass doors that open up the back of the house, which stuns, drawing you towards it.
Never mind the gleaming stainless-steel kitchen. Ignore the expansive island, created from recycled glass and lit from beneath, emitting a gentle glow at night. Pay no attention to the skylights cut into the ceiling that shed light on the kitchen’s workspaces or its boundless cabinet space with recycled glass fronts. It’s the subtly shifting view of the water’s endless shades of blue and its rhythmic motion and breaking waves that beckon.
The home’s comfortable yet sophisticated floor plan works as well for one person or a couple as it does for a family of four (there are three bedrooms). Beautifully finished Brazilian Ipe hardwood floors flow seamlessly from room to room. Radiant heat is sensuous underfoot, a welcome pleasure whether you’re stepping out of bed on a cool morning or enjoying the daily drama of the setting sun.
The upstairs deck extends along both sides of the house, a plus for dog owners who can allow their pets the run of the exterior. The great room, which encompasses the entertainer’s kitchen, a living room overlooking the back deck and the dining room, offers an ideal setting for any occasion, whether it’s cocktails for two, dinner for eight, or a party for dozens. There’s a private lower deck whose large hot tub is the festive end to any gathering; shaded from the midday sun, it’s also a good spot for whiling away a weekend afternoon with a book. There’s also a small, cleverly situated storage space here that could easily be modified for a home office.
With its pocket door open and bio-lime plaster walls tinted a soothing shade of gray, the master suite is invited into the embrace of the great room. Set slightly up from the master bedroom is the master bath and capricious master closet. A playful window cut into the wall over the soaking tub not only lets in additional light and the ocean view, but also allows for conversation and visual connection between the couple sharing the master suite. Hidden storage along a wood-paneled wall keeps seasonal gear stowed out of sight.
Two other bedrooms are accessible via a stairway, just past the front door and off the hallway that leads to the garage (teenagers—and their parents—will love the anonymity these rooms offer). A ladder in one bedroom leads up to a private rooftop deck. Standing up here, pondering the ocean and mountain backdrop, the wind rustling through the nearby trees, only a view this heavenly reminds you why the area’s early settlers named this city after angels. It’s truly divine.
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.
Written by Wendy Bowman
When the names of notable celebrity interior designer Michael Smith and the dynamic architectural duo of Mark Ferguson and Oscar Shamamian are mentioned simultaneously in conjunction with a residential property, you know you have a winner on your hands.
Combining Smith’s blend of classic European style and American modernism with Ferguson & Shamamian’s distinctive take on classical style and artistic integrity—not to mention an owner with an impeccably creative eye for refined elegance—yields a custom-built beauty aptly suited for the pages of today’s top design magazines. Case in point: this awe-inspiring Georgian-style mansion set atop a ridge at 1690 San Remo Drive in the highly desirable Rivera neighborhood of Pacific Palisades.
“This magnificent home is reminiscent of the great English manor homes of the 18th century,” says Elisabeth Halsted of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties, who is listing the estate for $38 million.
“The architecture, quality and sheer beauty are truly one-of-a-kind, standing out above any home I have seen in Los Angeles.”
Situated on a 1.39-acre gated, private parcel boasting breathtaking views of the Pacific, downtown skyscrapers, majestic snow-capped peaks of the San Gabriel mountains and Getty Museum, the grand ivy-covered, painted white brick mansion was built in 2005 for late entertainment executive Michael King and his in-vogue wife, Jena. No expense was spared within the opulent 15,642-square-foot showpiece, with extreme detail paid to materials and finishes throughout—including large steel-paned casement windows and doors; polished mahogany flooring; intricate ceiling moldings; a quintet of hand-carved marble fireplaces with inlaid stone; elaborate woodwork; and designer lighting and hardware.
The three-level residence is accentuated by a traditional layout, with the main level living space featuring a center hall foyer leading to formal living and dining rooms. Yet other highlights found on this floor include a wood-paneled office with fireplace; a sizeable sunroom with grand piano and floor-to-ceiling glass doors; and a professional chef ’s kitchen featuring top-grade appliances, a double-wide work island, butler’s pantry and dining area with built-in banquette seating. In addition, a separate breakfast area opens to a dining terrace that connects to a paneled family room with a fireplace.
“This magnificent home is reminiscent of the great English manor homes of the 18th century.”
A duo of stairs leads to the upper level. Here one finds substantially sized en-suite guest and family bedrooms, along with a sumptuous master featuring a separate sitting room, terrace, and dual baths and dressing areas. Meanwhile, the fully furnished basement reveals a true study in luxurious amenities. Among the highlights are a state-of-the-art home theater with tiered seating; a billiards room; a gym; a children’s playroom; a suite of offices; staff quarters with separate kitchen; and a safe room with a secure door.
For lovers of the great outdoors, the rear of the L-shaped home opens to an array of patios, porches, courtyards and loggias overlooking a grassy lawn and landscaped gardens. The beautiful resort-inspired grounds also feature a covered dining area, an infinity-edged spa, a massive pool and a pool house pavilion.
Rounding out this home’s special appeal is its convenient access to the Riviera Country Club—host of the PGA Tour’s annual Genesis Open in February—as well as top dining and shopping options at the Palisades Village and Brentwood Country Mart, along with some of the best beaches and hiking trails in Santa Monica.
“This is one of the most desirable neighborhoods in Los Angeles due to the prestigious Riviera Country Club and the abundance of celebrity-owned view properties in the area,” says Halsted. This impressive property is truly unparalleled, with its exemplary locale, premier architecture and exquisite design all coming together to create the perfect trifecta.
Presented by Elisabeth Halsted, Berkshire Hathaway
List Price $38 Million | 1690Sanremodrive.com