palos verdes


Designer Roman Pisar Remodels His Personal Home in PV

This comfortable yet stylish contemporary home on the Palos Verdes Peninsula that’s been completely remodeled to the nines with high-end finishes and furnishings by designer/builder Roman Pisar.


Now on the market for $1.979 million, listed by James Sanders of Re/Max Estate Properties, the custom residence offers a wealth of upscale elements, including polished limestone flooring, high-gloss Spanish zebra wood, solar panels, LaCantina doors and windows, and soaring ceilings, just to name a few.

“Almost anybody who sees the house would say that it is unique for the global interior and exterior design, which is very contemporary and modern compared with the area where it’s been built,” says Pisar.

“You can feel the difference when you first step into it; you will feel the silence and see a peaceful tropical oasis surrounding the whole house through each window and door.

As far as the design, the most interesting facet is the technology we put into it to make it a smart home; everything can be monitored from a phone or any personal device.”

Redesign by Roman Pisar

Situated at 26688 Crenshaw Blvd.—on a private fenced and gated lot boasting alluring courtyards and lush landscaping—the dwelling was originally built in 1961 and updated in 2018.

When it’s a builder’s personal home, you know it’s going to be good.

Expect 3,550 square feet of fully remodeled living space on two levels, complete with a chef’s kitchen outfitted with a built-in buffet and dining table, Thermador professional appliances, flush-mounted doors and drawers, and crystal stone countertops; baths with radiant heat flooring; a six-camera security system with mobile monitoring; six TVs with surround sound and Internet; and a stunning, 10-foot-long panoramic fireplace.

Redesign by Roman Pisar_backyard

Yet other standout features of the home include four bedrooms (most notably, three master suites, as well as a room currently being used as an office); a family room with a large fireplace; and an adjacent sunroom with floor-to-ceiling windows offering spectacular views.

Outdoors, the 25,136-square-foot lot holds a Bocce ball court, kitchen and barbecue, waterfall, and saltwater pool and spa.

“As a builder for 35 years, I’m always amazed by the transformation of an old existing property and how it can be reborn into a unique, top-notch house,” says Pisar.

“I love to save any and all homes that have the potential of being the leader in their area; my slogan is, ‘Save that house.’”


James Sanders of Re/Max Estate Properties 
List Price: $1.979 million

Coastal Contemporary

A bright estate in Rolling Hills is made for the modern family

Written by Joclene Davey | Photography Courtesy of Paul Jonason

Presented by Tony Accardo, Remax Estate Properties

List Price: $4,995,000

Simply put, the extensive estate at 2 S. Middleridge Lane is nothing short of a breath of fresh air. The sparkling property is the perfect escape from the busy Beach Cities.

Perched on a hill with outstanding views, this Coastal Contemporary Ranch stunner by Ken Johnson Development is just a few minutes from the beach yet far enough away to make one feel as if on a heavenly holiday. A labor of love built over the course of three years, the home was completed in 2016, when its famed builder, Ken Johnson, intended to live there.

True to Johnson’s beach-chic mantra, he seamlessly infused the home’s required ranch-style exterior with beautiful, light-filled, coastal modern qualities inside. “Being from the East Coast myself, I like blending East Coast Cape Cod touches with West Coast beach style,” shares Johnson.

Sitting on 2 1/2 acres in Rolling Hills, a community of successful business executives, dignitaries and other notables, the 5,500-square-foot home with five bedrooms, five baths, four fireplaces and impeccable views from every window is positioned just inside the gates.

It’s attributes like this—a location conveniently situated for having guests or making a quick trip to the market or nearby schools—that provide the property with a profound sense of lifestyle. Here is the place to make a home.

An enormous driveway—its size suitable for hosting a number of soirées, from birthday parties to annual family gatherings, along with sentimental moments, like the very first bike ride—help frame what unfolds as a picture. To access the Dutch front door of the home, which is surrounded with a beautiful grassy lawn and earthy PV stone, one is coaxed along a courtyard-like entry trimmed with meticulous landscaping.

Just inside the door, an open foyer leads directly into the large living room with tremendous picture windows exalting views of distant hills, trees and flowers as well as the city. Creating the bright, airy spaces are soaring ceilings, while rare French Oak floors reinforce the lightness of the space.

Pale gray paint, white baseboards and beadboard throughout play up the beachy Cape Cod feel. The kitchen, while equipped with top-of-the-line appliances and sporting a sprawling layout with French limestone floors that gleams with bright white cabinetry and a massive Carrera marble Island, fosters a warm, come-together quality. Surrounded with lots of windows, one enjoys picturesque scenes of the pool and an exquisite horse arena in a neighboring property just across the road. Adjacent is the sunny open breakfast room, with windows on all sides. More impressive than the views, though, is the vision—the vision of life here.

The inviting family room, featuring high vaulted ceilings and a Carrera marble fireplace is inviting, while, just outside, beyond glass French doors, is a beautiful indoor/outdoor living space with an outdoor kitchen and fireplace. Built to enjoy the afternoon sun and a nice breeze, the views are stunning from here, and the backyard large; there is enough space to host a soccer game, let dogs roam free or cultivate an orchard of fruit trees due to a dramatic shift in climate. While the Beach Cities are mired in June gloom for weeks, sometimes months, the weather in Palos Verdes is nearly always sunny and warm. “We love the community here; when we moved here, people came from all over

Hills to meet us. We were so grateful for the warm welcome,” shares the current homeowner. When introductions with fellow residents are exchanged, expect the pool to become a neighborhood hub, its mood that of a breezy vacation resort, a place to enjoy morning laps or a lazy afternoon swim while the kids and their visiting friends play boisterously in pleasant temps.

Those lucky enough to stay over enjoy the privilege of a private guest room in its very own wing. “We wanted our guests to feel that they have privacy, and we also wanted them to enjoy the wonderful views,” says the homeowner. Wrapped in windows with beautiful vistas and a sitting alcove, plus its own private bath, it’s a space guests may never want to leave. Other areas, such as the large formal dining room with custom built-in buffet, are more communal.

The bedroom wing features the oversized master suite, a relaxed and open space with vaulted ceilings and massive windows facing incredible views. Lovely built-in cabinetry topped with Carrera marble matches the fireplace. Noteworthy is the separate shoe closet, as well as the walk-in his and her closet opposite the master bath. The bath includes spa-like spoils including a freestanding clawfoot tub with marble counters and a steam shower. Down the extensive hallway are three more bedrooms, each a room with a view.

The five-car garage is the finishing touch, vast enough for a personal gym. Tucked discreetly on the outside of the garage is the trash receptacle, which is maintained by concierge service, so one need only take bags outside, leaving the rest for the service to manage.

With only 684 residences in Rolling Hills, homeowners enjoy the small community feel, while still being close to Los Angeles. Benefits from the community’s homeowners’ association membership, meanwhile, offer residents the use of its three lighted tennis courts, three horse riding rinks, and miles of private trails.

Tony Accardo of ReMax Estate Properties, Realtor for 2 S. Middleridge Lane, notes that a Rolling Hills property must leave an area for a barn to qualify as a horse property. “The opportunity to expand on this property exists as the current owners have not yet built the additional structure,” he explains. “One may consider building a barn, car collection garage, or even separate guest quarters.”

Moving from the Beach Cities to Rolling Hills is an easy decision when given the opportunity to purchase a property like this.

Close enough to the beach to enjoy what Southern California is all about, yet removed from the hustle and bustle of traffic and overcrowded tourism, it’s the best of both worlds.

“This is where the beach community is moving to,” Accardo shares. “Those who are tired of the parking and the crowds and who want a lifestyle home with more space and land are making the move here.” Quality of life in a home like this doesn’t get much better for the fortunate family who will eventually occupy it. What’s a few minutes drive when, at the end of the road, is one’s forever home?


Contemporary Modern

Silicon Bay’s newest development offers the latest in innovations

Photo Courtesy of Silicon Bay Development

A spectacular contemporary single-family home can be found at 212 16th Street. Set on adjacent walk streets, with sweeping ocean views from Malibu to Palos Verdes. The home features exterior brick imported from Denmark, Kolbe Vista Luxe doors and windows, Lutron Light system, complete Home Automation, Automatic Drapery and Shades, Miele Appliances, and imported stone throughout. It is only steps from The Strand and Downtown Manhattan Beach. It is one of the many captivating projects out of Silicon Bay Development. 212 16th Street is planned for an expected completion of Summer 2018.

Silicon Bay Development | 1300 Highland Ave #102, Manhattan Beach, Ca 90266 | (310) 546-1010


An Elevated Stage

Intimacy and sophistication entwine in an architectural Palos Verdes hilltop home

Written by Constance Dunn | Photography Courtesy of Paul Jonason

Represented by Raju & Neil Chhabria of Chhabria Real Estate Company

Offered for $5,950,000

It’s a perpetual challenge of architecture— to create a bona fide sculpture in space that’s brilliant in its everyday ease of use, with no compromises, and no errant side notes to disrupt the congruency that makes for truly successful design. Along these lines, architect Luis de Moraes has succeeded beautifully on one of the highest elevations of the Palos Verdes Peninsula.

One Voice

The home’s style makes it a rare bird for the area. A glass and steel Modernist poised on a pedestal of natural stone—a style that de Moraes terms “Zen Modern”— the home stands out amid many clay-roofed Mediterraneans. De Moraes’s firm,

EnviroTechno Architecture, is responsible for projects that include big commercial clients like British Airways to notable local residences, like Spanish-style villas on Trump Estates and elegant homes in Santa Monica and Marina del Rey.

This project, which spans 6,838 square feet and 5 bedrooms, borrows more from the architect’s commercial docket, and that’s not a bad thing. The home is a tight interplay of simple structural features, from rooftop to foundation. There is no frilly ornamentation, and none is needed. The shapes, clad in pale natural stone, have the beau of sculpture. The synchronicity of the home—inside and out—is the result and testament of letting a master artist execute his vision in an unbridled way. “It’s the house I would have designed for myself,” says de Moraes. It’s a rare confession and perhaps the highest praise an architect can bestow on his work.

Dramatic Sunsets

“The home is modern, and in a very appealing way,” points out real estate agent Neil Chhabria. “Also, the quality level is second to none. It’s rare to find that. We were able to build it as specified by the architect, with no compromises.”

De Moraes is not just an architect, but an interior designer, and on this project he functioned as both. It was a victorious collaboration, because, despite there being many well-defined spaces, every corner of the home is unwaveringly harmonious.

“The floorplan is very conducive to entertaining,” says Chhabria. “But it’s also a great everyday lifestyle plan if you have a family.” Tying each part together, from the sensual wine lounge on the ground floor to a getaway master suite on the top floor, are the unified threads of intimacy and sophistication.Typifying a space in the home is the Glass Box: suspended on a dedicated landing, three of the room’s four walls are made of glass. Just as one could sit from this lofty, elegant position with a glass of wine and watch the sun sink into the ocean, one might also switch the shades over the walls and curl up to watch a movie on the hidden, wall-sized projection screen.

Rooms in the home are clad in exotic woods and stone—the right touch in every instance—and filled with natural light and ample views of the peninsula’s beauty. “Every space in the house is usable space,” says de Moraes. And what he’s carved out is a living experience within the home—one where you feel merged with the uplifting blue and green panorama, versus being just a passive spectator.

Tactics to achieve this include walls that open the front living spaces to the sea. (Fleetwood pocket doors were used, and the limestone floors in the living room’s interior continue onto the patios.) Also, there’s an outdoor leisure zone that borders an entire side of the home, which includes a lengthy infinity pool, a fireplaced dining area and a grassy green. From inside the home, access to this area is plentiful, whether from the breakfast room, the airy living room (there are three), or via a fresh-air patio that borders a row of three bedroom suites on the top floor.

The siting of the home has been engineered to take advantage of the rich landscape from every room, with views that include Catalina Island and epic evening sunsets. Even the kitchen, the place where the architect declares he’d “probably spend most of my time,” has a bird’s-eye view through the living room to the outdoors. “They’re the most dramatic sunsets you’ve ever seen,” says Chhabria of the panoramas.

A Deft Hand

There is an absence of bulk in the silhouette of the home, which means less of a physical border between the indoors and outdoors. This lean profile has much to do with the home’s roof, which doubles as the interior ceiling. “The ceiling is the roof,” notes de Moraes, “which is not very common these days, especially in residential.”

De Moraes’s design is opulent but tastefully well-tempered. Rich natural materials, lava rock among them, are enhanced by the sunlight and blue sky and ocean views that pour in from endless windows. It was a deft and meticulous hand that orchestrated a play of materials that is delightfully just right. Ceiling patterns and details vary from room to room, as do tilework, which lends a note of playfulness and unexpected surprise to the home. Just as the master bedroom suite contains a textured combination of different types of wood and tiles, so might the bathroom in a spare bedroom be touched with a counter of swirled dense marble or a wall of shimmering metal.

Perhaps the space that defines the home’s mix of luxury and accessibility best is the glass-front foyer—a place that firmly establishes the home’s distinctive atmosphere from one’s first step indoors. Here, de Moraes’s aim was to create “a unique, dramatic space, without feeling like you are walking into the lobby of a hotel.”

Since great architecture is sensory, felt before it’s consciously deconstructed, you don’t immediately point to the soaring ceilings and creamy stone floors, softened by sunlight and a burnt-orange ceiling of glossy planked wood, as the origin of the feeling. (Follow the beams as they jut past the walls to form the exposed rafters on the underside of the roof’s overhanging eaves.)

Nor do you notice the hanging swirl of a pendant light (it’s the AMEBA, an award-winning piece designed by Spanish designer Pete Sans), or the floating stone staircase with its sculptural steel railing system that beckons you into the rest of the home. It’s not any of these things; it’s all of these things, and how de Moraes has composed them. Everything here has been defined but is interconnected—and though there are different melodies playing throughout the home, they clearly belong to the same leitmotif.

Sophistication Unbound

A rare, oceanfront estate in Palos Verdes Estates embraces timeless elegance

Written by Constance Dunn | Photography Courtesy of Peter McMenamin

Easily one of the most beautiful streets in the nation, Paseo Del Mar in Palos Verdes Estates is a place of unfettered blue sky and ocean views—almost dreamlike in their majesty, and aptly matched by a leisured row of exclusive residences that line the rugged sea bluffs above the Pacific Ocean.

The neighborhood represents an increasingly rare showcase of gracious luxury amidst the gorgeous modernism of Southern California. Among the properties there is one, tucked neatly behind wrought-iron gates, that’s special for its full embrace of the features associated with a traditional estate—from its grand gathering spaces, soaring ceilings and ample fireplaces and chandeliers, to a majestic outdoor playground that’s spread along its private oceanside bluff.

It’s the manicured front green and intricately laced gates—clustered with a landscape of neat shrubs and a mix of old-growth and exotic trees—that introduce the home before one reaches its circular front drive. With nearly 7,000 square feet of living space, the home is Spanish Mediterranean-style with a red-clay barrel roof and creamy stucco exterior. It also has other earmarks of the charmed California style, notably overhanging eaves with exposed, decorative wooden rafters and high, elegant arches over windows and doors.

The main entry is an apt showcase of the interior of the home, a place that’s refreshing in its unapologetic declaration of sophistication and high-tone craftsmanship. There are glossy marble floors. A chandelier poised above a curved staircase that’s hugged by an ornate railing system. Grand mirrors, and intricate, leaded glasswork that embellishes the substantial entrance doors.

Grand Entertaining

The waltz, it’s said, went the way of the horse and buggy due in part to the decline of grand homes with ballrooms big enough for all that swirling and twirling. Waltzing, and any other dance imaginable, would be just fine in this home’s ballroom, a dreamy space that defines its showcase quality with soaring ceilings, a fireplace and a glistening chandelier. It’s a home designed around entertainment—the grander the better. 

The ground floor is given over to this concept. In addition to the ballroom, there’s a formal dining room, plus a family room with a fireplace and a bar that, situated adjacent to the pool, is an ideal space for more intimate or casual gatherings. On an operational level, the home makes entertaining easier by way of an onsite commercial catering kitchen that’s loaded with industrial gear and space for event staff. That, and a cavernous four-car garage.

Where entertaining is the domain of the first floor, the second floor is home to three of the residence’s four bedrooms—notably a master suite with vaulted ceilings, a fireplace and a meandering walk-in closet. Two balconies open the suite to the ocean, giving one a delicious sense, at this high elevation, of drifting above the sea.

No matter where one entertains, there are views of blue ocean, greenery, endless sky and sunlight. The home’s atmosphere is one that also can be transformed when the network of oversized French doors is sprung open to the sea air and epic outdoor vistas. One can vividly imagine scenes—night or day—where guests meander indoors and out, from the glittering ballroom to the Eden that’s just a step or two away.

An Outdoor Embrace

Classic estates all have something in common: sizable outdoor grounds that have been fashioned into places of beauty and leisure. The canvas one starts with at this property, a lot nearly one acre in size, would be hard to match almost anywhere in the world due to its nearly 340 feet of private Pacific Ocean frontage. It’s a stretch of land that’s been optimized in the most elegant way—a design that would be impossible to duplicate in the present day due to regulations that make such a setup unimaginable—from the oceanfront pool and tennis court to the wooden viewing deck poised over the lip of the bluff. 

It’s a full-scale, regulation tennis court that exists along the oceanfront, with an adjacent shaded area for seating spectators or for partaking in al fresco drinks and dining. (This side of the property conveniently borders green parkland that’s ideal for jogging and dog frolicking.) At the other end of the oceanfront is a tree-flanked swimming pool and spa—a classic Roman design with rounded ends. In between is a series of charming outdoor vignettes—distinct sitting areas that have been adorned with fountain sculptures and landscaping.

Like the interior of the home, which has been designed around an expanded standard of living and entertaining, the outdoor spaces have been equally matched to allow for idyllic sunlit days along the ocean, and when the sun has set, quiet hours next to a home set aglow by chandeliers and fireplaces. In all, the estate amounts to a private playground of the most elevated sort, an ideal place to cavort and entertain, or immerse oneself in the peace and beau of an exquisitely drawn canvas impuissance cialis soft.

For more information about this exclusive covering, please contact:

Gayle Probst | BRE #01137236 | 310.977.9711

Patricia Hedstrom | BRE #00796720 | 310.936.5875

Presented by Patricia Hedstrom and Gayle Probst of RE/MAX Estate Properties

Offered for $13,900,000 |

Cosmopolitan in The Canyon

A New Rolling Hills Ranch Home Makes For A Contemporary Break From Tradition

Written by Constance Dunn | Photography by Paul Jonason | Presented by Raju Chhabria | List Price $10,900,000


“My goal with a contemporary home is to remember that it is a home. It needs to be inviting, it needs to be warm—but it doesn’t mean you can’t have dynamic spaces.”

For Palos Verdes architect Criss Gunderson, this stylistic balancing act between domestic and striking, is resolved in grand fashion with one of his latest projects, a 9,100-square-foot spread nestled along the peaceful canyons of Rolling Hills. In tandem with the size of the home is the generous lot of over nine acres upon which it sits. It’s one of the largest parcels in Rolling Hills, a private community on the Palos Verdes peninsula where homes are spaced at a nice distance and horses amble along leafy equestrian paths.


Sumptuous yet streamlined. Powerfully elegant while also being approachable. Easy for going about the business of everyday living. These are dualities that are difficult to achieve in any case, yet even more so when local building codes are rather curbed. “Rolling Hills requires a great deal of any homeowner,” says Gunderson. “They have some very strong requirements.” (Among them, homes must be no higher than one story, must be of the ranch or hacienda variety, and must have white exteriors.) Despite this, Gunderson, who has been designing in the area for decades, produced a singular and sleek home that, though wholly au courant, possesses the feel of a classic.

The type of luxury that comes with a grand scale can often be cold, loose and rambling. Not here, due to the architect’s keen sense of measure. “I very much enjoy the proportions and the balance of the home,” says Gunderson, when asked for his favorite aspects of it. “Since it is such a large home, I wanted to make sure that the overall design wasn’t really busy with wings or elements that would make it too busy. My approach was to take a simple solution of a main wing with very simply proportioned wings coming off the main mast.”

The strategy works beautifully, creating an interior atmosphere that is consistently voluminous—and even in its temperament, due to being outfitted throughout in fine materials, whether it’s the wine room, gym or just a powder room. There are glowing inlaid fireplaces on the walls of the family room and the living room. Smooth hulks of smooth Calcatta Gold along the kitchen counters and island. Dark textured wood cabinetry that slides open at a touch. Planks of American walnut, rich and glossy, that flow across the floor.




In other words, no room is given short shrift, either in materials or size, due to its perceived lack of unimportance in the grand scheme of things. The master suite is, fittingly, a standout, with fairly massive his-and-her bathrooms and walk-in closets, and twin doors that open onto an outdoor sitting area with fireplace. Guest rooms are well-proportioned too, with walk-in closets and bathroom suites each sporting a different palate of tiles and finishes. The wine storage is a spacious room decked with stonework and custom wood cabinetry to hold your stock, and even the garage is air-conditioned and big enough for half a dozen cars.

Cues to the home’s identity are tipped before entering, starting at the generous rectangular driveway inlaid with stone and desert landscaping. There’s a long-running gable roof with overhanging eaves and exposed beams. The creamy hued exterior plays against pale-stone columns that frame an imposing covered entranceway. The foyer, which was painstakingly designed, serves as a gorgeous Hello. There are glossy marble floors and 25-foot ceilings, along with modern block columns and a mood-making glow of sun and light via inlaid ceiling lamps and a generous skylight. Even from here, the views jut past the master living room and through to the canyon and twinkling city lights.



To establish an atmosphere of warmth, the home’s sophisticated finishes and features are broken up by light and nature, which seep through at every turn, due to Gunderson’s careful positioning of windows, rooms and angles. In the wing, where the kitchen and family room are found, a wall slips away to join the indoors with the outdoors—in this case, a spacious pool and play deck with an al fresco cooking station. The area is freshly landscaped with palm trees and a tidy yard of green grass, and there’s an ample sauna and a full bathroom.

This juxtaposition—between luxury and fresh air—is the hallmark of this home, with the former amplified by a number of streamlined spaces and transitional rooms that can transform the home into a living art gallery. “This home is ideal for an art lover to showcase his or her collection,” notes realtor Raju Chhabria. Grand hallways, lined with canvases, connect the wings of the home. Sculptures stand in side nooks, and an elegant viewing room links the master bedroom wing to yet another spacious wing, where four of the home’s six bedroom suites reside.

The home has been designed so skillfully, that it could function as a collector’s grand gallery just as easily as it could shape shift to a versatile stage for a social hostess—the formal, separate dining room is just one of the spaces that’s ideal for sizable gatherings—or, a family home with a dedicated children’s wing. And it’s been carefully sited on the hillside to exploit its high vantage for maximum views of the California landscape, too. Whether luxuriating poolside or indoors, one is always surrounded by a calm panorama of green trees on the surrounding hillside, rambling earth of the canyon below and just far enough away, the spread of the city. All in all, a poignant setting for this home, a work of art in itself, brought to life by a thoughtful and harmonious mesh of function, character and structure.

Cape Cod Modern

An exquisitely designed home in South Redondo beach offers views and a walkable beach lifestyle

Written by Joclene Davey | Photography by Paul Jonason | Staged by The Acqua Design Group | Presented by Carl Henkel, California Real Estate Offered at $2,599,000

Step away from the bustle of the Beach Cities to a quiet tree-lined street in South Redondo for a more tranquil lifestyle. While merely a few blocks from the sand and Riviera Village, this exquisite modern Cape Cod pairs peace and quiet with views and beach living at its best. Approaching the home from the wide, quiet street, beautiful slate rock steps lead up to a classic front porch with crisp white siding and contrasting black windows. Uniquely, a pergola design detail on the front of the garage catches the eye when walking through the colossal front door filled with windows. Stepping inside the home, over washed wide-plank hardwood floors used throughout, incites marvel at the high ceilings bedecked with beautiful, cascading chandeliers. On both levels of the home, vaulted ceilings soar to create a nice open feeling. “Our goal was to create a unique design with a beautiful open floor plan with lots of light to take advantage of the ocean views. We feel this home will offer a new buyer an amazing lifestyle with all its modern amenities,” states builder Larry Johnson of Johnson Construction Inc.

Sitting at almost 3,400 square feet on a 5,200-square-foot lot, this five bedroom, four-and-one-half bath home is grand in scale, yet intimate in layout, with a reverse floor plan. “With great support from our client, we flipped the house upside down, putting all the living upstairs. Our idea was to capture views, [and] we think the results are outstanding,” says the home’s architect Nagy Bhatoum. Additionally, large bedrooms dressed in crown molding and multiple windows create polished, light-filled spaces. Each room includes high-end ceiling fans with personal remote controls, large closets with built-in storage and full baths. Each bath has a modern aesthetic with quartz countertops, individually tiled showers and backsplashes with Calcatta quartz and glass tiles. Passing through the hallway introduces the spacious laundry room with unique storage features and a door that leads out to the backyard. Outside, one steps onto a sizable deck area for entertaining; just beyond is an expansive yard trimmed with lush plants contained by a white vinyl fence that encloses the entire property.

Adjacent to the aforementioned door is a private entrance from the backyard to the master suite. Once inside, the master bath shines in Calcatta quartz with amenities such as a large Jacuzzi hydro spa Roman tub, steam shower and dual vanities, plus a separate water closet. The master bedroom is shaped in a partially octagonal form, sporting generous vaulted ceilings and massive windows overlooking beautiful trees in the front lawn that promise added privacy. The suite is also wired with surround sound and includes a spacious walk-in closet with built-in cabinets. Completing the lower level are three more bedrooms, two of which are connected by Jack and Jill baths with dual sinks. Throughout the home, Kohler components pair with Grohe fixtures. Ascending the stairs, one arrives at an impressive open space. Immediately ahead is the kitchen. Along with the tremendous quartz island there are sparkling-white coffered ceilings, gleaming on through to the dining room. White cabinetry with partially glassed-in doors and a coffered hood above a Thermador range make for unique touches. The majority of the appliances, including a professional-size refrigerator, are Thermador; the one exception being the Whirlpool wine refrigerator, tucked into the island. Completing the kitchen are dual windows above a farmhouse sink for gazing out at the backyard.

Just across the kitchen area is another octagonal space with towering tongue and groove ceilings, a quartz fireplace and a plethora of windows boasting amazing oceans views. While planned as a family room, this space also could serve as a stunning dining room. From here, an expansive veranda offers fabulous outlooks of the ocean and Palos Verdes Peninsula. Opposite the stairs is a fifth bedroom with a private bath and large window seat with built in storage. Although intended as a bedroom, this space easily translates to an office or child’s playroom. Just outside is the elevator stop and a guest bath. Also welcoming is the living room, featuring high vaulted ceilings and large windows swimming in bright light overlooking the well-manicured backyard.

The marble fireplace is framed on either side with built-in bookcases and custom cabinetry. Facing this area is a handy storage space accessed by sliding barn doors—the perfect place to keep media equipment and other storage needs. A slight step up, through French doors, is an exterior staircase accessing a 300-square-foot rooftop deck. The explosive views from here—think Malibu to Palos Verdes—are enjoyed year-round, compliments of the oversize gas fireplace. At the subterranean level is a generous two-car garage with full-size elevator and walk-in wine cellar. An added bonus to the floor is the redundant system upgrade, installed as a precautionary measure in case of a flood or excess water flow. The home also features a dual zone climate control with both heating and cooling.

“Living at 1202 S. Irena in South Redondo gives you the best of everything; you can walk to the Village and the beach, but it still sits high enough on the hill to have incredible views. The schools are fantastic, and sun shines year round. [And], the people who live in Redondo are friendly and down-to-earth and make great neighbors,” shares Carl Henkel, realtor for the property. One that not only is a refined family home offering a walkable lifestyle, but also a place that defines tranquil living by the sea.

Seaside in Redondo

Written by Wendy Bowman | Photos Courtesy of Geoff Captain

Longing for your own oceanfront property in Redondo?

Here you go! This 7,028-square-foot estate at 717 Esplanade offers 100 feet of ocean frontage and panoramic views from Palos Verdes to Malibu. “To get 100 feet of ocean frontage in Redondo beach is extremely rare,” says listing agent Raju Chhabria of Shorewood Realtors. “The amazing infinity pool and spa go well with an oceanfront property such as this and are also quite rare to come across.”

717EsplanadeRB_Chhabria01 021_EsplanadeLivingNight01

The price might be a little hefty—at almost $13 million—but you definitely get what you pay for with this multilevel Mediterranean gem. In addition to the fab views and relaxing water features, the home has four bedroom suites (including a master with a large ocean-view deck, fireplace and custom cherry wood walk-in closets); three laundry rooms; a gym with two flat-screen TVs; a library with built-in bookcases and a fireplace; an ocean-facing multimedia entertainment room with a full bar; and an ocean-view office adjacent to a covered loggia, among much more. Show-stopping features run the gamut— from a gated courtyard with a fountain to an entry foyer with a 22-foot wood-truss ceiling, a tiled grand staircase sporting an iron banister and plenty of display areas for artwork. A private gate with beach access rounds out this home’s special appeal.

The Provençal Life

Elegantly grand yet refreshingly intimate in Palos Verdes Estates, this sprawling french estate exhibits sweeping ocean views.

Written by Joclene Davey | Photography by Paul Jonason
Presented by Kim Hall, Re/Max Estate Properties
List price : $10,450,000

Intimate luxury on a grand scale best describes the monumental French estate home at 1414 Paseo La Cresta in Palos Verdes Estates. Built with family and entertaining in mind, and paired with supreme elegance, this is a place to call home, where family and friends desire to gather. In a perfectly orchestrated space like La Cresta, a home designed for making memories, every holiday and special occasion is realized.

In approach of the gate, the home commands superior curb appeal with a beautiful circular paver driveway surrounded by a meticulously manicured lawn. Fragrant jasmine fills the air, whisking one away to the Provençal countryside of France. But behold, vast views of the Pacific abound as far as the eye can see. This is a home that seemingly puts one in another place. Naturally, “It is a pleasure to represent such a beautifully maintained property,” states realtor Kim Hall. “Furthermore, the home is also warm and inviting, unlike many of the newer builds in our community.”

Once dubbed “Chateau La Cresta,” this more than 10,000 square-foot home was a labor of love for owners Harry and Sylvia Bruni, who, over the course of a few years, added an additional 3900 square feet to its original 6500 square feet. The façade of the home is built in French-estate style with classic keystone limestone trim, two symmetrical grand verandas along the front, travertine floors and floor-to-ceiling French windows and doors.

Upon entering the home, soaring ceilings steal one’s attention with elegantly trimmed custom crown molding, ceiling and wall medallions. The living room moldings, in particular, were designed by JPWeaver, a beloved craftsman routinely featured in Architectural Digest. Despite the incredible ceiling height, the space feels intimate, due to the fine molding details and oak parquet floors. The stature of the ceilings do, however, vary throughout the home, lowering in more personal places like the dining room, creating a comfy feel during meals by the fireplace. Passing through the space brings one into the formal living room. Wired for optimum musical enjoyment, the room reflects the French aristocratic drawing rooms of the 19th century, with tremendous ceilings, two-story French doors stacked end-to-end with custom valances, wall medallions, circular windows, molding and hand-painted details on walls. The living room opens onto the large veranda with travertine floors to one side, and opposite, the backyard containing a meticulously maintained pool and yard.

Among the Brunis’ additions were complete renovations of the existing home, plus foundational upgrades throughout. The remodel produced a children’s wing with four children’s bedroom suites plus two guest suites, each with a private terrace. Linking top and bottom floors—thereby connecting bedrooms with the playroom, home theater, pub, and an exit to the outside pool area and exterior living space—is a hidden staircase. “With these amenities,” shares Sylvia Bruni, “we did a lot of [sports] team entertaining here…a lot of team building and relationships and memories were built during these times of gathering in our home.”

Throughout the home, no detail goes unnoticed, from custom valance moldings, French windows and doors, parquet oak hardwood floors in rooms and halls to over 40 vintage wall sconces illuminating spaces with a charming glow. While there’s fluidity between rooms, each offers a complete designer combination of paint or grass cloth, coffered ceilings, original tile work and custom-built vanities in every bathroom.

A vast list of bespoke design amenities used throughout the master suite creates a true oasis. This sweepingly grand room reveals picturesque Queen’s Necklace views through multiple travertine balconies accessed through French doors. The suite, accented with elegant crown molding, also features a gas and  wood burning custom-designed fireplace. Open to the bedroom is the dressing area featuring his-and-her bathroom spaces centrally joined by a capacious sky-lit dressing area adorned with patterned brown and blue vintage style wallpaper and oodles of mirrored cabinets and shelving in soft robin egg blue. As one enters the ladies’ bath, an enormous jetted Jacuzzi tub in Carrara marble complements a steam shower, beautiful custom vanity and make-up counter, and facilities all completed with a lovely veranda overlooking the pool—a genuine escape for the busy modern woman.

Descending the curvilinear staircase, one enters the grand family room with wet bar and pool table just opposite. Here, ceilings climb to the heavens, absorbing noise on those nights spent entertaining. Approaching the state-of-the-art French country kitchen with white glazed brick backsplash and a six-inch butcher block island puts one’s inner chef right at home among dual fuel Wolf ranges, a Sub Zero refrigerator, 30-inch Wolf warming drawers and two KitchenAid dishwashers—all for the gourmet cooking on the horizon. Just beyond, a huge walk-in pantry is what every busy family needs, as is the coveted mudroom, where for each child is an elegant “locker” to store their belongings. “Growing up on the East Coast, the mud room is considered essential; I needed an efficient place for my kids to store their backpacks and sports equipment without dragging it through our home,” states Sylvia.

Just off of the mudroom is an exit to the outdoor kitchen space with a Viking grill and refrigerator, stainless steel drawers and ample space for food prep. Beyond the outdoor kitchen is, Sylvia shares, her family’s favorite space: the outdoor living room, which is completely covered and includes a hand-carved fireplace and big-screen TV. Just beyond, is a large, pub-style mantuary with a hand-carved burl wood bar and coffered ceilings. From here, one can look out to the beautiful pool with built-in spa and expansive yard, manicured with a plethora of trees and sky-high pillars on the veranda.

While this French-estate style home is steeped in tradition, the Brunis did make some personal marks on the home like the hidden doors, in addition to a few other smaller details throughout. “One of my favorite parts of the house is accessed by a secret door hidden behind a bookshelf to my home office and gym,” says Harry. “It is a nice escape from the rest of the house.”

Although the home is very large in scale, every detail—travertine floors on verandas, reclaimed French terra cotta tiles scattered about various counters, floors reflecting the temperature controlled wine cellar—flows mindfully throughout. Several notable features include seven wood and gas burning fireplaces, eight full baths plus three half-baths, and nine antique chandeliers, namely Lumieres a’ Versailles from Foundry/Vidari.

Just as prime is La Cresta’s location—situated near both the business center of Palos Verdes (Peninsula Center) and the Golf Club. This puts it in easy proximity to all schools, shopping and the Beach Cities. Ultimately, the grand French estate avails intimate luxury on the Queen’s Necklace, with sweeping ocean views that make it a must-see for the refined family that likes to let down their hair at home, without sacrificing the finer things in life.

Sweet DIGS: Grand Modernist

Breezy, white-on-white spaces and ample coastline views proves that bigger is better in Hermosa.

Written by Constance Dunn
Photography by Paul Jonason

Offered Raju Chhabria of Shorewood Realtors
List price $6,250,000

462A3406There are three types of people in this world: those who yearn to step on the sand, those who just want to look at the water, and those who are indifferent to the prospect of either. This home is ideal for the second bunch—those whose yen for the ocean is best quenched by gazing at it, preferably 24-7.

That’s because there are few places in this 8,390-square-foot Hermosa Beach home where you don’t get picture-perfect views of the South Bay coastline, whether it’s the sloping green hills of Palos Verdes, the white-canvas legion of sailboats making their way out of King Harbor, or a full-length shot of the classic wooden pier jutting from Redondo Beach. And both the floor plan and Big Minimalist aesthetic of the interior have been designed to take full advantage of these visual riches. Oversized picture windows stream in panoramic views, while abundant outdoor leisure spaces are ideal for taking in the hospitable climate and seaside air. The design—big, white and airy—is Modernist to the core. Most rooms are oversized playrooms—rectangular or square in shape, with stark-white walls against white or wood floors—that successfully frame the unending canvas of blue sky and sea that surrounds the home. Your gaze is continually pushed outdoors, though indoors is not a bad place to be.

“The builder really went for it,” says realtor Anand Chhabria, introducing the home’s visual centerpiece—a cathedral-sized foyer. Chhabria, who works with the home’s listing realtor, Raju Chhabria, points out a twinkling constellation of ornamental chandeliers, recessed twin skylights and an exposed second-floor. “Everything is over the top. Grand.” Beneath are glossy floors that beckon towards a streamlined show kitchen with dark-wood cabinetry, marble countertops and steel appliances. Sitting areas, complete with upright leather perches in white and a reflective ceiling centerpiece that’s strung with pendant lights, mark the room as a natural gathering space, particularly since an entire wall is given over to retractable glass that opens onto an entertainer’s patio. Stocked with a bar and barbecue nook, a decorous fire pit and a seriously oversized hot tub in its center, the outdoor space can also be fused to the party-sized living room. This living room, though, can quickly be transformed in atmosphere from festive to intimate due to a sedate wall of wood cabinetry and an elegant fireplace that’s neatly folded into an earthy stone wall.


Special attention is paid to the home’s high ceilings, whether they’re adorned with striking light fixtures, gently curved or recessed, and glowing with light. It’s a strategy that’s used amply on the ground floor to interrupt the white-on-white theme and, in the case of the intimate dining room with its subtly vaulted ceiling, add more visual drama to the space via shadow lines that give the ceiling a floating appearance.

“This home has a lot of personality,” says Chhabria. “You’re not going to find other properties in the area like this. It’s made for someone who wants to make a statement. And it’s in a great spot. Kind of secluded, but close to everything.”

462A3389Purchased in 2012 and made anew by local builder Willie Campbell, the property sits atop a high elevation in an under-the-radar spot that’s, ironically, less than a minute from the Pacific Coast Highway and five minutes by car from the beach and Strand. The house sits at the end of a small cul-de-sac off 30th Street in Hermosa Valley, a residential swath of Hermosa Beach between Ardmore Avenue and Pacific Coast Highway. The exterior of the home—contemporary and rectangular, speckled with light-hued stones and shrouded by leafy bamboo trees—provides pleasant, understated cover for a significantly more dramatic interior.

The second floor, where guestrooms are situated, continues the “bigger is better” theme of the ground floor with broad hallways of grainy wood plank flooring and an L-shaped floor plan that’s mostly bordered by a translucent bannister stretching around the landing. “Pictures don’t do it justice,” says Chhabria of the home. “Every time someone steps inside you can see what an impression the place makes. And everything is so open; when you walk around you feel like you can breathe.”

The master suite is pre-empted by a showcase closet room lined with peek-a-boo glass and masculine wood, illuminated by twin skylights. The “master” status of the bedroom is re-affirmed by sweeping ocean views that run the length of massive twin balconies. (That, and a bathroom that’s big enough to do cartwheels across.) Each of the six bedrooms, though, are appreciatively well-scaled, so that no guests will find themselves lodged in disproportionally small quarters. And if someone is seeking complete privacy, they’ll find it at the end of a long stretch of sunny catwalk, blanketed by a glass roof and walls at one point, which leads
to a solitary room with spacious windows that are shrouded by tall stalks of
green bamboo.

It was influential French architect Le Corbusier who emphasized the idea of a house being “a machine for living.” In this case the machine—sleek surfaces, super-sized spaces and coastline views—has successfully twined a setting fit for cosmopolitan glitz or fresh-air relaxation, and tucked it away on a quiet street in a classic California beach town.


SWEET DIGS: California Ranch Redux

Palos Verdes Designer Strategically Reboots a 70s-Era Home


Veteran designer Kathy Entessar tackles a ranch house in need of a refresh. The result of her year-long overhaul is a contemporary property that retains the best of its roots while being amply ready for its 21st-century close-up.


Perched on a leafy hilltop in Rolling Hills Estates is a meandering ranch house with a low-pitched roof and rambling facade, not unlike the legions of others that dot the horsey, north side of the Palos Verdes Peninsula.

This one, however, had changed hands and its new owners felt it was time for a remodel, particularly since the house was riddled with the most tell-tale signs of its 1970’s vintage. Decorative wagon wheels. Copious amounts of knotty pine and faux stone. There was even a clawfoot bathtub inexplicably marooned in a stray outdoor nook.

“It looked like a saloon,” says Kathy Entessar with a laugh. Her interior and architectural firm, EIA & Company, was selected for the job after she showed off her 20-plus-year design chops in the master bathroom, where she smoothed a fussy jumble of veiny travertine into a sleek room of African Wenge wood and softly iridescent tile.

Existing Space Born Anew

It’s arguably easier to create perfect design from scratch than to go in and surgically reconfigure what already—often stubbornly—exists.

“It can be a challenge to work within a given space, especially when a lot of it doesn’t have a good flow,” notes Entessar. “And you might think, ‘Ah, I wish that corridor wasn’t there’ or ‘I wish such-and-such was here.’ But in the end you have to make it work with whatever is existing.”

A few areas, including a front swath of the house, were born anew. Pre-remodel, guests were greeted by a jumble of stacked stone, stray greenery and competing walkways, along with a dated picture window and tiny, cloistered-in porch. This was replaced by a low wall, smoothly stuccoed, that hems in a fresh-air patio with separate dining and conversation areas.

“The client wanted a front area where he could sit down, drink his morning coffee and read the paper,” explains Entessar. Heat lamps were tucked into the ceiling and slate tiles were arranged in a tidy Versailles pattern. A wall of French doors was created to connect the patio with the house, effectively carving out a spacious indoor/outdoor entertainment area while increasing the stores of natural light streaming through the house.

Worn, stamped-concrete walkways were replaced with neat landscaping and a welcome path of stone pavers. Entessar confesses to directing the workers to lay tiles in specific patterns, owing to the curvy visual flow that comes from a well-orchestrated contrast of shades and angles.

I chuckle, imagining the scene. “The entrance is so important,” she insists with a smile. “It sets the entire tone for the house.”



Harmony in Wood and Light

Stepping through the front door, it’s easy to see her point.

Rich hickory floors—handworked with a chisel and planer—establish a polished, earthy elegance that’s light years away from the generic terra cotta tiles that previously lined the floors. “Hickory is the toughest wood you can get,” Entessar points out. “They make baseball bats with it, and it’s hard to ding or scratch.”

Throughout the house, wood dominates, but carefully. From custom cabinetry to the dining room table—a walnut slab with curved edges sourced from Alabama artist Robin Wade—there’s al-ways an ebb and flow of lines to make it compelling. A chunky rosewood console and triangular floor pattern in the foyer create plenty of eye-pleasing dimension in this pivotal space, as does the starburst ceiling fixture designed by Entessar that casts a golden glow over the entrance, “as if it were a stage.”

“When I entertain, I always see three people over here, four people over there,” says Entessar. “So I’ve created little conversation vignettes, and eating vignettes.” These thematic spaces effectively carve out islands for people to converge on, and are a great idea in today’s Age of the Open Floor Plan.

Another way Entessar distinguishes this ranch house? “Conversation pieces that are slightly unexpected and enhance the integrity of the house,” she says.

Perhaps the most high-profile of these are twin walls of custom art glass perched on opposite ends of the central hallway. Replacing a pair of wagon wheels that look like they may have been snatched off a Ponderosa set, the idea of decorative glass was Entessar’s, who designed the tasteful harmony of vibrant, geometric shapes that subtly correspond to sunrise and sunset.

For Some Things, a Second Life

This remodel not being of the unlimited-budget variety (Entessar recounts a Texas project that had her making multiple trips to Paris), the designer was careful to earmark items that could be refreshed and reused. Among them were over 100 doors that were re-finished to an up-to-date taupe that effectively dialed down the Western knotty pine to the right level of rustic.

“I don’t like waste,” explains Entessar. “If I can reuse, I definitely will.”

In the kitchen, existing wood cabinets were refinished a dusty white, their edges glazed a bit darker to enrich depth. Throughout the room, tone on tone is used to distinguish spaces, create dimension and modernize. The medium-hued wood floor visually plays against a vaulted honey ceiling, and the central island sports a light sage finish that neatly twines together the room’s dominant colors.

When asked about architectural styles she favors, Entessar answers without skipping a beat: “My style is every style.”

Attention to light, lines and balance are fundamentals for any designer, yet Entessar’s training reaches back to a past in classical ballet. This exacting art shares a designer’s focus with visual absolutes, and it’s these she enjoys bringing into perfect harmony above all, no matter the genre.

“Design is like ballet in that there’s no room for error,” remarks Entessar. “There’s no such thing as ‘a little off.’ A ‘little off’ is ‘completely off.’

“When I see a house or a space, immediately in my head I see it complete. Perfect,” she pauses. “It’s a weird thing.”

Her approach makes sense, given that re-writing color and spatial composition figured so centrally in the skillful update of this peaceful hilltop ranch. Where there were wagon wheels and cramped rooms of terra cotta, the designer saw—and subsequently choreographed—a dance of glossy woods, ornamental art and soaring, open spaces.


Real Estate Insider: Steve & Ceci Watts of RE/MAX Estate Properties



South Bay DIGS recently had the pleasure of sitting down with long-time South Bay real estate duo Steve and Ceci Watts, who specialize in Peninsula real estate.


First things first. Why did you decide to go into real estate?

Ceci and I started selling about the same time 29 years ago, but I started here in Palos Verdes and Ceci started her real estate career in Texas in 1986. I did a rehab project in Lunada Bay with my brother 1985 and liked the process. Sandra Sanders was our real estate agent so I asked her, “If I get my real estate license will you hire me.” The answer was yes and for 29 years it has been a fantastic relationship and an incredible career. Ceci had wanted to sell real estate since high school so after she graduated from college in Texas she started selling in Dallas.

When and how did you and Ceci team up?

We met on a blind date 22 years ago, were married 9 months later, and decided to do what we both love to do and do it together. Ceci has very strong marketing skills and her background of having a degree in interior design is a tremendous benefit to our working with our buyers. We have been introducing to our sellers the opportunity to update their home for sale which increases their value tremendously with Ceci’s input for design features. We are able increase our clients’ return on investment double and triple what they invest into their home.

The two of you earned your way into the top 1% of agents nationwide. What is your formula for success?

Speak the truth, show up, be creative. I have yet to find a magic formula. The added ingredient to what I previously stated is work hard and know your market

You’ve been in the business for nearly 30 years. What is the most significant change you’ve seen in Palos Verdes real estate during that time?

Technology. Our real estate market is an open book to consumers. We even have our own app now where buyers can be in front of a home on the market and pull up all the MLS data with pictures.

What does life on the Peninsula offer that other parts of Los Angeles do not?

Where do I start? I have lived on the Peninsula for 52 years and 21 of them married. There is no place better to live, whether it is to raise a family or retire, because there is so much to offer an individual. Because there are no party bars or nightlife on the Peninsula, it is quiet. The Peninsula focuses on family life. It provides an atmosphere of living in the country with access to downtown Los Angeles only 30 minutes away. There is a sense of a rural atmosphere but with the benefits of a large metropolitan city right around the corner. The schools, the theatre, one of the world’s largest ports, great sports, high school’s top ratings are just some of what keeps us excited about living on the Peninsula, and now the world-class Terranea Resort and Spa in our backyard.

Let’s switch subjects for a moment. You and Ceci don’t just live and work in Palos Verdes — you’re also active members of the community. Will you tell us more about that?

We truly appreciate this community we live in and the people who live here. We feel more connected when we give back. One event we did, which was driven by our daughter Mariah, was to organize a 100,000 meal packaging event. We raised $25,000 along with FCA from all the local high schools. Is was great because it brought 400 people together, families and children of all ages, with the goal “to help others.” One of our annual events for 13 years was bringing Santa Claus to Palos Verdes. We started this process on a flatbed truck going door to door delivering gifts to children. This became so overwhelming we then set up Santa’s Workshop in Malaga Cove, which was such a blessing for so many people throughout the years. We are currently having a great time with an event at halftime at the Peninsula High School basketball games called SUPERSHOT. These are just fun ways for us to give back to our community.

What are you doing when you’re not selling homes or giving back to the community?

Ceci and I love spending time with our two girls, Mariah and Natalie. We love snow skiing, water skiing, riding bikes, hiking, and jogging as a family. We enjoy opening our home for various events and we are very active in our Church. Ceci and the girls are involved in Las Madrecitas and Ek Kardia, trying to teach serving others before ourselves.

Do you have any predictions for where the housing market is headed in 2015?

We expect the real estate market here in South Bay to be what we refer to as “fair market for all.” For buyers, interest rates are low and prices are starting to level off. For sellers, inventory is low so buyers will be competing for good properties. There will still be strong buyer demand for those buyers who are still in the market. We expect some slight appreciation for 2015.

What about the Super Bowl — any predictions there?

I am a quarterback fan and both these guys are impressive. Not sure you can bet against either Russell Wilson or Tom Brady. I would like to be negotiating Russell Wilson’s contract when his initial 4-year deal is up. Not bad for the Seahawks who signed him in 2012 on a 4-year contract for only 2.99 million…that is a great return on your investment.

Is there anything else you would like to add?

We are thankful for all the clients who have worked with us over the years and given us the opportunity to help them find the right home to create memories and raise their families.