I had a client who I sold a lot to years ago, recounts Charlie Raine. He built a beautiful house on the property. When the client was ready to sell that house, he called Charlie. The listing wasn’t automatically his, though—there were three other real estate teams in the mix, all gunning for it.
That’s when Charlie called Bill Ruth.
Both knew Palos Verdes like the back of their hands, down to its weather patterns and individual streets. “But we had to fight for it,” says Charlie of what was his first real estate win with Bill. “It was a big, big sale.” So big, the sale had the distinction of being the highest for over a decade in Palos Verdes. The two paired up again on listings from time to time over the next couple of years and, in 2009, made Ruth & Raine official.
“Bill and I went to high school together,” says Charlie. Both of the agents, natives of Palos Verdes, were born into the business: Charlie’s father was a commercial broker and his mother a residential agent; Bill’s father was a commercial developer and his mother, an agent at their namesake Ruth Realty.
Bill Ruth and Charlie Raine have each been in the business for nearly 30 years; Carissa Wright entered real estate four years ago after working in banking and nonprofit management.
Bill Ruth is a board member and recent past president of the Palos Verdes Association of Realtors; Charlie Raine has recently served as a board member of the Peninsula Education Foundation.
Ruth, Raine, and Wright collectively have approximately 65 years of real estate experience
The two have enjoyed a fruitful partnership as hometown agents, and a couple of years ago, another agent joined the mix. Real estate agent Carissa Wright and her husband were looking for a house in Palos Verdes and connected with Charlie and Bill. Impressed by her real estate savvy, they asked her to join Ruth & Raine.
“We have three of the top agents in our group, from three of the top brokerages,” Bill points out. He and Charlie are with Keller Williams and ReMax Estate Properties respectively, and Carissa is with Beach City Brokers. “And—you’re paying the same price. There’s nowhere else you can get the same exposure for a listing.”
Adding to this is the trio’s expanded geographic reach across Palos Verdes and the Beach Cities. “Carissa is in Redondo Beach and Charlie and I are up on the Hill,” explains Bill. Working together means greater exposure for their listings, and the ability to service clients throughout the close-cousin markets. (A specialty of Carissa’s, for instance, is relocating Beach Cities clients who wish to move to Palos Verdes.)
Another boon to the merger is chemistry. “There’s nothing written down,” says Bill about their partnership.
Everything’s on a handshake!
This speaks to their trust and easy camaraderie, evidenced by the good-natured joking and laughter throughout our interview. “My husband calls them my work husbands,” Carissa says with a chuckle. “We’re always texting each other, the three of us. Constantly.”
Whether choosing real estate after growing up in the business, like Bill and Charlie, or selecting it independently, like Carissa, success in the industry seems to require embracing it as a lifestyle, not just a job. At Ruth & Raine the firm, this approach is multiplied by three.
“One of us is always available to our clients,” Bill comments. “That’s the most unique part about us—you talk to a principal at all times. You’re never talking to someone who is not the rainmaker.”
Bill Ruth | 310.621.2885
Charlie Raine | 310.377.4932
Carissa Wright | 310.987.1829
Photos courtesy of Ruth & Raine
On rare occasions, a home actually has a voice, one that speaks at every turn. This voice conveys the past while welcoming the making of future memories. A quiet tree-lined street in the Valmonte section of Palos Verdes Estates sets the stage for just such a home—an exquisitely crafted, 1920’s Spanish Revival at 3649 Navajo Place that took four years to meticulously plan.
Interior designer Debra Terrell’s lifelong dream of owning a 1920’s Spanish home came true after a painstaking search. She and her husband, Don, purchased a 1949 Ranch-style house that they completely renovated with well-known architect Miles Pritzkat of Pritzkat & Johnson Architects in Redondo Beach. But desiring a 1920’s original, Terrell and Pritzkat recognized the potential to create a home that would look like an original Spanish Revival but with modern amenities, ceiling height, and volumes.
The home looks like the perfect little jewel box, meticulously kept and styled, enveloped on all sides by a fortress of lush trees and natural beauty—palms, Eucalyptus, and fruit-bearing trees as well as shrubbery. This private eden was designed by well-known landscape artist Ric Dykzeul.
Stepping into the courtyard at the home’s entrance, one encounters a soothing fountain in the center. Beautiful handmade clay roof tiles and French Cedarwood windows offer a sense of authenticity while custom-designed, circular etched windows made by a Catholic nun help the story of this dwelling unfold.
One foot inside the home and the entire space feels like it’s a giant tailored treehouse with dozens of large French windows allowing a delightful breeze to sweep through the interior. The views look onto resort-style grounds with a clear sight line from all three levels. Evident from the elevated ceilings in the entryway, Pritzkat achieved a volume that evokes a feeling as if the house itself breathes.
Everywhere the eye falls on a unique treasure. From the antique Egyptian front door, an extraordinary tone is set. This door inspired Terrell to find similar antique doors for each space of the house that are, like the former, at least 200 years old. These intricate pieces add an element of history, both charming and rich, that pops against the simple, clean white plaster walls reminiscent of a Montecito designed home by George Washington Smith.
“I wanted my home to be completely custom and original, so I designed every single tile, cabinet, among other details in a style from that era,” states Terrell.
Her hands-on approach helped capture elements of her muse—the Adamson House in Malibu, notably the floor tiles in rug form in the entry. Handmade tiles on the stair risers, meanwhile, are applied to every step inside the home and to the dramatic dual staircases leading to the incredible backyard. The oversized, vintage Moorish design floor tiles in the main family room were inspired by the priceless originals used in the adjacent powder room.
Gently curved archways and ceilings subtly transition from room to room by pitch or vault; some include hand-carved beams or a more modern design like the recessed look in the dining room. Almost theatrical lighting, all authentic antiques from Spain, Italy, and France, dangle from above throughout the home.
Also throughout is attention to detail that adds the perfect amount of customization, including handcrafted dark hardwood floors recreated in the 1920’s style. While virtually every room has oversized French windows, most also have French glass doors opening onto a gorgeous scene, a garden, courtyard, or patio. A true indoor-outdoor existence is the essence of this home.
Sitting on an oversized 14,000-square-foot lot, the home is also generous, with 3,800-square-feet of living space that includes four bedrooms, four baths, plus an office and a powder room. The master suite on the top floor is surrounded by windows and an entire wall of French doors that open onto a large patio overlooking the sparkling pool in the original 1920’s Spanish style.
“This is my favorite room in the house. I do everything up here—I work, relax and sleep. I really do feel like I am in a treehouse yet with ultimate privacy,” Terrell shares excitedly. The master suite includes separate his-and-hers closets and a master bath filled character and natural light, a huge soaker tub and a sexy arched shower fashioned of luxurious Crema marble. At night, one can enjoy the sparkling city lights from the bath or the bed in the adjacent room.
Terrell built the kitchen around her life. “Being Italian, I am always cooking and entertaining,” she explains. The large, well-planned space supports the passionate cook. Take for instance, the L-shaped island, equal parts baker’s island and eat-in bar and prep space. Even the Sub-Zero refrigerator is discreetly hidden behind an intricately carved antique panel surrounded by built-in, furniture-style cabinets. More modern amenities in the cozy kitchen include two dishwashers, refrigerated drawers, a Wolf Range and Miele stacked ovens. Adjacent is an intimate breakfast space with a fireplace.
The original kitchen on the entry level was converted into a high-end butler’s pantry. The space also serves as both mudroom and laundry room. Here Terrell kept the original envelope windows, kitchen sink and heaps of cabinet space where she displays her seasonal dishes.
Outside the Terrells recently added a spacious patio with an oversized barbecue grill and lots of area for entertaining. Guests can snuggle up to the fireplace in the outdoor living area or dine alfresco on the outdoor dining table. Happy hour is served from the adorable bar window that connects to the neatly tucked away wet-bar just inside that Don designed.
One descends the home’s dual villa-style staircases and arrives at the gorgeous backyard and aforementioned pool area. It’s a space to enjoy the fire pit on cool nights or, just across, get a healthy glow sunbathing on the west-facing patio.
“This property is ideal for families wanting to move from the Beach Cities for more space, privacy and a true estate feel,” says Teri Hawkins of RE/MAX Estate Properties, who is listing the property for $4,125,000. “Many people are relocating from Manhattan and Hermosa Beach because they want all of these at an affordable price compared to the Beach Cities.” Gaining not only more space and a large yard with a pool, one can also live amongst the trees, slow down, and enjoy life in the Mediterranean way… la dolce vita.
PRESENTED BY TERI HAWKINS
OF RE/MAX ESTATE PROPERTIES
LIST PRICE $4,125,000
PHOTOGRAPHS BY PETER McMENAMIN
USA Today recently selected Palos Verdes Estates as one of “America’s 50 best cities to live.” Listed No. 19—and the only city in California to make the cut—the master-planned community designed by the Olmsted brothers (sons of famed architect Frederick Law Olmsted Sr., creator of New York City’s Central Park and the Stanford University campus) is just 30 miles from L.A. and undoubtedly stands out for numerous reasons, according to the list-makers.
Think a locale along the Pacific Coast, complete with miles of shoreline offering up picturesque bluff-top views and plentiful walking paths; a designation as one of the country’s wealthiest neighborhoods, with the typical household earning more than $200,000 a year (more than triple the national median household income of $55,322); and an almost-nonexistent crime rate (22 incidents per 100,000 people, compared with the national violent crime rate of 383 per 100,000). Here, top-ranked Palos Verdes Realtor Chris Adlam of Vista Sotheby’s International Realty on why this is such a special place in the South Bay.
Why do you think Palos Verdes Estates was chosen by USA Today as one of “America’s 50 best cities to live?” Miles of coastline with stunning ocean and pastoral views, designated open space, nationally ranked schools and low crime rate are just a few of the reasons.
How would you describe the community to someone who’s never been there? Palos Verdes Estates is one of the most beautiful coastal cities in the world. As soon as you enter the city, you immediately notice the difference. There’s an abundance of foliage and the greenery, with a backdrop of ocean. The city has mandated that approximately 28 percent of the land remains designated open space, and this sets PVE apart.
What do you think are the best aspects of living here? The architecture is reminiscent of some of the most romantic cities in Europe. There are no street lights, so there’s an old-world charm that’s hard to describe. Almost all the homes are custom-built, and we have some historic, important architecture.
Why would someone want to live in Palos Verdes Estates versus other nearby cities? PVE is an oasis…peaceful and private, serene and quiet, yet it has easy access to the beach cities, and LAX is just a 20- to 30-minute drive. A small price to pay for the lifestyle.
What should someone know if they’re considering purchasing a property within the city? Each “sub-area” in PVE has its own, distinct personality. Some buyers prefer larger lots, some focus on the views. It really depends upon what’s important to you.
Is there a certain type of individual who is drawn to Palos Verdes Estates? Palos Verdes translates as green trees…this explains a lot!
What are some of the best neighborhoods? There are four sub-areas of the city, and they each have their own distinct qualities: Malaga Cove, Lunada Bay, Valmonte and Monte Malaga.
Do you have any properties listed there that are particularly unique for the area? I have homes that were built in the 1920s, all the way up to brand-new construction. Homes with amazing land or amazing views…or both!
What else should we know? Palos Verdes Estates truly has it all. The outdoor lifestyle is a way of life, with the Palos Verdes Beach & Athletic Club, Palos Verdes golf and tennis clubs, stables and miles of hiking trails; world-class schools; and warm ocean breezes. The Palos Verdes police and fire departments also let you sleep peacefully at night. It’s a true neighborhood where everyone watches out for one another. I can’t imagine a better place to call home.
PHOTOGRAPHS: COURTESY OF PETER MCMENAMIN AND PAUL JONASON (PORTRAIT)
Glimmering cliffside in Palos Verdes Estates, a crisp white Spanish Colonial Revival, built with love and steeped in history, commands incredible views from on high. With unobstructed landscapes in the quiet, highly coveted Malaga Cove neighborhood overlooking Bluff Cove, the home offers unsurpassed serenity complementing magnificent vistas.
In 2002, South Bay builder for over 50 years William (Bill) H. Ritter Jr. and his wife purchased the original home, one of the first in Palos Verdes, for its perfect location, serene perspective, and classic Spanish-California style. Plus, having lived next door to the home, known as Klip Knocky, Ritter’s wife always loved and had a deep connection to it.
With designs on making the home his crowning building achievement and wife’s dream home, Ritter made substantial additions to, and then completely renovated and modernized the home. Ritter wanted to respect the home’s history and preserve as much of its originality as he could.
Before Ritter, there was the home’s initial owner Myra Reynolds Ph.D., a notable author with books still in print who helped establish the University of Chicago. When she retired with her sister to a new development called Palos Verdes, she hired a pioneering graduate of USC’s Architecture School and the first black member of the American Institute of Architects, Paul Revere Williams, to build her retreat in 1925.
“It’s almost impossible to detect which part of the home was the original work,” shares Lindsay Ritter, Bill Ritter’s daughter. She explains how her father was passionate about keeping the design authentic while adding meaningful touches throughout the property, like discreetly placed tiles—elements of surprise that even she is just discovering.
Built in the classic Spanish-California style, yet with a modern floor plan, the L-shaped home captures majestic vistas from every room.
“My father’s approach was to incorporate the courtyard style the home was known for by maintaining a central courtyard feel that opened out to a spectacular Queen’s Necklace coastline and a 180-degree view from the Santa Monica Mountains to Bluff Cove,” Lindsay explains.
At the entrance, the towering entry rotunda anchors the two wings of the home: the entertaining wing, where family and friends gather, and the family wing, which also includes a formal living room, a fantastic wet bar, and a garden room, a lovely and quiet space for reading while lounging amid ocean views via surrounding picture windows.
Located at 1501 Via Montemar, Klip Knocky is just over 3,546 square feet (per plans) with four bedrooms and three-and-one-half baths. The large master suite has two balconies overlooking the ocean and includes a fireplace, large custom closet, and en-suite bath.
Travertine floors and tumbled travertine tiles in the bath, paired with a furniture-style vanity, give this space a timeless look. Adjacent to this space is an additional master suite, also with a balcony, and includes a private alcove with mirrored closet doors, created for a dressing or study room. The balance of the home’s bedrooms has private entrances, one with a waterfall and koi pond in a secret courtyard.
Soft white walls and classic Saltillo tile floors paired with arched windows and hallways add to the Mediterranean feel of the home. Multiple fireplaces with curved lines that blend into the walls like sculpture are sprinkled throughout while varying coffered and beamed ceilings define different rooms yet simultaneously appear effortless and voluminous.
A unique and picturesque wet bar acts as a sort of nucleus of the home. Part of the original structure, one waits for a handmade cocktail to pass through the hand carved tile window underneath stucco tressels. “This was one of my father’s favorite spaces,” shares Lindsay.
“He was always mixing up the ‘best martini’ for guests to enjoy, so he wanted the bar to be really special.” After a happy hour here, one imagines family and friends feasting in the dining room with wood beamed vaulted ceilings or around the breakfast bar in the eat-in kitchen. The timeless kitchen features a furniture-inspired island, granite counters, and warm cabinets with a paneled Sub-Zero refrigerator and Thermador appliances.
At Klip Knocky, one also can expect to spend a great deal of time in the incredible outdoors. The ocean view side of the home has numerous French doors that open onto a grassy lawn and lush gardens, private relaxation areas and rushing waterfalls all along the bluff.
There also are dedicated areas for escaping privately with one’s thoughts. And, shares listing agent for the property, Rachel Ezra of Vista Sotheby’s International Realty,
“The views from this home are one of the best I’ve seen in Palos Verdes Estates.”
Though historical and classic in nature, the home was updated with an extensive automated smart home system and is wired for surround sound, outdoor speakers and Cat5 throughout. In recent years the electric car charging station was installed in the garage and, as a bonus, there are two partially subterranean basements.
“The property is really special to the Ritter family and it shows,” Ezra continues. “As soon as you enter the home you can feel the awe-inspiring passion Mr. and Mrs. Ritter had.” This Palos Verdes Estates gem is their passion project—truly a timeless treasure.
OF VISTA SOTHEBY’S INTERNATIONAL REALTY
PRICE UPON REQUEST
PHOTOGRAPHS BY PAUL JONASON
BUYERS PAY 42.27% MORE IN PALOS VERDES ESTATES VS. RANCHO PALOS VERDES
Based on the median sales price for single-family homes in August 2018, buyers in Palos Verdes Estates pay 42.27% more than their Rancho Palos Verdes counterparts. (Keep in mind, this will vary depending on which specific neighborhood you are comparing.) However, the price gap may be narrowing. In the same August period in 2015, the median price premium in PVE over RPV was 63.50%, in 2016 it was 55.01%, and 2017 it was 54.81%. Therefore, the premium gap has been reduced by 21.23% since 2015. Interesting development.
Crowning a hilltop in Palos Verdes Estates, an enchanting family home soaks in the sea air and unobstructed views as far as the eye can see. Grand in style, the refined estate was influenced by a lifetime passion for travel and nurturing relationships with family and friends.
The family’s thirst for European travel is evident. Czechoslovakian custom wrought iron doors found abroad welcome visitors to the many artistic surprises just inside this home, many features of which were custom designed by architect Ardeshir Nozari of Nozari + Nozari Architects.
“We love to travel and I was particularly inspired by Tuscan design, so together with our architect, we built a home around our travels and very large family,” shares the homeowner.
Even curbside the home captures the essence of European design, from the draping gardens to lush trees trimming the property and highlighting the home’s cut stone exterior.
Beautifully shaped pavers patterned in the circular drive bordered with seating areas and singing fountains further invite one to experience this seaside estate.
Inside, the main floor has a palatial quality, its impressive rotunda entry flanked by cloisters and colonnade-style hallways designed for displaying a fine art collection. Despite its stately formality, the home is bright and airy, exuding a comfortable feel. While beautiful stone floors grace the hallways, hardwood warms gathering areas.
Countless glass French doors support an indoor-outdoor lifestyle and make accessing the outdoors easy from every room. Built for the entertainer, the main floor hosts a formal living room with a drawing room ambiance; the space boasts intricately patterned hardwood floors, a hand-carved stone wood burning fireplace and cleverly connects to a regal study, or a room that, as if plucked from another era, would be ideal for a gentleman’s nightcap and cigar over a game of cards.
With the ability to seat up to 24 guests, the dining room offers artistic inspiration via a mural painted by the late fashion designer Gianni Versace’s personal artist. Before a dinner party here, guests are sure to delight in aperitifs from the gorgeous wet-bar trimmed in veneer panels of hammered gold, reminiscent of a Parisian brasserie.
Design inspiration also comes from the family’s well-known Napa Valley winery, also designed by Nozari. He, therefore, used complementary design features, like custom wrought iron with intertwined gold vines that wrap the stairs of the towering rotunda.
Predictably, this is a dream home for the wine aficionado, with two separate wine cellars, both refrigerated and stacked, along with room for thousands of bottles: one room designed in the Persian style with barreled brick ceilings for a tasting experience, and the other for stock. Throughout the home are other meaningful touches that reflect the homeowners’ love of vintage, which in turn plays into their passion for entertaining.
“We love to entertain,” explains the owner, “so we built the kitchen as a true working kitchen. We have family over constantly and we’re always cooking together.”
The kitchen has a professional-grade Thermador range with a built-in wok and vent hood, and the 26-year-old French marble—in as perfect condition now as the day it was installed—offers ample workspace. The kitchen overlooks a more intimate family room that includes a built-in projector, bright hand-carved fireplace and warm built-in cabinetry.
Multiple glass French doors lead one out to a lovely patio that wraps the entire ocean side of the home and features a refreshing infinity pool with spouting fountains. This space has heaps of seating perfect for outdoor dining and cocktail parties hosted amid jaw-dropping views for all to enjoy.
Upstairs, one approaches the bedrooms by first perusing the impeccable art of the gallery rotunda; one marvels at the dripping chandelier and paintings on the domed ceiling here. “The home being so large, the owners wanted to keep the children’s bedrooms on the same floor as the master,” explains Nicole Oshiro from Palm Realty Boutique. At well over 10,000 square feet, there are a total of six bedrooms and seven baths in the home. Four of the bedrooms are upstairs, as well as a den and a gym.
The master suite, meanwhile, has a private rotunda foyer that denotes an immediate acoustic change. All of the bedrooms are en-suite; two have jetted Jacuzzi tubs in the bathrooms (with bathrooms throughout swathed in marble). These restful, quiet spaces are all wrapped in ocean views from Juliette balconies with glass French doors, as well as a large, circular walkout balcony from the master and one of the other bedrooms.
Unique to the master bedroom is a private office or lounging room just off of a massive his-and-her closet and a private spiral staircase that connects to the gentleman’s office just below. Downstairs one also finds two additional bedrooms: one in the housekeeping quarters and a main-floor guest room near the pool.
One steps outside the home into a wonderland with a full-size tennis court, a large sparkling pool with spa, and a sunken fire pit. There are two industrial-sized barbecue grills, one just off the kitchen’s patio and the other in the outdoor kitchen near the pool. All outdoor spaces overlook a grassy lawn, which encompasses fig, lemon and lime trees, meticulously trimmed boxwood, and touches of English roses.
Conveniently, the home is tucked away at the top of the hill at 1724 Via Coronel. The locale buys one great privacy and incredible views, yet it’s easily just a few minutes from life’s essential stops. “Arguably this is the best lot in all of Palos Verdes,” concludes Brett Zebrowski of Palm Realty Boutique, who is listing the property.
“Perfectly perched on ¾ acres, this flat lot boasts some of the best unblockable panoramic views in the entire South Bay. This gated private estate is a testament to opulence and lavish design.”
It is also an estate seemingly built to transcend time, its genre paired with an obvious upscale element that makes it difficult to define. Not only is the home timeless; it’s an absolute classic.
Photography by: Paul Jonason
Brett Zebrowski – Palm Realty Boutique
List Price: $11,900,000
Perched elegantly on the hillside of one of the most exclusive streets in all of Palos Verdes Estates is the enchanting home at 705 Via La Cuesta. Rising high above the land with unsurpassed views of the Pacific, Hollywood Hills, Downtown L.A. and the Palos Verdes Golf Course, this home feels far removed from the South Bay bustle, yet is just a short drive up Via La Cuesta. Set amid magnificent landscapes behind private gates, this stunner is sure to beckon even the most discerning buyer.
“This exquisite home is ideally located on the north side of Via La Cuesta, where your views are unobstructed, and perfectly positioned to get one of the best Queens necklace views,” shares Lynn Kim of Lynn Kim Real Estate.”
One enters the vast property from Via La Cuesta amidst a beautiful stone courtyard surround with towering trees and meditative fountains. To the right is a colonnade with entrances to the family room and butler’s pantry. Just ahead is the home’s primary point of entry, which is dramatic with columns and lovely vines climbing the exterior walls. Here, and in the main hallway inside, are groin vaulted ceilings that add to the palatial feel.
Inside the approximately 10,000-square-foot home designed by local architect George M. Sweeney, one arrives at the formal living room with 16-foot-high ceilings and colossal windows and glass French doors that open onto a classic European balustrade terrace. The stained coffered ceiling and hardwood floors warm the ballroom-like space. Connected to this room are a cozy paneled study or library and a private office that extends past the home’s perimeter. Lush trees beyond the windows surrounding this space create the feeling of being in a treehouse. Adjacent to the living room is the formal dining room with an elegant barreled ceiling and hand-carved arched facades.
Also on the main level is the large kitchen and connected family room. The kitchen in this warm open space features furniture-style cabinetry and two separate islands: one butcher’s block, the other marble-topped. Unique is a decorative alcove that hovers above the convenient indoor grill. Nearby, the breakfast nook protrudes the boundary of the home to capture panoramic views that one can enjoy with a morning coffee.
Wrapped in windows that fill the space with allow light, there’s not a better way to start the day than soaking in the morning sun while gazing at the Pacific. Just across, a charming family room with wood vaulted ceilings and stone feature wall creates a restful environment. Completing this floor is one of six total bedrooms with a three-quarter bath, as well as a powder room in the main hallway.
Upstairs, the grand master suite is trimmed with windows and includes a hand-carved fireplace, one of eight throughout the home, and a private balcony overlooking the swimming pool. Meanwhile, the master bath has furniture-style cabinetry and a jetted tub. Distinct is the private retreat accessed only through the master bathroom, where one steps up to a serene, intricately detailed space with windows and views galore, a private place to meditate, practice yoga, or read and escape from the world.
Descending the stairs to the home’s lower level introduces the ultimate entertaining space: a beautiful game room finished with rough-cut limestone walls, beamed ceilings and a fireplace. The presence of a home movie theater, sauna and cantina-style wet bar ensure that great memories will be made in this home. Before all the fun, however, one can work out in the exercise room, which is large enough to hold a state-of-the-art gym.
Also on the bottom floor is the ultimate laundry facility, featuring two sets of washers and dryers and two home dry cleaning machines, as well as an extra refrigerator and warming and cooling drawers. Here, you’ll find a sixth bedroom, making it the perfect location for a nanny or housekeeping quarters, or even a massage room. Finally, the three-car garage is a dream with custom built-ins and a bonus area for working on projects.
The stunning exterior grounds of this home stretch gracefully along the property. “Being lined with trees and greenery, there is complete privacy on this estate,” explains Kim. Meticulously cared for vineyards, rose gardens, fruit trees and shrubs from end to end delight the senses. Gravel-topped walking paths invite peaceful morning walks past the koi pond or flower gardens amid impressive stone pathways and little wooden bridges.
The outdoors is a big part of the house’s appeal, offering residents every opportunity to enjoy the beautiful Southern California weather and breathtaking views. Center stage is an incredible 17th-century stone fireplace imported from France.
Surrounding the fireplace is an outdoor dining and living area as well as a separate outdoor kitchen. Gorgeous stone built-in seating is perfect for enjoying time with family and friends. Meanwhile, the sparkling pool and hot tub feature classically designed mosaic tiles and are surrounded by a dramatic outdoor patio area. Just on the other side of the pool is a romantic stone gazebo with fireplace and curtains for added privacy. The full-size tennis court completes the outdoor amenities. “One of the many things that make this home special are all of the little retreats tucked here and there around the property. One can really escape from it all in this home,” shares Kim.
This estate in fact has it all: the option of complete privacy and time away from the rest of the world, or to own an entertainer’s dream with plenty of room to accommodate guests and enjoy ample activities and outdoor spaces. Truly an enchanted life to be lived.
PRESENTED BY LYNN KIM
OF VISTA SOTHEBY’S INTERNATIONAL REALTY
310.741.2642 | LIST PRICE $15,999,000
Written by Constance Dunn | Photography Courtesy of Paul Jonason
A few years ago, a local businessman snapped up a plum property, located on a hillside and adjacent to his own Palos Verdes home. Luckily for Rose and Nicholas Colonna, the property became available when they were looking for a new home. “We downsized because our kids were all gone,” says Rose Colonna, a Palos Verdes native. Searching for something luxurious, yet not grandly scaled like her former home, which was approximately 12,000 square feet, Colonna knew that when she set her eyes on the nearly 7,000 square foot home three years ago, it was just the place. The couple snapped up the property to which they added approximately a million dollars in custom renovations.
The result is a fine Spanish home in the hacienda style, complete with a U-shaped floor plan that cradles an outdoor oasis in the vein of a leisured resort. Inside, rooms are meticulously decked with the features of classic luxury, from Venetian plastered walls to ornate chandeliers and coffered ceilings.
The atmosphere is an ideal twine of sumptuousness and making the most of Southern California’s fair climate—ocean views included. “It checks all the boxes. Everything I had in the big house I have here,” says Colonna, “only on a smaller scale.”
“I love the kitchen,” she says, walking through the ideally sized space—one that’s large enough to handle a hefty entertaining load yet small enough to feel homey when making morning coffee or fixing an informal family meal. “Look around, it has everything,” she says, pointing out features that include an oversized Viking range, along with dual refrigerators, dual dishwashers and built-in beverage drawers.
There are ornate glossy floors and a central island—along with shiny steel appliances and a deftly inlaid coffered ceiling. The more decorative notes are balanced by touches of farmhouse chic, such as carved cabinetry in shades
of walnut and antique blue, and a fresh-air atmosphere due to French doors that open directly to the outdoors. A butler’s pantry and an adjacent sunlit breakfast room complete the scene. “You don’t have to set up tables,” says Colonna, noting the multiple dining areas, steps from the kitchen. “You can have a party of 80 and you’re ready to go.”
Speaking of parties, the grounds are designed for them. Like the interior, the scale of the exterior spaces achieves an atmosphere of easy luxury without the burden of too vast a space, which inevitably leads to thoughts of upkeep.
A covered outdoor living room with a fireplace and a grand dining area, ideal for candlelit dinner gatherings, dominates the central courtyard—a space adjoined to the interior daily gathering rooms by a generous use of French doors. One of these is a family room with a vista that stretches across the city and mountains, and where Colonna enjoys peaceful mornings making jewelry and taking in the views.
“When my friends stop by, they tell me they don’t want to leave because they feel they’re on vacation,” says Colonna with a chuckle as we stroll outside, past the Roman-shaped pool and the fire pit, the full-sized bar and outdoor kitchen. This leisure area, decked in smooth travertine, is tidy and private, with a keen landscape of palm trees and succulents, creeping bougainvillea and tidy European hedges. “My husband is the landscaper,” she says. The style? “We did classic Santa Barbara Spanish.” Adding to this is a manicured lawn of more than 2,500 square feet that sits below this elevated area, with peaceful waterfalls and a koi pond.
Entertaining areas abound inside the home as well. There’s an intimate media room on the lower floor (there are three floors in all). For formal occasions, the wing on the main floor includes both a chandeliered dining room and a living room, plus a cozy library loaded with intricate custom finish work—from a carved marble fireplace and a deep tray ceiling to matching cabinetry and bookshelves in a deep merlot hue.
Perhaps the most epic views in a property filled with them are found in the master wing, which encompasses most of the top floor of the home, and in itself could serve as stand-alone lodging. There’s a massive outdoor terrace laid with stonework that affords a palm tree panorama stretching across the peninsula and beyond. “The view is really endless,” notes Colonna. “You can see the San Bernardino mountains, the Queen’s Necklace and even further, Point Dume.” A sequence of French doors merge the space with the indoors, which includes an airy office (“We love the office here, it’s so convenient”) and a sunlit bedroom, complete with a marble fireplace and quiet side patio that seems the ideal spot for lounging in the morning hours or stargazing before bed.
The master bath is appropriately outfitted in size and details, including chandeliers, marble counters and an elevated spa tub where one can soak amid views of the Pacific Ocean. The closet is notable for both its size—it’s as big as a nearby bedroom—and modern design niceties supplied by friend and wardrobe consultant, Gayle Theodora Drake, who customized features ranging from a generous shoe showcase and lockable cabinetry to a marble island and vanity.
Consistent throughout the home, from the most ornate room or column-filled hallway to every bedroom, is quick access to the outdoors, with its fresh air and resplendent views. It’s that balance again, between sunshine and stateliness. Perhaps it’s floor-to-ceiling doors that open onto a private sitting lawn, as is the case in the library and the dining room.
The private hydrangea garden that one steps out to from one of the five en-suite bedrooms. Or wrought-iron balconies in the formal living room, where one can drink in the home’s hilltop perspective that stretches across the mountains, ocean and city.
Whether it’s the triple-layered wainscoting in a spare guestroom or the gleaming workspaces that line the car-lover’s garage, the detailing throughout the property—inside and on its grounds—is the high-note of the home. “The level of detail,” real estate agent Anand Chhabria answers quickly when asked what makes the home so special. “Everything about this house, especially what the owner did from the time they moved in, is amazing.”
Perched high on a hill in the most sought-after Lunada Bay community in Palos Verdes Estates is a contemporary classic. Notable for being near the area’s top public and private schools, the award winning Terranea Resort and breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean, one could think of 1376 Via Romero as a private oasis. With a luscious stucco exterior, Terracotta roof tiles, and subtle landscaping that entices with an alluring simplicity, it’s the thoughtful adornments that add a touch of elegance and frame the overall look of the home.
With just over 10,000 square feet of living space, and a maximized open concept inverse floor plan, a home of this caliber offers a family-friendly design that’s also ideal for those who enjoy entertaining. Built ahead of its time, with a modern-day remodel, the overall essence of this six-bedroom, eight-bathroom abode is a timeless embrace. With 180 degrees of unobstructed ocean views, along with 25-foot floor-to-ceiling windows that pristinely line both levels of the residence, there’s no question that former New York Giants Super Bowl champion, Antonio Pierce, called this au courant property home.
“As soon as you walk in the door, the place just has that wow factor,” says Jocelyn Pierce, wife of Antonio Pierce and representative of Vista Sotheby’s International Realty. It’s a quality that continues as you make your way through the home. The geometrically shaped living room is both expansive and inviting. Accents include lofty vaulted ceilings, wood beams, and brilliantly articulated skylights that let in natural ambient lighting. Located off the living room is a stylishly modern European-inspired kitchen with an ambiance of its own. Highlights here include top-of-the-line appliances, beautiful Caesarstone countertops, flat-panel cabinetry, and a large wrap-around balcony as an amenity to the space. The generously-sized master suite, meanwhile, is a true getaway, with two-story closet space, an en-suite master bathroom with heated floors, a steam shower, and a private wrap-around balcony that embraces far-reaching and picturesque views.
In contrast to the main floor, the downstairs area holds a more intimate living space that includes private bedrooms, an updated home office, a game room, wine cellar, and state-of-the-art gym. All this incentivizes one to stay put. However, the property’s outdoor entertainment area also entices with a vast patio space quintessential for enjoying the awe-inspiring ocean scenery, along with a full-sized regulation tennis court oriented from north to south, and a half basketball court.
In all, this private oasis is a Palos Verdes gem, meticulously designed with contemporary appeal, expansive views and lavish essentials galore.
Written by Alisha Henson
Photography Courtesy of Peter McMenamin
When noted, American landscape architect and planner Frederick Law Olmsted Jr. was offered his choice of parcels in the area on which to build a personal residence as a thank you for his hand in creating the city of Palos Verdes Estates in 1925, he chose this bluff-top beauty at 2101 Rosita Place. With the help of renowned architect Myron Hunt, he then set out to craft a Spanish-inspired estate on the eucalyptus-laced lot overlooking the coastline, complete with views of the Pacific and Santa Monica Bay, artisan touches aside masterful updates, and natural beauty…all rolled into an unparalleled package.
Today, the 3,453 square foot villa—known as “Casa Felicia”—continues to attract attention in a community of standout properties. Among the show-stopping features of the four-bedroom, three-and-a-half-bath home: a serpentine driveway crafted from oversized Mexican bricks; hand-carved doors; vaulted ceilings; hand-crafted fireplaces; tile flooring; ornamental wood pillars; and a dramatic skylight in the scenic dining room. Not to mention the luxurious outdoor environs—rife with lush landscaping and special features ranging from handmade fountains to the Coliseum, a rotunda flanked by stone walls that has been host to many a festive wedding and family celebration.
“ This property has 270 feet of ocean
frontage on a 65,000 square foot lot;
it is spectacular land and a once-in-a-
lifetime opportunity,” says listing
agent Chris Adlam of Vista Sotheby’s
International Realty, who recently
sold the home (which was on the
market for the first time in 50-plus
years) for $11.950 million.”