It’s here that a modern-day haven is found—approximately 5,500 square feet of it, with five bedrooms plus an office, five-and-a-half bathrooms and lots of outdoor living space—on a corner walk street where 34th Street meets the ocean: at 3400 The Strand. The home is the product of architect Louie Tomaro, well known for designing elegant California coastal homes. In this case, Tomaro, wholly accustomed to making the most of ocean views and beachfront living, created an inviting au courant residence with an island focus, courtesy of the homeowners who were inspired by the tropical luxe of Four Seasons Resort Hualalai on Hawaii’s charmed Kona Coast.
The blend of the two styles, contemporary and island, makes for a seaside residence that is distinctive, yet timeless in the vein of Southern California architecture: connecting organically to the bounty of Pacific Ocean, sand and fresh air while being eternally practical for both high-toned entertaining and comfortable family life.
According to the real estate firm Gillespie-Host Group, of Sotheby’s International Realty: “There are other houses with similar characteristics, but none are executed quite as well as this one.”
Boasting an exceedingly well-crafted level of detail and materials, the home stands out even among the Strand’s ultra-grade residences. Even the overhanging eaves are decked with mahogany, and its copper gutters are cast a soft aqua patina. Inside, floors and floating stairs are crafted from a striking Brazilian hardwood—Chichipate.
With its subtle striping and inviting chestnut hue, the wood contrasts with the home’s creamy walls to amplify its uplifting ocean-and-sunshine atmosphere. The custom mahogany cabinetry and columns throughout combined with grass-clothed and mahogany ceilings create an island feel.
The property’s beauty is fresh, as the property has been impeccably maintained since being completed at the end of 2006. “The homeowners used the best materials, and it shows,” notes Gillespie-Host Group. “The homeowners are extremely meticulous in the upkeep—the home is pristine.”
The good-time hub is found on the ground level—a leisure floor that merges its many elegant spaces, including a sprawling lounge to a cozy club room, with the beach via a strategic network of nana doors, oversized windows and outdoor lounges. Particularly special touches on this floor include an oceanfront spa tub for 10, a glass-front wine cellar and a bar. Crafted from Hawaiian Koa wood and topped with African jade granite, bar seating is oriented towards the ocean—a detail prescribed by the owner, who noticed while traveling in hotels around the world that it was the bartender, not the customers, who seemed to have the prime views.
The middle floor of the residence is home to everyday living spaces, including a sunny great room, a kitchen and dining areas, all anchored by a wrap-around deck. The result is a grand space that feels like one is on a perpetual vacation, even while sipping morning coffee in the breakfast room. A private getaway, too, since the home is designed so that views into upper floors are obscured.
“You get the luxury of being on The Strand,” notes Gillespie-Host Group. “You look straight out at the gorgeous views, but no one sees you. You enjoy that lifestyle without sacrificing your privacy.”
Head to the uppermost floor and one finds a master wing with commanding views of the Pacific, along with dual balconies, a fireplace and a geometric mahogany ceiling with cove lighting, and exposed beams that enhance the handcrafted, island feel of the place, particularly during sunset hours. At the other end of the floor is a guest wing—complete with kitchenette, ocean view balcony and separate entrance—that functions as a handy suite for guests or in-laws.
Views are energizing and dreamy, stretching from Malibu to Palos Verdes, with a fresh panorama of blue sky and ocean revealed at every turn. Because of the home’s strategic position, on a south-facing corner lot along a spacious walk street, there are generous views along the sides of the home, and sunlight streams throughout.
Another plus is this section of The Strand: crowds are rare and the surf break is enviable. When one feels like stepping out, a quick stroll brings a sunny stretch of sidewalk cafes and yoga studios. Less than a mile away is the Manhattan Beach Pier and a bevy of elegant dining and shopping spots. (Note to frequent fliers—LAX is less than five miles away.)
“It’s a beautiful home with all of this thoughtful detail,” says Gillespie-Host Group. “There’s this seamless transition from being a stunning entertaining home to being a comfortable, warm environment where you can live with your children and have your privacy too.”