A prestine Italian Villa, just steps from the beach, enjoys incredible views and an old world sensibility
Written by Joclene Davey | Photography by Paul Jonason | Presented by Lauren Forbes and John Corrales, Forbes-Corrales | Offered at $5,199,000
Live la dolce vita in a Tuscan villa with tranquil ocean views. Designed and fashioned by the famed Louie Tomaro, and tenderly finessed by the original owner to evoke the beautiful Tuscan countryside, this 5,050-square-foot home drapes immaculately across prime Manhattan Beach real estate. Classic, cupola-style interior and exterior entries greet visitors, with both spaces boasting towering hand-painted ceilings; elaborate, one-of-a-kind wrought iron chandeliers and sconces; and crown molding trimming with travertine tile floors.
The centerpiece of the exterior entry is a mosaic medallion—warmly welcoming one to experience this special place. Built on three levels, the home features a reverse floor plan with five bedrooms, four baths, and two half-baths. The downstairs area, mostly subterranean, features a media room with built-in surround sound and primed for a movie projector. Custom alder-wood cabinetry, specially ventilated for audio and visual equipment, adds to the room’s cozy charm.
The entire space, in fact, is fit for entertaining, with an adjacent temperature controlled wine cellar built with custom walls and a door specially insulated to maintain a perfect temperature. Also on this level is a guest room with a large light-well and a separate bath featuring the same Walker Zanger tiles used throughout the home, along with a pristine copper sink. Completing this level is a carpeted four-car garage with built-in storage, alarm system controls and a full-size residential elevator.
Mid-level, the home’s cathedral-like groin ceilings create a dramatic hallway connecting the upstairs spaces. Custom wrought iron railings and sconces, hardwood walnut floors and travertine floors offer a rustic Italian feel, an authenticity furthered by a terra cotta tile roof with wooden trestles on the exterior. “I’ve always loved the Mediterranean-style home, and after our travels to Italy, we were inspired to add more of the Tuscan touches,” says owner Jeannie Kaseff, on her inspiration for the home. Passing back through the aforementioned interior copula, one will find a spacious laundry room with custom Italian tile-work and Roman shades. Neighboring the laundry room is a second guest quarters that recalls a luxury hotel suite with its comfortable sitting area and two arched double doors that allow natural light to flow through and open to a beautiful veranda.
Highlighting the lovely ensuite bath, meanwhile, are harlequin tiles and custom shades. Through the colonnade-style hallway are two spacious bedrooms with built-in desks, large closets and a connecting bath with dual vanities. At the far end of the hallway is a huge music room large enough for a grand piano and spacious seating area. Also included is a wet bar, bar-sink, mini fridge and half-bath, perfect for entertaining indoors or outside on the lawn. Bordering multiple arched double doors open to the home’s grassy and well-manicured backyard, which offers fantastic ocean views. A well-lit outdoor staircase leads to the upper balcony, convenient for catering parties and entertaining.
Through the colonnade-style hallway are two spacious bedrooms with built-in desks, large closets and a connecting bath with dual vanities. At the far end of the hallway is a huge music room large enough for a grand piano and spacious seating area. Also included is a wet bar, bar-sink, mini fridge and half-bath, perfect for entertaining indoors or outside on the lawn. Bordering multiple arched double doors open to the home’s grassy and well-manicured backyard, which offers fantastic ocean views. A well-lit outdoor staircase leads to the upper balcony, convenient for catering parties and entertaining.
Nearby is the large master suite with custom-tiled fireplace, high ceilings and access to the backyard through arched double doors. Just a few steps up are separate his-and-her walk-in closets and the en-suite master bath. “There are various step-ups throughout the home, because we wanted to give it a dramatic feel instead of just flat floors,” shares Kaseff. A perfect example of this is the master bath. This space is immaculate and includes Newport Brass faucets, a large steam shower, dual vanities with curved wood cabinetry, plus a separate water closet. Included in the bath, and throughout the home, are hand-painted murals of Tuscan villages and the Southern coast of Italy.
On the upper level, at the top of the stairs, is a gorgeous and inviting sitting room, which the Kaseff’s refer to as the library. Coved beamed ceilings add to the drama of this space, which is simultaneously cozy and comfortable. It is a space to stay warm by the fireplace with unique basket weave tile work while admiring the home’s authentic touches. Just across is a grand dining room featuring a special ceiling design with walnut casing and a convenient butler pantry with granite counters and a separate walk-in pantry.
Meanwhile, at the northernmost side of the home, one steps up to a brilliant office space. This stuns with its incredible ocean views and high-end casement windows, allowing the flow of a nice breeze. A built-in alder wood desk and storage cabinets complete this unique, almost octagon-shaped, room.
Meandering toward the south end of the upper level, one passes under skylights that fill the middle of the home with natural light. Here, a wet bar with granite counter tops is perfectly located to serve guests. Across is a half-bath with a raised basin-style sink and ample storage, also convenient for entertaining. Making way to the great room, a large stone wood-burning fireplace gives the home a very warm feel. Sprawling ocean views through French doors span the entire back end of the house, accommodating loads of light and fresh air for an indoor/outdoor experience when desired. Wide plank hardwood floors cover the entire upstairs area and connect the spaces between the great room and kitchen.
Opposite the great room is the opulent kitchen, with an expansive island that provides prep space, as well as an eat-in bar. Evoking a true chef’s sensibility is an oversized Viking range, warming drawers, dual dishwashers, wine fridge and vegetable sink. For ample lighting, there is a skylight just above the kitchen. Uniquely, a hidden Sub Zero refrigerator is wrapped in matching cabinetry to discreetly disguise its tremendous size. Also included are the kitchen’s built-in writing desk and dangling Italian pendant lamps.
Stepping just outside to the outdoor dining area, one stays warm from built-in Infratec gas heaters attached to the ceiling or by cozying up to the gas fireplace while a barbecue feast is prepared. After dinner, the outdoor living area on the other side of the deck invites reclining and a perch from which to enjoy gorgeous, unobstructed views. In walking distance to American Martyrs School, 608 15th Street emphasizes unique details and is meticulously cared for, making it a true stunner. “This home has it all—the view, the proximity to the beach, restaurants and shops and schools, the yard and the perfect floor plan—not to mention an A [plus plus] Manhattan Beach location,” explains realtor Lauren Forbes. Between the massive travertine deck with tremendous views, multiple wet bars and wine cellars for entertaining, and a gourmet kitchen, this authentic Tuscan home is—in all ways—an entertainer’s dream.