July 31, 2012

Inside the House: A Study in White

Beverly Hills Meets Greece

Real Estate

Today’s Multiple Choice Question: Take a look at the Beverly Hills house featured above. What is the year of its masterful complete redesign?

A. 2012. You’re getting a sneak peek because it’s going on the market next week.
B. 2005. The year of my high school graduation. (I wish.)
C. 2022. We did some space age retouching of a current house and this is what we think design will look like in ten years.

Congratulations. If you answered B, you don’t win a prize, but you’re correct.

A couple days ago I stumbled across photos of this incredible house when I was pulling together a coffee table book of properties I’ve sold throughout the years. I keep reopening and reopening the photos, so I thought I’d share them with you.

Despite the fact that this modern masterpiece was designed many years ago, it feels so fresh and so current. It could easily go on the market right now as “recently finished” and no one would know the difference.

The house’s uber-talented Belgian-born and Los Angeles-based designer Danielle Schatteman pulled together something so simple, but so complex. Something so timeless.

A few highlights:

First, there was the floating staircase, a unique sculptural showstopper that greeted you the moment you walked in. Each of the steps was cut individually. It was a perfect example of "home as art." Then there were those floors: The entire floor of the approximately 5,000 square foot house was honed limestone. Ever the perfectionist, Danielle threw out hundreds of tiles because she wanted the limestone be consistently light. The Poliform kitchen was and is one of the prettiest I’ve seen. While knock-off kitchens can be beautiful, Poliform kitchens, for those with the pocketbook for them, are still breathtaking.

And, of course, the marvelous white canvas is the perfect backdrop for furnishings and art. The white sofa in the living room was designed by Danielle and made locally, while the throws and pillows on the sofas are from Fendi Casa, who Danielle first put on the map in the West Coast around 2003. The modern and cool dining chairs are Eero Saarinen and manufactured by ALIVAR MUSEUM. Check out Alivar because according to Danielle they make furniture of the same quality as Knoll who manufactures many of the same pieces. The leather sofa in the den is also made by Alivar. The dining table, coffee table and master bed were from Jacqueline Morabito who is the sister of the late PASCAL MORABITO, a Parisian jewelry designer whose son is well-known designer "ORA ITO."

While Danielle chose to decorate primarily in tones of white, she accented with subtle beiges and tans and the occasional splash of color. The bowl of fruit in the kitchen popped, as did the fantastic art collection throughout and the fun vintage liquor bottles with colored drink that sat in the living room. I remember the owners always lit the fireplace, and even the orange flames seemed to sparkle a bit brighter against the whites surrounding them.

The house sold for a record price at the time and now, looking back on it again, I remember why. It was truly ahead of its time. It was a masterpiece that made the owner feel like they were in Ibiza or Greece, but in actuality, they were only minutes away from the Beverly Hills Hotel and Rodeo Drive.

Photo Credit: Everett Fenton Gidley


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