PRIME LITTLE HOLMBY MEDITERRANEAN ESTATE
Built in 1932 and designed by the renowned architect Wallace Neff, this beautifully restored Mediterranean estate is sited on a one-of-a-kind, picturesque street to street lot overlooking the Los Angeles Country Club and the hills of Bel Air beyond. With most of the original early California architecture details intact, the carved wood beams, original tile, ironwork, leaded glass doors, Juliet balconies, steel casement windows, this lovely home has an intimate feel but also, a sense of grandeur throughout.
You are welcomed by a central courtyard, leafy and set in flagstone, anchoring the home’s flowing u-shaped floor plan allowing for access to most of the rooms in the house. Enter a splendid circular two-story formal foyer bathed in light through a large stained glass window. Beyond is a majestic living room, truly grand scale with cathedral high, wood beamed ceilings and a vast picture window with panoramic views. Two quatrefoil stained glass windows punctuate the high walls and an enormous fireplace graces one end. There are several sitting area vignettes, perfect for entertaining large groups ensuring that everyone feels the intimacy of every corner.
A sunny lanai with fireplace flanks this room and opens to the central courtyard. Opposite the living room is a warm and comfortable, rich wood-paneled library with a corner fireplace and wet bar. A large powder room is off the entry as well.
Across the serene central courtyard is a large family room/screening room with a vaulted beamed ceiling, a central fireplace and a wet bar. Built for the professional film buff, there is a drop down screen, high definition projector and built-in surround sound.
An expansive, recently remodeled, gourmet kitchen has all the amenities a discerning chef could desire: beautiful marble counters, multiple sinks & prep areas, custom cabinetry with a multitude of built-ins, huge center island, all opening to a comfortable, light-filled sitting room & breakfast area complete with a cozy fireplace, built-in wet bar and adjacent secondary powder room. Connecting the spacious formal dining room to the kitchen is a foyer with a lovely marble mosaic floor which also serves as a butler’s pantry.
On the second floor are four bedrooms including a master suite with two walk-in closets plus additional closets, a dressing room and bathroom with separate shower and tub. Two bedrooms, one overlooking the panoramic view from a Juliet balcony, share a full bathroom, Jack & Jill style. The fourth bedroom with its own full bathroom has its own private entrance from a covered porch overlooking the central courtyard. It is also accessible from a back staircase leading up from the kitchen. This could be used as ideal guest quarters or as an office.
Other outstanding features in the home are updated systems including four separate zones of heat and air conditioning, windows are all equipped with original roller screens, doors have either Phantom sliding screens and/or decorative iron/wood screen doors, direct access to the three car garage, and numerous storage rooms.
The private and verdant backyard grounds are spectacular and must be seen to be believed. Step down to a sparkling swimmer’s pool set in stone flanked by numerous sitting, lounging and dining areas. There’s a spa, an outdoor kitchen/built-in BBQ and an outdoor fireplace. Alfresco entertaining and enjoyment are paramount here at 868 Birchwood Drive. And the backdrop is again, from its rare perch above, a panoramic vista of the Los Angeles Country Club and the mountain beyond.
The majestic hillside is graced by a sensational system of waterfalls and koi ponds that cascade downward through a garden path so stunningly landscaped that it was included in the Virginia Robinson Garden Tours, quite a coveted Angeleno honor. A Zen-like pavilion, at the base of the property, is a moment not to be missed.
Almost never is this distinct lower Bel Air feeling of privacy and opulence available in Little Holmby, so conveniently located moments from everything and in a very locally popular, true neighborhood. This is only the second time in 80 years this wonderful home has been offered for sale. Warner Avenue Elementary.
Co-listed with Jim Bremner, Gibson International, 310.622.7445.