Luxury Outlook 2023
An ambitious exploration into high-end residential markets across the globe.
Just off a winding cliffside lane in Malibu’s tony Big Rock neighborhood, a white wooden gate just off the drive of a low-slung midcentury modern home recalls the access point to some fictional realm—the wardrobe doors to Narnia or Alice’s entrance to Wonderland. This gate, in fact, opens to reveal a picture-postcard view of thriving coastal hedges and native trees, above which the majestic Pacific Ocean stretches out past city lights and Catalina Island toward the horizon. From here a brick pathway unfolds along the home’s bluff-side perch, leading to a terrace where lounging and dining take place beside classic palms and in full, unobstructed view of the sea. A chic outdoor dining space is tucked into a covered cloister nearby, and two additional patios are nestled amid the three lush acres of eucalyptus, yucca, and blue agave, providing spots for serene alfresco leisure wrapped in greenery and shade.
Malibu, California | Eric Lavey, Sotheby’s International Realty – Beverly Hills Brokerage
The home itself dates to the period of its namesake style—the 1950s—but has been cleverly “reimagined” for comfortable contemporary living. Its inviting interiors fairly epitomize the notion of “light-filled,” with entertaining, dining, kitchen, recreation, and art studio spaces effortlessly admitting floods of California’s ceaseless sunlight and blurring the boundaries between indoors and out. Shiplap and wood-paneled walls and ceilings painted crisp white contribute to the sense of airiness and easygoing optimism. Built-in storage is both streamlined and discreet, and walls are ideal for displaying art.
Anchoring the living area is a painted-brick fireplace—an element nearly universal in midcentury homes—perfect for those rare chilly evenings or when a fire simply fits the mood. Meals can be easily prepared and enjoyed with delight in the kitchen and its skylit breakfast area, equipped with stainless-steel appliances, a farm sink, a dining counter built for two, and artful glass-front cabinetry.
The primary bedroom is partially wrapped in glass that transforms the enveloping flora and ocean vistas into organic, dynamic art, and its bath is outfitted with stylish tilework, fixtures, and shelving. The northern guest bedroom is a peaceful oasis with comfortable carpeting, whimsical floral wall coverings, a large skylight, and access to one of the hidden patios. In the shared guest bath, skylights direct streams of sunglow, and a luxurious “wet room” offers an open shower, a deep soaking tub, and glass doors to a patio and sculpture garden with a fountain.
Beyond the main terrace and patios, steps descend to a “secret” picnic and garden area—the acreage includes the adjoining as-yet undeveloped lot. This level of verdant seclusion and bright, cheerful interiors combine to create a living experience uncommon in life outside storybooks—elegant, enchanting, and exceedingly rare.