Luxury Outlook 2022
An ambitious exploration into high-end residential markets across the globe.
Although perched on a hill in Los Feliz—a prime L.A. location north of the Boulevard with enviable views of the Griffith Observatory and other landmarks—this quintessential villa surrounded by palms, vibrant flowers, and manicured cypress trees looks in every way plucked straight from the rolling hillsides of Tuscany.
Los Angeles, California | Richard Yohon, Sotheby’s International Realty – Los Feliz Brokerage
In fact, the home is thoroughly steeped in 20th-century American cultural history. Dating to 1926 and originally designed for Olympic golfer Clement Smoot by Henry Harwood Hewitt—architect of the Westlake Masonic Temple and the Immaculate Heart of Mary Church—it was later was home to legendary director James Whale, who brought “Frankenstein” and “The Invisible Man” to the silver screen, and Artur Rodzinski, a conductor of the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra.
Graceful arches, terra-cotta tile, rich hardwoods, and plaster walls ideal for displaying timeless art introduce the interiors’ storybook style. On the main level, the welcoming living room is accented with earthy handmade tiles and warmed by a wood-burning fireplace, with arched divided-light windows framing views of the surrounding wooded hillsides. Through eye-catching draped archways is the bright, inviting dining room, beyond which is a kitchen any cook will appreciate, with top-tier appliances, plentiful counter and cabinet space, and a cozy breakfast alcove with built-in seating. Every room on this level gives way through breezy French doors to a magnificent colorful terrace that culminates at a romantic gazebo with a beautiful decorative iron railing, built-in seating, and a breathtaking view of the city.
On the level above are three restful bedrooms, among them a chic primary suite with an impressive skylit bath that recalls a serene professional spa. Hardwood floors flow through the hall and the two guest bedrooms, one of which enjoys views in three directions. High above it all is a secluded aerie that would make an ideal den, art studio, office, or meditation space.
Occupying much of the lower level is a consummate light-filled guest suite that includes its own fireplace and kitchen, a spacious bath, and a private covered porch. Through striking arched windows and doors, the suite overlooks and opens to what is unquestionably the highlight of the estate, an idyllic courtyard comprising a lush balustraded lawn, a sun-washed terrace, and a Roman-style swimmer’s pool and spa with deck jets. Beyond, meandering gardens featuring statuary, classical fountains, and a lilypond unfold toward the sparkling skyline.