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An Italian villa in the South Bay

Its owner says he wanted 'an old Mediterranean from the get-go.'

August 03, 2008|Diane Wedner | Times Staff Writer

Palazzo del Mare (Palace of the Sea) in Hermosa Beach is about as close to an authentic Italian villa as owner Kirk Sannella could create 6,300 miles from the mother country.

The technology entrepreneur, who also has remodeled and built homes purchased by sports and TV celebrities, achieved that look through Manhattan Beach-based architect Louie Tomaro's handiwork. The home features commissioned murals and ceiling frescoes, the latter of which are antiqued. Most of the home's plaster was imported from Verona, Italy. Touches in the guest powder rooms include hammered copper sinks and mirrors and 24-karat gold-leaf accents.

"I don't like the confusion of a Mediterranean-looking home on the outside, then you have to ask if it's a Craftsman or modern when you step inside," Sannella said. "I wanted something that felt like you're in an old Mediterranean from the get-go."



Living at the beach

Location: Hermosa Beach

Asking price: $7.9 million

Size: The property has five bedrooms and eight bathrooms in 7,100 square feet. The lot size is about 10,000 square feet.

About this house: Although the home is five blocks from the beach, it's possible, Sannella says, "to never leave this house" and still enjoy the ocean. "You have a roof deck with 180-degree views of Palos Verdes, Catalina and Malibu." A billiards room comes with a pool table, a full bar and bar refrigerator and a 50-inch plasma TV. A soundproofed home theater seats eight in leather reclining chairs and features an overhead projection system and a 120-inch movie screen. The backyard has a pool and spa with air jets and swim-in grotto with benches behind a waterfall. There also are outdoor speakers, a sun deck, a gas-fire pit and a built-in barbecue. The library has custom alder shelving for an expansive book collection and French doors that access a deck, an outdoor fireplace area and ocean views. The wine cellar, finished with a stone facade, holds 1,000 bottles of wine and has a tasting table.

Features: The kitchen's center island is made of hand-carved walnut. The room also has three Viking ovens and a range with built-in heat lamps and an indoor grill; two dishwashers; a warming drawer; a Sub-Zero refrigerator, freezer and two beverage drawers; hand-blown amber glass light fixtures; hickory floors; a butler's pantry and an adjacent breakfast room. The house has a domed foyer with a hand-finished fresco; a great room; a dining room with walnut wainscoting; a formal living room with a Swarovski crystal chandelier; a laundry room with slab travertine counters; security cameras and high-tech wiring.

Listing agent: Ed Kaminsky, Shorewood Realtors, Manhattan Beach, (310) 798-1277





Streamline Moderne

Location: Bixby Knolls neighborhood of Long Beach

Size: Five bedrooms and 3 1/2 baths in 3,152 square feet on a 7,749-square-foot lot

Published on: May 1, 2005

Listed then for: $1.49 million to $1.59 million

Sold for: $1.25 million on May 11, 2007


Tree house

Location: Mar Vista

Size: Three bedrooms and three baths in 3,083 square feet on a 6,465-square-foot lot

Published on: June 3, 2007

Listed then for: $2.08 million

Leasing today for: $5,700 per month


Gould House

Location: Ventura

Size: Five bedrooms and 4 1/2 bathrooms in 4,300 square feet on 2 acres

Published on: Oct. 15, 2006

Listed then for: $2.45 million

Sold for: $2.25 million on Oct. 16, 2007


To submit a candidate for Home of the Week, send high-resolution color photos on a CD with caption and credit information and a description of the house to Diane Wedner, Real Estate, Los Angeles Times, 202 W. 1st St., L.A., CA 90012.

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