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Home of the Week: A Palos Verdes Estates villa with eye-popping views

The 7-year-old home overlooking Santa Monica Bay has marble mosaic floors, 300-year-old terra-cotta pavers from France, walnut floors and silk-covered walls.

August 07, 2011|By Mary Forgione
  • Everett Fenton Gidley
Everett Fenton Gidley (63698896.jpg )

This ornate villa overlooking Malaga Cove in Palos Verdes Estates feels like it could be in Italy. But views of Santa Monica Bay and points north, and on clear days, the San Gabriel Mountains and downtown Los Angeles, belie that.

Yet the views alone don't account for the $10.9-million price tag. The home's eye-popping extravagance begins with a $1.7-million foundation and continues from the ground up. Marble mosaic floors and 300-year-old terra-cotta pavers from France stand atop that base — and that's just what's underfoot.

Limestone railings with decorative posts outline broad terraces around the house. Tiles from a 19th century farmhouse in Florence, Italy, make for a rustic roof, and minaret-shaped chimneys resemble little bell towers one might see in an Italian village. Potted red geraniums along a second-story balcony complete the picture.

The entrance to the courtyard starts on foot from a gate off Via Horcada, a short cul-de-sac that sits above the property. Twin staircases lead down to the courtyard with the antique pavers, decorative fountains and classical statues as well as an outdoor fireplace. Terraces in the front and back of the house provide plenty of entertainment space.

Inside, a rotunda with a painted dome and marble floors sets the tone for what lies within. The home's grand room has a formal feel: 28-foot coffered ceilings, an intricately carved marble fireplace, walnut floors and silk-covered walls. French doors beneath massive arched windows face the ocean and open out to the pool and terraces. The nearby dining room shifts gears with an exotic painted landscape. Two doors lead to the true landscape outside.

The kitchen makes no pretense of being old. A 16-foot slab of thick marble forms the center island, flanked by three refrigerators and two range-ovens — all covered by custom cabinetry. There's no wine cellar in the house, but the butler's pantry contains a 46-bottle wine storage area.

Upstairs, the master bedroom has dual marble bathrooms — one with a steam-room shower and the other with a huge tub — a marble fireplace, a breakfast alcove and patio. The corner windows offer wide-angle views of the bay and beyond. Two more bedrooms and a multimedia room with hidden projector and drop-down screen complete the second floor.

Despite its lavish features, the house — designed by architect George Sweeney and built seven years ago — isn't showy from the street or other yards. Olive, ficus and cypress trees screen outdoor areas, especially the backyard, which slopes sharply down to Paseo del Mar.

To submit a candidate for Home of the Week, send high-resolution color photos on a CD, written permission from the photographer to publish the images and a description of the house to Lauren Beale, Business, Los Angeles Times, 202 W. 1st St., Los Angeles, CA 90012. Send questions to

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