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Home of the Week: A stately compound in Brentwood Park

The main house on the leafy three-quarter-acre property was rebuilt on the footprint of the original, with creature-comfort upgrades. The guesthouse and converted stable appear much as they did in the 1920s.

March 07, 2011|By Darrell Satzman
  • The rebuilt home in Brentwood Park with a 1920s guesthouse and converted stable is listed at $8.95 million.
The rebuilt home in Brentwood Park with a 1920s guesthouse and converted… (Adrian Anz )

The past and present converge in a leafy three-quarter acre compound in the heart of Brentwood Park.

The two-story main house — traditional English in style with Gothic touches — was extensively remodeled in 2006 with a raft of creature-comfort upgrades. A private, gated yard at the rear of the property holds a ranch-style guesthouse and a converted stable that look much the same as when they were built in the 1920s.

Producer Mike Fleiss, creator of "The Bachelor," and his wife, Alexandra Vorbeck, who designed the home's landscaping, purchased the property in 2004 and promptly took the aging main house down to its studs. Newer homes in the neighborhood are often three times the size, but Vorbeck said the couple elected to rebuild on the footprint of the original residence, forgoing grand scale in favor of livability and the preservation of an idyllic setting.

"When we rebuilt it on the original footprint it really went against common wisdom," Vorbeck said. "Our point was that if you're in California you should enjoy being outside. We were raising a family there and we wanted to take advantage of the beautiful property."

A row of mature eucalyptus trees grows at the front of the home. Beyond a brick-and-iron gate, blue atlas cedars, Blanchard magnolias and a tiered English garden surround a gravel motor court. The stately main house has a brownish-gray stucco coat, tall eaves and a steeply pitched blue composition roof with a wide brick chimney. A smaller eave rises over a carved stone portico at the front entry.

Rustic walnut floors, molded plaster walls and diamond beveled windows are found throughout the home. Downstairs, a spacious living room has multiple sitting areas, dentil and crown moldings, arched cabinetry and a white marble fireplace. French doors open to a covered brick patio elevated several steps above the backyard. An adjacent den features a black granite fireplace and a large aquarium built into the wall behind a white marble wet bar.

The kitchen has alder cabinetry, a Saltillo tile floor, a rectangular wood center island, a farm sink and white marble counters. Antique wall tiles behind a carved wood range hood were imported from Holland, where they were originally installed in a monastery. There is also a breakfast area with a bay window.

The bedrooms all have full bathrooms. The master has a ribbed wood ceiling, walnut floors and a sitting area with a black granite fireplace. A bank of windows overlooks the backyard, as does a private balcony with a small office at one end. The master bath has an oversize marble bath and a glass shower and features an Israeli limestone floor and white marble counters.

Directly behind the main house is a wide lawn surrounded by flower gardens and blooming trees. Plants grow to the water's edge on one side of a lagoon pool and spa. A meandering flagstone deck has a sunken fire pit and a cabana with built-in cabinetry, a sink and a grill.

Brick and flagstone paths lead to the farthest reaches of the backyard, which is hidden from the main house behind a natural wall of shrubs and trees. Here a shingled two-bedroom guesthouse and a former stable — now a gym and dog kennels — face another broad lawn. The ranch-style guesthouse has a white picket fence, a patio and a garden with vegetables and fruit trees. Highlights include Dutch doors, original wide-plank wood floors, an exposed-beam ceiling and a massive brick fireplace.

To submit a candidate for Home of the Week, send high-resolution color photos on a CD, caption information, the name of the photographer 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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