Looking Back: Three Favorite Properties in 2019


Every year, I write dozens of real estate posts for CH+D about beautiful homes culled from many more submitted by agents, publicists and designers. And while the architecture, design quality, staging and photography are all important, eventually the principal criterion comes down to just one thing: In some wildly-prosperous alternative universe, can I imagine myself living there? These three were among my favorites in 2018; click on the links for the original posts and photo credits. –PF

2300 North Edgemont Street, Los Angeles
Known as The Steel House, this astonishingly graceful home was designed in 1960 by architect Neil A. Johnson, AIA. Recently and sympathetically remade by architectural restoration expert/house whisperer Mark Haddawy, it’s not especially large but it is eminently livable, and set well above the street for privacy. For us, it contains the one signature quality that makes for a great Mid-Century LA house: it could easily have appeared in a painting by David Hockney. The seller was James Valentine, lead guitarist in Maroon 5; as per Variety, the property quickly sold to oil heiress Ann Getty for $4,100,000, at $300,000 over the asking price.

1811 Bel Air Road, Beverly Hills
Craig Ellwood’s luminous Case Study House #16 (below) AKA The Salzman House, this is an elegantly simple Modernist pavilion carefully preserved by loving owners for more than fifty years. Constructed over a two year period beginning in 1951, in typical Case Study House fashion, it’s made of custom-crafted steel and glass combined with off-the-rack (but carefully chosen) brick and wood elements. The powerful horizontal composition has always reminded us of Mies van der Rohe and Lily Reich’s epic 1929 Barcelona Pavilion, translated into Californian on a magnificent view site.

Asking $2,995,000 the sale status is currently “pending.”

7870 Silverado Trail, Napa
As we said this past June, “…tucked adroitly into the slope and set against an infinity-edged lap pool, a composition in smooth and rough.” Below, a spectacular Wine Country property by Aidlin Darling, the San Francisco architectural firm noted for both a deeply intuitive and soulful take on Modernism and a successful collaboration with landscape architects. Plus impeccable finishes, all combining to make a powerful visual statement and a wonderful place to live.

As per the MLS, it sold on August 5, 2019 for $7, 200,000, $300,000 under the asking price.