Let The Remodeling Begin

My client's, who reside outside of the country, have entrusted me with a great deal of responsibility in both assisting them with the purchase and now remodeling of this home. Trust me, I do not take this responsibility lightly. They purchased the property sight unseen based on pictures over the internet and opinions from me, and are now in the process of remodeling it. I gave my recommendations on what should be done and how, and we discussed basic parameters and a budget, and now I am managing the work for them. We are refinishing floors, adding new wood flooring in the upstairs bedrooms, removing wall paper, de-personalizing the space, re-coating the front deck, painting the inside and the outside, as well as fixing a few functional issues uncovered during the home inspection. I met with a multitude of sub-contractors do to the individual portions of the project to get estimates, but eventually settled on giving the entire project to a general contractor to oversee, mostly due to experience and a considerably lower price. We have signed the contracts, and the work has begun.

Above was how my client's purchased the property. Notice the sort of random mini-wall "dividing" the dining room area and the kitchen. Seeing as how it serves no purpose, and only makes the space feel smaller, the first order of business was to remove it. Loft like open space is much better, and I think it does wonders for the main living space. Day one, it is gone.

Master Bedroom at time of purchase.

As you can see it had Asian influenced wallpaper, as well as Asian style ornaments in the room. We wanted to make the space more neutral, as well as portray a more clean line mid-century modern style, so we ripped the ornaments down. It is a bit of a pain, but the workers have treated and are in the process of taking down the wallpaper before we will paint it.

Pictures by Eric Smilay for Smilay Properties

The project should take a couple weeks, so keep checking back for updates. I think the home is going to look more modern and sleek once I am done putting my designing touches on it, and can't wait to see the finished product.

This property will be available once the remodeling is complete, so if interested in this home please feel free to contact us anytime @ 310.600.9172 or email

International Yoo Designed Modern Building; Berlin

Those of you that follow the blog know that I am a big Phillipe Starck fan. Having previously posted about Starck's design in India, this is the latest project from yoo, a large International design and development firm. I don't do any real estate in Berlin, Germany; however, had to post this as I love the whimsical interior design of Starck. I also love all the modern details throughout the building, including the entryway, lobby, and pool (pictures after the break). The projects website describes the building by saying,

"Occupying the last of Mitte’s choicest downtown river front locations, yoo berlin is the newest, most prestigious address in the heart of the city. Yoo berlin’s facade captures Berlin’s love affair with the dramatic. Within, yoo inspired by Starck designs juxtapose modern with classic, satire with passion and shape with form to create an extraordinary living experience."

If you like the furnishings, here is a link to some of Starck's designs available for purchase.

Berlin is lucky to be getting this instant classic. We need more modern chic buildings in Los Angeles. Perhaps I will build one one day.

Pictures courtesy of Yoo Berlin

Modern Architectural in Laurel Canyon Section of the Hollywood Hills

Off of Laurel Canyon in the hills above Sunset is this modern architectural redo with clean lines and designer finishes. The home is uber sleek with an open floor plan, nice wood flooring, a sleek updated kitchen with carrera marble countertops and top of the line appliances. The chic fireplace with built in flat screen and book ends anchor the stunning open living area. The master bedroom is huge with high ceilings, a sitting area, and luxurious master bath with Phillipe Starck fixtures. Walls of glass throughout the house lead out to an outdoor cabana area, garden, and nice canyon views. In the Wonderland school district with easy access to Hollywood, the Westside, or the Valley, this could be a nice property for the modern enthusiast.

2203 Ridgemont Dr, Hollywood Hills

$1,420,000 3 Bed 3 Bath 2,417 Sq. Ft 7,640 Sq. Ft Lot

Listing and Photos courtesy of Thomas O'Rourke - Prudential CA - West Hollywood

If you would like to see this home in person, please contact us anytime @ 310.600.9172 or email

2 Dynamic Mid-Century Modern Homes Listed Above The Sunset Strip

Two redone mid-century homes in the Hollywood Hills above the Sunset Strip with superb finishes were listed this week. They both are almost identically priced, and offer a ton of home in prime locations. The first one is high up Nichols Canyon on Devista, and is a bit more stark and modern with it's white flooring than it's selling competitor. The other is up famed Sunset Plaza Dr and lies on Rising Glen; it is definitely modern and updated, but retains a more warm "homey" feel. They both have nice pools and city views.

See the rest of the first listing and the second home after the break. Which one do you like better? Please comment and let me know as I am interested in hearing your thoughts.

7508 Devista Dr, Hollywood Hills

$2,950,000 4 Bed 4.5 Bath 3,352 Sq. Ft 15,860 Sq. Ft Lot

Listing and Photos courtesy of Barry Sloane - Sotheby's Int'l Rlty - BH

1420 Rising Glen, Hollywood Hills

$2,900,000 3 Bed 3.5 Bath 3,850 Sq. Ft 12,000 Sq. Ft Lot

Listing and Photos courtesy of Judy Feder - Nourmand & Associates-BH

Two really nice looking listings that are beyond move in ready and nicely merge style and function. Which one do you like better based on the pictures? If you would like to see either or both of these properties in person, please contact us anytime @ 310.600.9172 or email

Phillipe Starck Designed Wireless Speakers

I saw an ad for these super sleek wireless speakers in 944 Magazine this week. 944 nicely describes the stylish speakers by saying, "The tech whizzes of wireless multimedia brand Parrot have forged an unlikely partnership with legendary architect Philippe Starck. Parrot's Zikmu In Color By Philippe Starck wireless speakers are sleek, colorful and ultramodern, seamlessly melding a fashion-forward aesthetic with high-tech functionality. The long, lean speakers can play crystal-clear audio from devices like the iPod and iPhone, and are enhanced with Wi-Fi and Bluetooth capabilities. They can also communicate with each other from anywhere in a room, delivering surround sound without the use of wires. In five eye-catching shades, such as Sorbet Lime and Dragon Red, the sculptural speakers also make a serious visual statement, accenting a room's existing color palette." Designer Phillipe Starck explains the benefits of this product in this way, "Zikmu is the simplest design possible at present. Our device is totally modern, not just because of all its technical capabilities, but also because it is as simple as possible. Its only purpose is to produce the maximum effect, with the most advanced and incredible technology, and the least amount of material. Now that is what I call magic."


Available at Design Within Reach 332 Santa Monica Blvd., Santa Monica

Latest Project by Darryl Wilson Design; Hollywood Hills

Designer Darryl Wilson is not new to the world of real estate or design. According to the bio on his website, Mr. Wilson's father was a "prolific real estate developer credited with building the first high-rise buildings on Ventura Boulevard and the nephew of interior designer-to-the-stars, Ron Wilson, Darryl was immersed in the world of construction and design from a very young age." This is the latest project done by Darryl Wilson Design, and staying true to his mid-century modern roots, he has created another stunning example of his work. It appears the property was purchased in 2007 for $1,500,015, but at the time the home was just 1,423 sq. ft. It has been completely updated and expanded to almost double it's size when it was purchased. The home has stunning views from almost every room, high end finishes, a great floor plan, and a killer master suite. To me Mr. Wilson is combining the best pieces of the game by using all sides of the brain, as he is being extremely creative, but also dealing with the finance and marketing end of the real estate business. Good luck with this project Sir, and we look forward to more of your great work in the future. To see more of Darrly Wilson Design's past projects and press visit their website.

1551 Oriole Lane, Hollywood Hills

$3,200,000 or for lease at $20,000/mo 3 Bed 3.5 Bath 2,700 Sq. Ft per Owner 6,860 Sq. Ft Lot

Listing & Photos Courtesy of Darryl Wilson - John Aaroe Group

This is a stunning mid-century modern in a great Hollywood Hills location with views stretching out to the ocean. If this is your style and you have been looking to purchase, this could definitely be the one. If you would like to see this property in person, please contact us anytime @ 310.600.9172 or email

James Perse Brings Furniture Line to the PDC

James Perse, the purveyor of laid back California cool clothing, has extended the brand to include furniture. The furniture line has been in place for awhile now, but the opening of a new showroom at the Pacific Design Center this week, is the first furniture "retail store" for the company. There was a welcome party that I unfortunately didn't make last night at the new showroom. The line is very minimalist with soft fabrics, and works as a natural extension of the clothing line. Also, if you have ever been to one of the James Perse boutiques, it is clear that they are serious about architecture and design, and the furniture line is a nice progression. There are four categories of furniture; including, Malibu Collection, Nor Cal Collection, Los Angeles Collection, and the Brentwood Collection. Personally, I like the outdoor furniture of the Malibu Collection, especially the Carbon Chaise Lounge (first picture above) the best. The company has a celebrity following already from the clothing line, so I suspect that the furniture line will do well, especially in coastal "beachy" type places, like Malibu where the company's flagship store exists.

Another Masterpiece By My Favorite LA Home Designer

Having posted previous homes showcasing this designer's great work, here comes another masterpiece to the market by Steve Hermann Design. Mr. Hermann has sold numerous creations of his for record prices in both the Hollywood Hills and Beverly Hills to celebrities and CEO's alike, and this is his latest design. According to the listing (Mr. Hermann is also an agent who represents himself on his sales), "A 3-year build has produced a defining structure that sets a new bar in quality, amenities, and emotional experience." Boasting explosive views of the city below, the property is almost entirely glass allowing the outside in. While indoors, the 12' ceilings add incredible volume to the wide open floor plan. As usual, the finishes are second to none with name brands such as Boffi, Poliform, Vantage, and Biticino switches. It is one thing to play at this level, but it is another to create a work of art; Mr. Hermann clearly does the latter each and every time.

610 Cole Pl, Beverly Hills

$10,900,000 4 Bed 4 Bath 4,394 Sq. Ft 20,580 Sq. Ft Lot

Listing & Photos courtesy of Steven Hermann - Westside Estates Agency

This property is beyond perfect if you are a fan of mid-century modern design, high end finishes, and want to be in Beverly Hills with explosive views. Who isn't? If you would like to see this work of art by a very noteworthy designer, please contact us anytime @ 310.600.9172 or email This one is "special."

Christina Aguilera Lists Beverly Hills Home for Sale

Lying on a half acre lot in a prime Beverly Hills location just north of Sunset is this gated and private celebrity estate recently listed for sale. Owned by the multi-platinum singer Christina Aguilera, this property boasts a dramatic entryway, a nice mix of modern and classic, and updated everything fit for a star. I like the way Ms. Aguilera has the property sort of whimsically decorated with a definite nod to the Phillipe Starck aesthetic. The property has a great master suite with fireplace, lounge area, and his and her walk in closets. The listing describes "This magnificent home also includes a gym, game room, gift-wrapping area, a gorgeous and lush movie room, beauty salon, and guesthouse with recording studio. Fantastic pool with water slide and grotto spa, BBQ, and incredible custom pagoda make the backyard ideal for fun and entertaining. A spectacular private oasis within the city." With the price, location, and celebrity owner, you can imagine and bank on the fact that everything is done with a great attention to detail and is very high end.

513 Doheny Rd, Beverly Hills

$13,500,000 6 Bed 9 Bath 10,000 Sq. Ft 27,860 Sq. Ft Lot

Listing & Photos courtesy of Brooke Kaufman - Hilton & Hyland

This property pretty much speaks for itself. If you want to live in a private Beverly Hills Mediterranean estate, you would be hard pressed to find one nicer with this level of pedigree. According to the listing, you must be pre-qualified, but if interested in seeing this celebrity home in person please feel free to contact us anytime @ 310.600.9172 or email

Dynamic Architectural Hollywood Hills Home for Lease

Originally a 1920 Spanish house that the owner has masterfully transformed into a hip modern architectural house in the highly desirable Beachwood Canyon area. Wide open lofty floor plan with 9' ceilings throughout most of the property. Property has great indoor/outdoor flow with several large windows opening up to the outside throughout the property for true California living. Nice wood flooring throughout, upgraded kitchen and designer baths. Huge master suite with office area off of the room and balcony overlooking peaceful canyon views. Master bath is currently being remodeled with top of the line finishes, such as Axor by Phillipe Starck Hansgroghe fixturing and stunning Ann Sacks tiles. Also a roof top deck, & peaceful zen front sitting area. Remodeled very nicely with great deatails like, deconstructed ceiling and exposed concrete blocks, by contractor owner. Available April 1st.

2591 Glen Green, Hollywood Hills

$4,750/mo 3 Bed 3 Bath 2,010 Sq. Ft 3,150 Lot Sq. Ft

Listing and photos by Eric Smilay for Smilay Properties

A great lease opportunity on a very cool house in a great Hollywood Hills location. At the end of a cul de sac on a private street, the home is quite peaceful. If you wish to see this property, please feel free to contact us anytime @ 310.600.9172 or email

Architecture Design Trends for 2011

Everyone wants to keep up with what's in style right? Well I found a great post about 10 Residential design trends on the internet today and wanted to share it. Before we get to the post, briefly my personal design thoughts are the following:

-The mic-mansion trend has died down somewhat, with a return to simplify one's home and cut costs. -Wide open floor plans are in with buyers. -High ceilings are like gold, as it adds so much volume to the space and makes the room feel more grand. -I used to like dark hardwood flooring, but am leaning towards light wood these days. Concrete is also cool. -White walls are great also, as it gives a spacious and clean effect. -People are moving back towards the cities and out of the suburbs to be closer to work and cut down on gas usage. -"Green" energy efficient building techniques are definitely appreciated currently as well with more people paying attention to environmental impacts. -In California, walls of glass leading to outdoor spaces, as well as allowing natural light to flood the property is also desired.

See the detailed list after the break.

Please see a great detailed list by BuilderOnline here.

Famed Interior Designer Kelly Wearstler Starts Blogging

One of the most influential and successful designers in Los Angeles, Kelly Wearstler, has started a new blog entitled My Vibe My Life. If you don't know her by name, you may have visited or seen some of her iconic designs, like any Viceroy Hotel throughout the world, the Broadway Loft Building in Hollywood, and numerous private properties for client's. For her first post, she has displayed a glimpse into her creative process, by setting up inspirational trays in her large design studio for various projects currently in the works. She has only put up one post so far, but for anyone interested in design in general, this may be a blog worth following and checking back often.

All Photos Courtesy of Kelly Wearstler

Viceroy Hotel; Palm Springs

I have spent a fair amount of time at the Viceory Hotel in Palm Springs recently while my new wife and I were planning our wedding there. It is a beautiful property with great design aesthetic, intimate spaces, friendly people, and great service. I wanted to share some of the great design throughout the grounds and interiors of this 57 unit intimate property.

Read More

Some Cool Furniture I like

I just felt like posting some cool pieces that I personally like. Most likely you can find these styles, or very close to them, by several designers at varying prices online. It is so interesting how great furniture laid out well really can transform a blank canvas of a room into something special. Don't you agree? Enjoy...

BARCELONA LOUNGE & CHAIR Design Mies van der Rohe, 1929 African Ramin hardwood frame, leather panels Made in Italy by Knoll

Read More

Iconic Design by Yoo Inspired by Starck

Terrace @ Icon Brickell, Miami

Whether it be community spaces or interiors of private residences, Phillipe Starck and his team at Yoo have created some of the most beautiful spaces around the world. It is amazing how much furniture and design can transform a basic space into a living work of art. While Starck and Yoo have been around for 11 years now, they continue to remain at the top, and develop some of the most surreal properties imaginable.

Pool area @ Tel Aviv

Read More

Mid-Century Modern Flip

This Mid-Century property was just successfully flipped by an investor in Woodland Hills. It is a great example of someone having a vision and a little know how, and turning a run down property with good bones into an absolute stunning home. The layout and floor plan was not changed; however, you can see by the before and after pictures that a great deal of work was put into transforming this property. The property was purchased for $559,000 in October of '09 and just sold for $740,000 last month. I think it could have definitely garnered more and been more profitable; however, was on the corner lot and Valley Circle is a busy street. It is this very reason why my client, who really liked the home, passed. Congratulations to the new owner though, as they got a great house. I hope they are enjoying their new work of art.

Read More