Home Of The Week
720 N Alta Drive
Georgian-style architecture takes its cues from historic England, where a legacy of formal presentation and ornate details began to take shape during the reign of King George I. The style has evolved over four centuries, becoming lighter, more welcoming, and finally, perhaps, finding its ideal blend of classical design and livability in the Beverly Hills flats. On Alta Drive, to be precise.
Here, a combination of ingenuity, experience and inspiration have merged to create a newly constructed estate that stands out, even among the gilded manses that grace one of the most coveted locations in all of California. Los Angeles-based custom home builder Jerry Illoulian, who, along with his brother John, was first beguiled by this 27,000-square-foot lot on one of the flats’ best streets. Inspired to craft a home that would suit its location as well as the needs of a modern L.A. family, he spent four years building the seven-bedroom, 14-bath estate.
The resulting home melds the “more traditional style” the developer envisioned with “a more contemporary, cleaner look,” says interior designer Jessica Bowman. “The idea was to build a Georgian-style home with a comfortable feel.” On the exterior, all the hallmarks of the Georgian style are there: symmetrical design, hip roof, dormers, sash windows and decorative molding. Inside, the 18,000-plus square feet are adorned with elaborate, hand-cut moldings and decorative trim. Five interior fireplaces feature François & Co. mantels and limestone, and there is custom cabinetry and extensive Calacatta marble throughout.
But the home’s most impressive feature just might be the way it balances opulence and warmth, and family and formal spaces.
“We wanted to create an open space for a big family who loves to entertain,” says interior designer Jessica Bowman.
“It’s a great family home,” adds Illoulian. “But at the same time, it’s meant for socializing and entertainment, because it has huge open spaces and a great flow. It has a state-ofthe- art theater and a gym with steam shower and sauna, and it is perfect for entertainment.”
The theater, gym and sauna are part of an entertainment laden lower level that also includes an enormous game room, a billiard area and a 2,000-plus-bottle wine room. On the main level, the all-white kitchen features two massive, marbled islands, providing ample space in which to whip up gourmet meals and enjoy them together. The outer island has room for five — perfectly in line with the home’s intent to be both functional and family friendly. The kitchen also boasts “Wolf and Sub-Zero appliances, two dishwashers, an amazing butler’s area to put dishes in, plenty of storage, and custom faucets and hardware,” says Bowman.
For more formal entertaining, soft blue walls, panel molding, a wall of windows, a glamorous chandelier overhead and herringbone hardwoods below provide an elegant backdrop for holiday meals and grand dinner parties in the dining room. The handsome library is a more intimate space, wrapping its inhabitants in the warmth of rich wood walls and a coffered ceiling.
Two separate, light-flooded living spaces invite gatherings of any size while providing direct access to the backyard through several sets of French doors. A similarly light and airy aesthetic defines the private owner’s retreat. “The master bedroom was focused on a husband and wife who want lots of privacy, with separate areas and ample closets, including a shoe closet for her,” says Bowman.
Family living and entertaining were considered during every aspect of its design and development, from the site selection — “the great location, south of Sunset, close to West Hollywood in Beverly Hills,” was key, says Illoulian— to the platting of the home, which creates a statuesque yet welcoming front elevation while maximizing usability in the expansive rear yard. Here, balustrades set off the large patio, with a flat, grassy yard and a 70-foot pool beyond. It’s yet one more space that’s set to captivate its future residents.
“We wanted someone to walk into this house, fall in love with it, and say, ‘This is what I want,’” says Illoulian.