Luxury Homes in Beverly Hills, Hollywood Hills, Brentwood, and Malibu
As the center of the entertainment world and one of the hubs of the technology world, Los Angeles is the location of some of the most luxurious homes in the world. It is viewed as the land of dreams by many and the real estate that’s available reflects that. These luxurious homes are available in some of the most prestigious cities and neighborhoods in America; places like Beverly Hills, Brentwood, Hollywood Hills, and Malibu have become so famous, they evoke an atmosphere and sense of place whenever anyone hears their names.
The glitz and glamor of Beverly Hills; the tony, quiet, upscale air of Brentwood; the feeling of Golden Age Hollywood of the Hollywood Hills; and the laid back, beachy vibe of Malibu. These locations have become part of America’s—and indeed the world’s—greater culture and the luxury homes available in each of those places reflect the character of their locales. So, let us take a closer look at the style and grandeur of some of the most luxurious homes in America.
The Luxury Homes Of Beverly Hills
Beverly Hills is the home of modern and ultra-modern luxury home design, with all the latest technology and modern amenities that contemporary homeowners desire. However, that is a relatively recent development. Originally one of the many ranchos—aka land grants—of California, Beverly Hills was once a lima bean field until Hollywood became a movie-making mecca. It was then re-envisioned as a glamorous city by visionary architects Wilbur David Cook and Myron Hunt.
They were not the only architects who left their mark on the city. During the Golden Age of Hollywood—a period roughly spanning from the early 1900s to the 1960s—the luxury homes of Beverly Hills were an architects’ paradise. The homes built during this era were all meant to be architecturally significant, and they were designed in a variety of classical styles. From Art Deco to Spanish Colonial Revival to Italian style villas to Mid Century Modern to Hollywood Regency. That latter style, also called Regency Moderne, is unique to Hollywood because of how it mimicked the grandeur of film sets. It is a style that modern designers and homeowners still admire and emulate to this day.
Unfortunately, many of these classic homes were demolished or remodeled beyond recognition because they did not fit the style or serve the purposes of modern homeowners. One of the classic relics lost is the famous Pickfair Estate, named after its owners, classic movie stars, Mary Pickford and Douglas Fairbanks. It was destroyed because new owner, actress Pia Zadora, believed it was haunted by the laughing ghost of a woman who died in the estate while having an affair with Douglas Fairbanks. That is certainly a unique reason to demolish a classic estate, but it is gone nonetheless.
Only recently have preservation efforts and ordinances taken effect in order to maintain the cultural and historic significance of the great luxury homes of Hollywood past. While modern luxury certainly deserves its own spotlight, it should not come at the expense of classic homes of the past. It is understandable that modern homeowners would want modern features like media rooms, home gyms, and more; however, they should build their own mansions rather than tearing down old ones. Perhaps, one day, those new edifices will attain their own historical and cultural significance.
The Luxury Homes of Hollywood Hills
The luxury homes of the Hollywood Hills are known for their impressive views of the city or the canyon and their diversity in design. Many of the more expensive and exclusive homes are perched on steep hillsides.
Hollywood Hills was built and developed during Hollywood’s Golden Age, so many of the older homes there feature architectural styles that were popular at the time. These include the following styles:
International Style – This style is characterized by the use of glass, steel, and concrete, simple, geometric lines, large interior spaces, and a general lack of adornment. This focus on simplicity made International Style homes different from the more extravagant designs of the time, but their simplicity is what makes them stand out.
Tudor Revival – Sometimes called Mock Tudor in the United Kingdom, this style is based on the Tudor style of architecture common in medieval England. These homes have a more rustic look as they emulate the look of quaint English country homes and cottages. Despite the somewhat plain look of this style, Tudor Revival homes are often quite expensive.
American or California Bungalow – This style of home originated in India when it was under British colonial rule. It is characterized as a one or one and a half story house with a large central living room. The bungalow style gained popularity in Southern California in the early twentieth century because of its affordability. Needless to say, the bungalows of Hollywood Hills do not meet that criterion.
Case Study Houses – These are homes contracted by Arts and Architecture magazine that were designed by the prominent architects of the time. They were meant to be affordable homes that could be easy to replicate. Their purpose was to accommodate the large influx of soldiers returning from World War II and the housing boom that accompanied their homecoming. The Stahl House on Hollywood Hills is one of the more famous examples of this design style.
It is immediately noticeable that all of these styles emphasize simplicity, but other more prominent and extravagant styles also obtained. These include Mid-century Modern, Spanish Colonial Revival, Mediterranean, and more. This means that Hollywood Hills is home to an eclectic array of styles ranging from the simple to the elaborate.
The Luxury Homes of Brentwood
Like the more affluent parts of Los Angeles, Brentwood has its share of luxurious homes and large mansions, however, this prestigious, upscale neighborhood has a more intimate, small-town feel than many other LA towns. So, while the homes are large and luxurious, they lack the ostentatiousness of the homes found in the other well-moneyed areas of Los Angeles.
Brentwood is a neighborhood that is much coveted and highly exclusive, and it was designed to be that way, though perhaps it was a little too exclusive at its inception. When it was first built in the early 1900s, there was a rule prohibiting home sales to people of color. That rule would eventually be abolished, but the neighborhood would still remain overwhelmingly white for most of the Twentieth century.
That is slowly changing, so now residents of all backgrounds and ethnicities can experience the luxurious modern homes that make up Brentwood’s community. Despite being situated in the busy city of Los Angeles, Brentwood maintains the feel of a quiet, upper-class suburb, which is why it is so desirable. The abodes there reflect that feel, with large but modestly designed homes, some of which even have the archetypical white picket fence. Brentwood is not the place for opulently designed mega-mansions, but its residents would not have it any other way.
The Luxury Homes of Malibu
For many, Malibu is the epitome of the Southern California lifestyle and many of the homes there represent that feeling. Malibu is known for its beaches and accompanying beachside properties and as one would expect, it is the beachside properties that are the most expensive and exclusive. Since there is no new beachfront property being developed, prices for existing beachfront property are high and getting higher.
With the beaches being the most famous aspect of Malibu, the price and prestige of the luxury homes in that city are dependent on their proximity to the beach. The properties located near, but not on, the beach often have deeded beach rights, which provide access to the beach.
- Beachfront property
- Cliff top property over the beach with deeded beach rights
- Away from the beach with deeded beach rights
- Close to the beach with an ocean view
- Close to the beach with no ocean view
- Away from the beach with an ocean view
- Away from the beach with a 310 area code
- Far from the beach and away from the 310 area code
Malibu often serves as a second home to many of Hollywood’s power players because it is within the vicinity of Los Angeles. Prices of luxury homes in Malibu are among the highest in America, with homes on the high end going for as much as $120 million. Malibu’s small size and limited beachside property assures that it will remain one of America’s more exclusive enclaves for years to come.
California Luxury Is Here To Stay
The luxury homes in Beverly Hills, Brentwood, Hollywood Hills, and Malibu are desirable for their style, location, and exclusivity. However, they are also desirable because they are seen as a safe investment. That is why they have become popular, not just to the millionaires and billionaires of America, but to foreign millionaires and billionaires as well.
The homes of these cities and neighborhoods are not just financial investments, they are also an important part of their culture and history of those cities and neighborhoods. They are also a reflection of the diverse array of people who built these locations and who now call them home.