Iconic Bel Air estate becomes most expensive listing in America

Iconic Bel Air estate becomes most expensive listing in America

An historic mega-mansion in Los Angeles just hit the record books as the most expensive property currently listed in the United States.

The Casa Encantada, an eight-acre Bel Air estate that translates as “the Enchanted House,” could well become the most expensive home ever sold in California if an interested buyer plunks down the current asking price of $225 million. As the Los Angeles Times reports, that perch is currently occupied by the Spelling Manor, which sold for $119.75 million in July.

Built in 1938, the Casa Encantada was designed to be the most opulent and extravagant mansion in Hollywood. Even during the Great Depression, building costs for the Bel Air estate ran up to $2 million (approximately $35 million in today’s dollars). Hotel magnate Conrad Hilton purchased the home in 1950 for $225,000.

Architect James Dolena designed the 40,000-square-foot mansion with a whopping 60 bedrooms. The mansion’s H-shape gives almost all of its rooms triple views of the city, the ocean and the park. T. H. Robsjohn-Gibbing, considered one of the most iconic decorators in the United States in the 1930s and 1940s, picked out the interior furniture and design. The listing is held by Jeff Hyland of Hilton & Hyland as well as Hilton’s grandson Rick Hilton and Shawn Elliott of Elite Real Estate Marketing.

 

Upgrades on the Cheap

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Mirrored Closet Doors

Make a small bedroom look larger by adding mirrors to plain closet doors. Simply pick up a couple of cheap, framed floor-length mirrors for less than $10 at your local big box store, paint the frame to match and attach to your closet door with construction adhesive for a permanent look or removable picture-hanging strips if you’re renting. Feeling extra crafty? Glue thin trim pieces to the mirrors for a high-end look.

BUY IT: Target, $5.99

Courtesy of HGTV

 

Reclaimed Wood a Hot New Accessory

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More homeowners are using reclaimed wood from barns, factories and log cabins to decorate their modern homes, The Wall Street Journal reports. They’re using the reclaimed wood to decorate everything from ceilings and flooring to window accents.

“They want it to look as primitive as possible,” Klaas Armster, co-author of the upcoming book Reclaimed Wood: A Field Guide, told the Journal.

Old-growth timber is no longer available in the U.S. construction industry. Suppliers today use wood from trees cultivated to grow fast that can be quickly processed into timber. Homeowners looking for antique wood from mature trees are calling on wood-reclamation companies to look for planks to reuse. They can be costly. Large structures of wood can cost anywhere from $300,000 to $1.5 million. On a smaller scale, homeowners may find costs much lower, such as $55,000 to use reclaimed accents on their kitchen or living room ceilings.

Charles Preston used antique timbers reclaimed from an 1800s Vermont barn for a vacation home he built with his wife several years ago in Texas Hill Country. The couple used the wood on the living room and kitchen ceilings, as well as to decorate interior and exterior lintels over the windows. He told the Journal that the reclaimed wood became a focal point in their home.

Preston also says that in the 7,000-square-foot, five-bedroom home, they also have a dining room ceiling adorned with 1900s oak fencing from Minnesota and exterior siding made of hemlock that was reclaimed from Midwest barns built from the 1850s to the 1900s. “That’s the first thing people talk about,” Preston says.

Chestnut barn frames from the 18th and early 19th centuries are a big draw, James Dixon, an architect in Chatham, N.Y., told the Journal. “If you find a chestnut frame, that’s like gold,” he says.

Source: “Homeowners Get into the Groove of Reclaiming Old Wood,” The Wall Street Journal (Sept. 5, 2019)