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$4.3 Million Homes in California


About an hour south of Los Angeles, Newport Beach is one of the toniest cities in Orange County. In the early 20th century, it was connected to Los Angeles by the Red Cars, a transit system owned by the Pacific Electric Railway Company, and it became a popular weekend destination for beachgoers; later in the century, it drew surfers. The housing stock is a mix of large single-family homes and upscale condos, with proximity to the ocean a strong selling point.

This home, which replaced an older one on the property, was custom-built by the current owners; one of them, an interior designer, oversaw the architecture and interior design, including the choice of pink and green exterior paint to highlight the French Caribbean influence. (Their daughter, who was raised in the home, is the listing agent.)

The house is within walking distance of Galaxy View Park, which offers views of Upper Newport Bay. Newport Harbor, one of the largest recreational harbors on the West Coast, is 15 minutes away by car.

Size: 6,786 square feet

Price per square foot: $633

Indoors: Just behind the front door is a two-story foyer with a chandelier hanging from the second floor, emphasizing the high ceiling.

Past the main staircase, through a wide, columned doorway, is the formal dining room, which has hardwood floors and another chandelier. Through a wide doorway to the left of the dining room is a formal living room, with large windows looking out on the swimming pool. Light blue ceilings coordinate with blue-and-white damask-striped wallpaper.

To the right of the main staircase is the kitchen, with black-and-white marble floors and a wood-burning fireplace framed in brick. A banquette is built into a windows to create a breakfast nook.

Off the kitchen is a family room, where a fireplace inlaid with colorful tiles and leopard-print carpeting gives the space a Hollywood Regency feeling.

Also on this side of the house is an office with windows on three sides. A staircase leads from this room to the second floor.

The upper level of the house has two wings. At the far end of the hallway is the master suite, with its own black-and-white tiled balcony as well as a spacious walk-in closet. The master bathroom has a double vanity, floors covered in white marble, and gold tone-on-tone patterned wallpaper.

At the other end of the second floor are four bedrooms of equal size, surrounding a common area used by the owners as a children’s playroom. Each bedroom has its own bathroom with a combination tub and shower.

Outdoor space: Doors from the kitchen and family room open to a large swimming pool. The cement patio is flanked on one side by grass. The attached garage holds three cars.

Taxes: $51,111 (estimated)

Contact: Valerie Vichikov, Knowleton Realty, 949-514-8687; zillow.com


This house was built in the decade following the opening of the Beverly Hills Hotel and the construction of estates like Douglas Fairbanks and Mary Pickford’s Pickfair, in the hills above Sunset Boulevard, when a Beverly Hills address was becoming covetable. The house, which was extensively remodeled in 2000, is within walking distance of Coldwater Canyon Park, a popular destination for families who enjoy its playgrounds and hikers who circle the Franklin Canyon Reservoir. Sunset Boulevard is five minutes to the south; in the opposite direction, canyon roads get you to Studio City and the 101 freeway in about 20 minutes.

Size: 4,428 square feet

Price per square foot: $970

Indoors: The main entrance to the house is separated from the street by a white stucco wall accented with brick and a wooden gate. Crossing a small courtyard, you reach the front door, which opens to the foyer.

To the right is a formal living room with high ceilings, exposed wood beams, a fireplace and a built-in bar nook. An arched doorway leads to a formal dining room large enough to seat 10, with built-in shelving framed by more arches and a set of arched wood doors that open to a patio.

The dining room flows into a large kitchen with hardwood floors, custom-built cabinetry painted a soft green and a backsplash of decorative Spanish tile behind the sink. Adjacent to the kitchen is a family room with space for an additional dining table and sectional sofa.

To the left of the family room are two guest bedrooms and a full bathroom, as well as a laundry room.

On the right side of the living room, a staircase leads to the second floor. At the top of the stairs is the master bedroom, where four large windows flood the space with natural light. In the attached bathroom, a wooden double-vanity separates the shower from a spa-style tub.

At the other end of the upstairs hall is an open office area with a built-in desk. There are also two additional bedrooms that share a full bathroom.

Outdoor space: A set of doors in the dining room lead to a Spanish-tiled patio with space for an outdoor dining table and a low stucco wall that has built-in bench seating. Two stairs lead up to an elevated patio centered around a built-in fireplace. To the left of the dining room is a pool the owners added about eight years ago, with space for sitting in the sun and a built-in shaded area.

Taxes: $54,547 (estimated)

Contact: Edward Fitz, the Agency, 424-230-3757; theagencyre.com


Half an hour inland from the coast of Monterey, Carmel Valley is a rustic resort area whose vineyards produce more wine than Napa Valley, the region to which it is most often compared. This house is about 10 minutes by car from the heart of Carmel Valley Village, where the main thoroughfare is lined with tasting rooms representing dozens of wineries. A number of luxury resorts, including the Carmel Valley Ranch and the Bernardus Lodge & Spa, are a 15-minute drive.

Known in the area as Villa Oliva, this property includes a grove of nearly 450 olive trees. A recent harvest by a private company resulted in a haul of more than 300 gallons of olive oil, which the current owners used as personal gifts.

Size: 3,362 square feet

Price per square foot: $1,278

Indoors: A steep driveway leads from the street to the house and garage, and is partially laid with stones imported from Europe by a previous owner.

At the center of a courtyard framed by the main house and an attached guesthouse is the entry to the main house. The living area is laid out in open-plan style and was designed to maximize views of the property and the nearby Santa Lucia Mountains. A seating area is set in front of a wall of south-facing glass doors that open to the patio.

On the far left wall is a fireplace framed by decorative stone; on the far right wall is a marble-topped bar with built-in glass shelving and space for a mounted television.

Behind the living area is a spacious kitchen with marble accents and new stainless steel appliances. A walk-in pantry and a laundry room are accessible through this space.

Beyond the kitchen is guest bedroom that has an en-suite bathroom with a walk-in shower. To the left of the kitchen, a hallway leads to the master suite.

The master bedroom has more south-facing glass doors that open to the patio, while an adjacent wall has built-in shelving and a fireplace. Above an open walk-in closet is a lofted storage area. Wooden sliding doors lead from the bedroom to the master bathroom, tiled in light gray marble, where a free-standing soaking tub sits next to a glass-walled walk-in shower.

The property has two guest suites, each with a full bathroom. The larger, which has an open plan with room for sleeping and seating areas, is attached to the main house but entered separately from the patio; the smaller studio-style suite is attached to the garage.

Outdoor space: The main patio is reached through the living room, and is paved in stone and brick. The owners use this expansive space essentially as a second living and dining area. At the far end of the patio, a built-in wet bar and gas grill are surrounded by tile and decorative stone. To the left of the patio is a saltwater swimming pool. A hot tub and additional seating area are under a rustic wood canopy.

An irrigation well supplies water to a fountain that flows into a small man-made waterfall and pond. Water from the well also irrigates the property’s olive trees and many lavender plants. The garage, detached from the main house, holds up to 10 cars.

Taxes: $46,816 (estimated), plus a $150 monthly homeowner association fee

Contact: Dana Bambace and Mark Peterson, Bambace Peterson Compass, 831-200-3178; 15488vlg.com

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