New 1-Percenter Trophy Home Trends: Two Kitchens, Two Closets, "Gallery Garages"

Courtesy of The Agency
Swimmers are on display from the underground bar area at this 13,820-square-foot property on Sierra Alta Way.

Interior designer Joan Behnke says public and private work kitchens now are entirely expected with most of her clients, who have included Gisele Bundchen and Tom Brady, Sylvester Stallone and Alec Gores, in addition to closets that have a retail-store feel.

Forget multiple bedrooms and double-digit bathrooms. High-end home buyers are now demanding "show" and "hidden" versions of kitchens, garages and the like for their trophy homes. Paul McClean, who has designed L.A. mega-manses purchased by such clients as Calvin Klein and the Winklevoss brothers, created not one but two kitchens for a Bel Air estate currently on the market for $48.5 million. “The key desire to homeowners on this level is for a kitchen where they can entertain,” says listing agent Rayni Williams of Williams & Williams Estates. “The heart of the house has always been the kitchen and now entertaining is on a whole new level, so there has to be a real expansive living room off of the kitchen to fulfill this need, as well as a prep kitchen and butler's pantry.”

Interior designer Joan Behnke says public and private work kitchens now are entirely expected with most of her clients, who have included Gisele Bundchen and Tom Brady, Sylvester Stallone, and Alec Gores. Newly in demand? Working closets and "boutique closets," where outfits are laid out and arranged daily. Behnke says that clients now require hidden closets where the bulk of the clothes, shoes and purses are stored as well as show closets which have “more of a retail feel and frequently offer a place to retreat,” says the interior designer. “Some clients refer to a specific store that they like and want the closet to be in keeping with the style of a store. One client wanted his closet to feel like he was walking into a Tom Ford store in New York. So we designed a closet with similar finishes that he experienced in that store.”

For other homeowners more inclined toward Teslas than Birkin Bags, a new breed of "gallery garages" is giving car collections the high-art treatment. One Sunset Strip contemporary that's going for $22.9 million offers not only a two-story motorized wine rack but also dual garages — one a more basic storage space, the other a seven-car, expertly lit gallery enclosed by steel folding glass doors and complete with a viewing room for admiring the merchandise. In the same entertainment-friendly spread (five bedrooms, 10 bathrooms), a basement-level lounge room offers a different type of scenery: a Jumbotron-sized underwater view of the pool via a massive window from a bar.

Other architects are duplicating the open-plan great room notion and taking it upstairs. A master bathroom with its own living room? That’s the idea at Estates at Del Sur, a brand-new community of luxury homes in San Diego. There Robert Hidey Architects-created open-concept bathrooms that seamlessly open to private outdoor sitting rooms complete with fireplace and multiple sitting areas. The kicker? The mini living rooms are only accessed via the master bath. Hidey calls the retreats the ultimate place "to relax in privacy."

A version of this story first appeared in the May 27 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.

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