Home view: Spanish/Mediterranean


Anyone to the manor born (or with the taste and cash equivalent) will feel right at home in this completely renovated Spanish Colonial Revival home sitting on nearly an acre and designed by architect McNeal Swasey for a wealthy New York publisher in 1926. It's got all the perks for grand entertaining: a step-down living room with fireplace and French doors opening to an ample backyard; a large formal dining room; a library; a roomy den; and a spacious kitchen. Also on the main floor is a bar with wine storage; a powder room; and a guest room with bath. Each of the five upstairs bedrooms sport their own private baths, too, while the master suite has his and her closets, a sitting area and a large balcony overlooking the backyard and pool.
— 201 Hillside Rd., South Pasadena; $5,900,000; Gretchen Seager, Sotheby’s International Realty,  626-393-3973

Expert realtor:
The similarities between fashion and real estate are many, according to realtor Georges Rouveyrol, who developed a successful clothing line in France before "curiosity" brought him to the U.S. in 1984. "Constructing a jacket or a home are both architectural endeavors," he says. "Success is dependent upon the quality of the product and providing good service." His Entre Deux Modus label of tailored jackets took Los Angeles by storm; he dressed TV celebrities such as Cybill Shepherd and Julie Moran. With business soaring and a strong interest in architecture, he settled in Pasadena, where he cast his aesthetic eye on real estate -- buying and renovating homes and selling them for a hefty profit. After becoming well versed in financing, permitting, contracting and construction, Rouveyrol's next step was to earn his real estate license, which he did seven years ago. Now a top producer in Sotheby International Realty's lucrative Pasadena office, he specializes in Mediterranean properties, which remind him of the villas back home in Nice. "Mediterranean architecture is perfectly suited to Southern California's environment and climate," he says, explaining its distinctive and timeless appeal. "It's a great fit and buyers instinctively realize it." E-mail: georges.rouveyrol@sothebysrealty.com

Master Artisan: Furniture design:
Jerry Stoffers' career as a world-renowned artisan and owner of Arte de Mexico, Los Angeles' largest showroom, began with a jaunt to Tijuana, Mexico. Upon discharge from Vietnam 43 years ago, the Iowa native sought R&R south of the border, where he flipped for the people and their crafts. "With more energy than brains," he says, he learned to forge iron, weld copper and carve wood. He would fill his van with furniture, gates and lamps, stopping in Orange County on his drive home to the San Fernando Valley. "Orange County was just starting to explode with development," he says. "I'd wash up and change at a Newport Beach gas station before making calls on design firms in the area. They liked my stuff. They'd give me orders and plans, and I was on my way." With a staff of 200 working in three Valley warehouses, Stoffers has come a long way from his initial $200 investment. Clients include Disneyland Resort, Universal Studios and Bellagio Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas -- not to mention high-profile celebrities such as Cher, Madonna, Sylvester Stallone and Denzel Washington. Although he can afford to delegate, he insists on creating all prototypes himself. "I'm currently building a gate for a quarter-million dollars," he says enthusiastically. "I'm as excited today as when I started." Web site: arteshowrooms.com

Must-have products:
First impressions begin at the entryway, and Portera Antique Spanish Doors guarantee a grand entrance. Taken from convents, homes and historical properties primarily in Spain, the portals (circa 15th-19th centuries) are imported to the U.S., where they are lovingly restored; $12,000-$100,000. Available by appointment at 27 S. El Molino Ave., Pasadena, 626-639-2130, info@porteradoors.com

Handcrafted in Morocco, Sahara Designs' brass lanterns (pictured) are particularly suited to illuminating homes in the Mediterranean style; $755. Available at saharadesigns.com.


OVERVIEW: Home designs affect mood

Home view: Snapshot of house styles and furnishings:
Mid-century modern