Yolanda’s seven favorite houses of 2018

Yolanda loves lists of all sorts. We have a list for just about everything in our life. Heck, we even keep a spreadsheet to track all our other spreadsheets, believe it or not. So since the year-end is a perfect excuse to make lists upon lists, here’s another one: our seven favorite homes we covered in 2018.

This was originally going to be a top five ranking, but there were so many great houses this year — yes, even persnickety Yolanda loves many homes — we had to bump it up to our top seven faves. There was just no narrowing it down any further.

Also, these were supposed to be ranked from most favorite to least favoritest — or whatever — but they’re all great and incomparable in their own way. So here they are listed alphabetically, by the owner’s names.

Honorable mentions: Mitchell Green’s lavish Montecito estate, Holly Madison’s decadent Windsor Square digs, Bruce Karsh’s eye-popping Holmby Hills “farmhouse” and his done-up Brentwood compound, and Bui Simon’s tasteful Traditional in the Palisades.

1. Adam Pritzker’s Chimorro House, Beverly Hills


This historic beauty is located just above Sunset Boulevard in prime Beverly Hills. Originally built in 1926 by the legendary Roy Seldon Price, the Chimorro Houseas it is known — was purchased for $12,100,000 four years ago by youthful Hyatt hotel heir Adam Pritzker

The Hispano-Moorish-style casa was sold by Liv Ballard, the jewelry-designing ex-wife of legendary Grammy-winning songwriter/producer Glen Ballard. In the early 2000s, the Ballards hired venerable architects Tichenor & Thorp to give the ol’ gurl a facelift, surely at great cost.

Yolanda loves this place because it’s got fantastic old Hollywood bones and it’s very private — tucked away behind towering walls and gates. Plus all the nifty features it contains. Original terracotta tiles, a beautiful courtyard, even a stunning wine cellar with tasting room. And the house was originally built for a lady who used it as a speakeasy during Prohibition. How cool is that? Come on now.

For whatever reason, Mr. Pritzker has tired of his 90210 abode and in January (2018) he put it up for sale with a $13,150,000 asking price. Since then, it’s undergone a couple changes of realtors and price adjustments. And yet there it sits, still unsold — currently asking just under $13.5 million.

Yolanda rather suspects that the problem lies not with the house or realtors — rather, it’s merely the fact that young Mr. Pritzker overpaid for the property and has not yet come to terms with that realization. But we shall see what happens.

Listing agents: Jack Friedkin & Leonard Rabinowitz, Hilton & Hyland

2. Anthony de Rothschild’s bucolic estate, Malibu

Located in Malibu’s star-studded Ramirez Canyon, this pastoral spread was completely redone by British heir Anthony de Rothschild. Yes, kiddies, those Rothschilds — the influential folks who were the world’s wealthiest family throughout the 1800s and possessed the largest private fortune in modern history.

The 14-acre estate has ocean views, a 3,000-square-foot “rustic-chic” main house, two detached art studios/offices, mature sycamore trees, rolling lawns, an all-new swimming pool and so much more.

In summer 2018, Mr. de Rothschild sold the $10 million property to Erica Packer, the ex-wife of Australian billionaire James Packer. Unfortunately for us (and Mrs.Packer, of course) we fear this place no longer exists, as it was right in the devastating Woolsey Fire‘s pathway. Egads — say it ain’t so!

Anthony de Rothschild’s agentChris Cortazzo, Coldwell Banker

3. Ellen DeGeneres’s casually luxe flip, Montecito

Nobody changes his/her address more frequently than Ellen DeGeneres. Seems like hardly a month goes by when Yolanda isn’t discussing her latest real estate move. But the lady has great taste in homes, so we’re not complaining.

This particular home is modest by celebrity standards — it has less than 2,700-square-feet of living space. But it’s located in the proverbial heart of Montecito and sits on an acre of gorgeously landscaped land.

Though Ms. DeGeneres owned this place a mere seven months — in fact, Yolanda is unsure if she ever spent a night here — she did manage to redo the interiors in her trademark casually luxe, neutral style. It’s a beautiful place. Not too big, not too small — just right.

The circa-1930 Spanish/Mediterranean-style confection was recently sold for $6.3 million to a wealthy widow from Chicago named Donna Lyon.

Ellen DeGeneres’s agentSuzanne Perkins, Compass
Selling agentRandy Solakian, Coldwell Banker

4. Hideki Tomita’s John Pawson-designed minimalism, Bel Air

This $85 million, 20,000-square-foot mega-mansion is a bit grander than what Yolanda typically favors, but we can’t resist a good bit of stark minimalism. And the architecture here is magnificent.

Built for Seagram’s heiress Ellen Bronfman and her longtime hubby Andrew Hauptman, the house was designed by London-based master minimalist architect John Pawson — a longtime family friend — and is one of only two homes he has built in the USA. The eight-year project (four years of design planning plus four years of construction) was completed in 2009.

The structure consists of two slender boxes — one cantilevered over the other — plus a subterranean level that features a screening room, staff quarters, a children’s playroom, and storage space. The home’s exterior is clad in stucco accented by red cedar trim.

Last year, the Bronfman-Hauptmans “downsized” to a $16 million Brentwood Park mansion and sold their Bel Air dream home to Japanese billionaire Hideki Tomita. The $85 million sale price — tied for the #2 biggest deal of 2018 — included an adjacent property with a Paul Williams-designed house.

Listing agent: Kurt Rappaport, Westside Estate Agency

5. Jeff Hammes’ Gothic Tudor, Beverly Hills Flats

This one ain’t quite perfect — a few rooms could use work — but the 1928 ol’ gurl has fantastic bones and has been (for the most part) tastefully updated over the past 90 years. And Yolanda loves herself a moody Gothic Tudor. (We’re big Clue fans).

Bought for nearly $15 million by Chicago super-lawyer Jeff Hammes, the half-acre lot additionally includes a sports court, a swimming pool with an inset spa, and a one-bedroom, one-bath guest house.

Listing agentBilly Rose, The Agency
Jeff Hammes’ agentStephen Shapiro, Westside Estate Agency

6. Julie Bowen’s mod mid-century

This list wouldn’t be complete without at least one sophisticated mid-century modern, and actress Julie Bowen’s new house in the Hills perfectly fits that bill.

Built in 1959 and designed by noted architect Thornton Abell — he’s also responsible for Case Study House #7 — the glassy structure was sold in the early aughts to celeb realtor Jonah Wilson, who invested in a thoughtful renovation and expansion by architect Tony Unruh and Bonura Building.

The very private butterfly-roofed home includes a garden atrium entry, sliding glass walls/doors, terrazzo floors, and a sexy bar with teak cabinetry.

Listing agentsStephen Apelian & Johnny Schell, Coldwell Banker
Julie Bowen’s agentCindi Dameshek, Keller Williams

7. Kylie Jenner’s chic contemporary lovenest, Beverly Hills (Post Office)

We know some of y’all are rolling your eyes to see this one on our list. But just forget about who owns it for a sec and focus on the house itself — it’s actually a really great contemporary. The floorplan is fantastic, the interiors chic without being cold, and the hedonistic 2,300-square-foot master suite is massive but not overwhelming. The romantic landscaping is nice, too. And Yolanda loves how the home is set way above the street and how the driveway passes under one wing of the house. It’s neat!

This place was completely overhauled by the design folks at ANR Signature Collection before they sold it for $13.5 million to Little Miss Kylie Jenner (and her rapper baby daddy Travis Scott). Whatever you think of the Kardashians — or maybe you don’t think of them at all — Miss Jenner made a Yolanda-approved selection with this one. So there’s that.

Listing agentGinger Glass, Coldwell Banker
Kylie Jenner’s agentsTomer & Isidora Fridman, Compass

5 Replies to “Yolanda’s seven favorite houses of 2018”

  1. That Montecito home was beautiful! Ellen has great taste.

  2. Bel Air is more a museum than a home, but still fun to look at…

  3. Here are some of my favorite properties from your blog, based on the lot and location as well as the house, but excluding anything that looks obviously flammable to me:

    Jacqueline Baudit in BHPO
    John Thain in Brentwood
    Peggy and Andrew Cherng in South Pasadena (#1)
    David Cohen in Brentwood
    Ronald Willis in Hidden Hills
    David Sackler in Pacific Palisades

    My favorite story of yours this year was definitely Cynthia Beck.

    Happy new year!

    1. I thought I was the only one who loved the Ronald Willis house! That was one of my favorites.

  4. Ronald Willis’s house and the Cherng house are both favorites here, too. Happy New Year’s, all!

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