AT HOME IN THE ’BU: THE LOCALS FAVOURITES


ABOVE: A private residence staged by Kavala Rose Home

BY NICKY SUMMER


MALIBU is home to some of the most beautiful private residences on the west coast and the support system for the locals, weekend visitors and holiday makers is second to none. We’re talking rustic beauty in a land of sunshine, surf and sunsets where you can let your hair down, walk bare-foot almost everywhere and enjoy beach-life to the max. Malibu is dramatic – up in the canyons of the Santa Monica Mountains that line PCH, coyotes, mountain lions, snakes and serpents roam… the wild fires are ferocious, earthquakes are common, the regular rock falls are threatening; immense beauty and imminent danger live side-by-side. A lot has changed since I first lived on Carbon Beach many moons ago, but one thing is consistent: Nature. The tide ebbs and flows, dolphins frolic on the surf, pelicans glide overhead, whales are seen in the far distance gently making their way up the coast towards their breeding territory…


ABOVE: Surfers and dolphins are a feature of Malibu; an overhead view of the Malibu Beach Inn

The relative ’newcomers’ to the scene adjust their environs to match the spectacular scenery – Nobu Malibu’s indoor/outdoor vibe is legendary, Malibu Farm was originally perched on the end of the pier, the ocean literally beneath your feet. The Malibu Beach Inn has long been the destination for the Hollywood elite escaping the pressures of Los Angeles – nothing can beat going go sleep to the sound of the waves directly outside the window of your room… a long weekend here equates to a two week vacation anywhere else, such is the relaxation factor.

The gorgeous timber-built house I lived in next to the ’Geffen Gates’ and rented from movie mogul Freddie Fields and his wife, Corinna, was demolished and made way ten years ago for a beautiful all-white contemporary mansion by Christian Liaigre – it’s owned by a Canadian tycoon and his family and they’ve done a fabulous job of reassigning the plot. The dark tiled pool used to be to the PCH entrance of the property, the new pool is now to the side; the master bedroom on the upper floor faces the ocean, the rest of it is mainly open plan minimalist in the way Liaigre does best…


ABOVE: The spectacular ocean front residence designed by Christian Liaigre…

The most wonderful aspect of Malibu is that it forces visitors to unwind – until 15-20 years ago, there was literally nowhere to go – a walk along the beach to the end of the pier and back, a visit to Cross Creek for basic household shopping, cocktails at sunset at ’Moonshadows’, dancing (on the tables) at the local Italian or (smashing plates) at the Greek. More recently, the Malibu Lumber Yard outdoor mall has become the retail destination for brands such as James Perse and across the way, at the Malibu Country Mart on Cross Creek, there’s a Chrome Hearts and an Oliver Peoples boutique. However, the whole vibe is still ’natural beauty’ a la Gigi Hadid, who grew up in the area…


GET THE VIBE: Nicky wearing James Perse on Carbon Beach; a silk hand-knotted rug on an ocean theme from Tania Johnson

Surfrider, Nobu Ryokan and the Malibu Beach Inn are the places to stay; The Ranch Malibu up in the hills is where the super-elite tone up prior to Awards season with a program that includes daily hikes up and down the mountain terrain, yoga, massage, work-outs and healthy cuisine. The R-4 program is the one I did – I’m super-fit, however even I found it challenging…


ABOVE: Home to the R-4 program, The Ranch Malibu…

ABOVE: Mid-R4-hike in the Santa Monica Mountains; picnic lunch at Zuma Beach – water and soup.

Malibu Farm is the best place for brunch, in my opinion – Helene Henderson brought her relaxed Scandinavian style of cuisine to the pier, some of the organic produce is grown at her own place not far from the restaurant/cafe. The whole vibe sums up Malibu – fresh, unaffected, wholesome. You can buy the cookbook direct or via Amazon…


ABOVE: Pancakes at Malibu Farm; Malibu Pier at dawn…

ABOVE: The sky’s so blue in Malibu…

Three key personalities in the Malibu/Calabasas area are Chris Cortazzo, the realtor; Greg Day, President of Hospitality at Mani Brothers Real Estate including The Malibu Beach Inn; Jim Jordan the photographer, film maker and talent scout founder of White Cross Management – who spotted and cultivated the careers of American supermodels Taylor Hill, Bella Hadid and Gigi Hadid amongst others…


ABOVE: A house on Colony Road, Malibu, available through Chris Cortazzo; the dynamic Jim Jordan

ABOVE: Greg Day, President of Hospitality, Mani Brothers; cuisine at the Carbon Beach Club at the Malibu Beach Inn

ABOVE: A cabinet from the West Coast Collection by Davidson London; a seal from a ’MALIBU – the beach’ scented candle by Nicky Summer Bougie available from the exclusive hotel, Malibu Beach Inn

On the home front, Chris Cortazzo buys and sells on behalf of UHNWI – much like Tim Swannie does in the South of France or Charles McDowell in central London, and beyond. Property in Malibu sells like hot cakes, with plots alone exchanging for multiple millions of dollars. Beach front on Carbon is one of the best positions, due to the proximity to L.A. – not too near, not too far – traffic on PCH being a never-ending issue almost 24/7. Ranch-style houses up in the canyons often come with land for horses, are more shaded and benefit from the breeze – the perfect position to watch birds of prey as they hover high above…


ABOVE: Cacti, colour and fresh air in the canyons; ranch-style living in Malibu…

ABOVE: The view from a Malibu ranch-style house; you can see over to Catalina island on a clear day…

Bougainvilla, cacti, avocado trees and eucalyptus bushes enhance the surroundings; the scent of wild jasmine and orange blossom hangs on the ocean air; blue, cloudless skies are the norm almost all year round…


ABOVE: Detail from a linen sofa by Andrew Martin; floral arrangement by Eric Buterbaugh

For those looking to sell their home in the area, expert styling is guaranteed to make the offers come in even faster than normal; Kavala Rose Home is the company to contact in that department – they’ve been featured in editorials such as Dwell, The Spaces and Variety – and excel in the upscale version of ’shabby chic’ that’s seen in many of the most beautiful Malibu homes…


Kathryn Rose Kovarik, founder of Kavala Rose Home, provides full-service residential staging in Los Angeles, California for homeowners, real estate agents, and investors looking to make their property stand out, sell quickly, as well as bring a handsome return on their investment. With over twenty-five years of experience working with interiors, home renovation, and as a creative stylist, Kathryn’s ability to interpret and adapt style varieties ensures clean, custom-fit design presentations. The Kavala Rose aesthetic is one that blends layered textures with an eclectic mix of vintage finds, fabrics, and classic furniture with clean lines. Whether it be elegant coastal style, sleek mid-century modern, or classic California bungalow, Kathryn uniquely curates atmospheric settings for buyers to fall in love with…”

City & Beach Lifestyle

ABOVE: Warm and inviting, a double-height Malibu home staged for sale by Kavala Rose Home…

You only get one chance to make a first impression! The art of home staging is about showcasing a property at its finest and best – an inviting, turn-key atmosphere that creates an emotional connection with the buyer. It’s also an investment that helps maximize the rate of return on the sale of the property. As one of the fastest growing industries within the world of real estate, it’s a known fact that well-staged homes sell faster and at higher prices than non-staged offerings…”

Kathryn Rose Kovarik, founder Kavala Rose Home http://www.kavalarose.com

ABOVE: Carbon Beach toward the pier at sunset; peaceful scenes like this are a feature of Malibu living…

ABOVE: The Liaigre-designed beach house at dusk…

ABOVE: An ocean view corner suite at Shutters On The Beach; plantation shutters by Kent Bespoke Shutters

On the way back into town, we stop for a snack in the lobby of Shutters in Santa Monica – my all time favourite beach hotel in the city – before making our way to the Bird Streets of West Hollywood, refreshed and happy; a long weekend in Malibu is good for the soul …



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