Million Dollar Listing–Los Angeles


Do you watch Bravo’s “Million Dollar Listing – Los Angeles?” 

I love all the Bravo TV shows, especially  “Million Dollar Listing Los Angeles.”  For those who don’t watch it, the show follows the hottest real estate agents in LA, Malibu, and Beverly Hills while they try to sell their mega mansion listings.

Honestly, most of the time I don’t care for their mega mansion listings.  These houses are usually too big and too ultra-contemporary for a Francophile like me.

L.A. Real Estate agent Josh Flagg with his parents in their house that he and his partner had recently redecorated for them.

While most of the Bravo L.A. agents show very modern houses, one agent, Josh Flagg, has been bucking that trend.   Flagg is interested in architectural history and wants to preserve the iconic houses of old Hollywood.

Zeppo Marx Estate

One interesting Flagg listing was the Zeppo Marx house - an original estate on Beverly Drive that most other agents would have promoted as a tear-down.  Not Flagg – he saw the value in the history of the house.  Another famous house is the Merv Griffin estate - Flagg has that listing too.   One episode showed Josh hosting an Open House at Hutton Wilkinson’s well-known house.  I loved that episode!!!

Hutton Wilkinson in his house that Josh Flagg listed and which was featured on the Bravo Show. 

Josh doesn’t want to just demolish these older Hollywood estates, he wants to save them and help develop them for today.   It’s an attitude that most of the other Bravo L.A. agents don’t share.  All they seem to care about is selling, selling, selling in order to make their enormous commissions.    The Bravo real estate agents live as lavish a life as their clients – and that lifestyle is a big part of the show, of course.

Josh Flagg with his famous pompadour, is, by far, the most entertaining of all the agents featured on the Bravo show - he got his real estate license at 18 and he’s been fantastically successful since.  He keeps his face fixed in a bored expression throughout his business dealings which involve tens of millions of dollars.  He absolutely never breaks a sweat or looses his cool.  Devoted to his grandmother Edith, their relationship was a sweet part of the show for many years until her passing.

Josh and Edith at her beautiful high-rise apartment.

Josh was recently married in a lavish ceremony at the Beverly Hills Hotel – chosen in memory of his beloved grandmother as it was her favorite hotel.  Edith survived the turbulent times during the Holocaust and later introduced polyester to the United States, which proved to be a very lucrative introduction at that.  Josh was so devoted to Edith that he even wrote a biography about her – which he began when he was just 14 years old!   Together, the two of them traveled to over 50 countries - all over the globe.

Click on photo to order book.

This week on the Bravo show, Josh was invited out to the valley – horrors – to see a new listing.   He hates to venture outside of the toney west side which includes Beverly Hills et al.

The house he went to tour was indeed beautiful.  It was such an unusual design for the show that I actually rewound it twice to watch the reveal again and again.  After the episode, I couldn’t get this house out of my mind.

It was all well done, so well designed that I wanted to share it with you.  IF you saw the show – stick around, I discovered some things not seen on the episode.

Although the house is located in the valley, it’s actually at the edge of the valley – a very green area with rolling hills.

The owner quickly tells Josh – “we renovated the house” but I actually didn’t catch the word “renovated” on that first viewing.  I thought it was a new house since the owner was also the builder.  She tells Josh a tale that they don’t really want to sell, but they have been besieged by so many people who are asking if their house is for sale that they are foolish not to sell it.

In reality, the builder has a web site filled with beautiful houses they have built and sold.  This is just another one of those.  But, that isn’t as interesting TV as the scripted story.

The builders are Rauber Homes HERE.

The house as shown on Bravo.

Now, since the house was renovated – what did it look like before?

Here is the Before.  It looks like the footprint of the house is much the same – except the second story above the garage was enlarged. 

All new windows.  White  paint.  New siding.  The garage doors, surprisingly, remained the same.

The house as seen in the Before photo is actually attractive with curb appeal.  After the renovation,  the basic style of the house remained the same, just updated for today, 60 years after the house was built.

BEFORE:  The backyard.   The pool was removed and a new one was put in its place.

After:  New windows, doors, roof, landscaping.  New everything.   On the Bravo show, Josh mentioned how the siding is not just siding, but was “how they do it in London townhouses” -   while I’m not sure what THAT means, I think it means it’s expensive wood siding???? 

BEFORE:  The back of the house, the family room/kitchen and to the left is the garage apartment.

TODAY:  New pool.  New terraces.   The area between the house and the garage apartment was extended a bit.  The grass is faux turf.  I’ve written about fake grass before.  It’s becoming really popular here in Houston to have this fake grass, but to me – I don’t understand it.  Just put down gravel instead.  I can’t imagine how you handle dogs with fake grass. It’s not very sanitary.  Oh well.  Not my problem.   

Notice the wing at the front of the house to the right – with the large fireplace.  That is the master suite and its fireplace, which was an addition. 

View of the family room.  To the left is the mud room. 

The outdoor kitchen.  The table is behind the pergola. 

The table, behind the pergola.  At least they have gravel here!  Such a beautiful back yard.

A screen cap from the Bravo show.  Josh Flagg is here to meet with the owners who are really also the builders.

The house was built in 1954 and is 6,000 sq.ft. with 5 bedrooms and 4.5 baths.

Built by Rauber Homes – the final asking price was $5,695,000.  The house is gated and was built in the London Townhouse style.  The wood floor here is original and is a parquet,  now stained black.  Be sure to notice the gorgeous crown molding, it was imported.

To the right of the entry is the dining room and then, the living room.

Now, what I LOVE about this house was the styling!   The builders lived here while trying to sell the house and perhaps this was all their personal furniture – if so, I love their taste!

It’s very masculine, not at all feminine, which is surprising to me that I would like it.  But, I just fell madly in love with this house!  

The photographs have a strange color tone – almost NO color.  I tried to correct the color and add some back in, but it’s still strange.   The colors throughout the house are white white walls, black floors, and black and orange/caramel accents.

BEFORE:    When you enter to the right is the dining room.  Before, the opening was very small – but now it is enlarged with lots of new windows added. 

Notice this floor.   They kept this floor only in the entry which is a shame since it’s beautiful when stained dark.

AFTER:  A screenshot of the new dining room.  I LOVE this!  Love the two bone chandeliers with the pine table and tufted leather chairs.   

I think a lot of this furniture might have come from Restoration Hardware.  If not, they have very similar furniture if you want to duplicate the look.

Other pieces are more unique – like the bookcase, here.  This piece looks like it came from India and I think some of the accent pieces   came from a store that imports from India.

Here’s another view towards the kitchen.  The living room is behind the host chair.   Notice the BEAUTIFUL medallions under the chandeliers AND notice the gorgeous crown molding.   The molding was imported for the house.   Josh was VEDDY impressed with the molding and called it “egg and dart” and then called it “dentil.” 

I love the bead chandeliers – and found these, reasonably priced!!  HERE

BEFORE:  The living room.  Notice the ceiling.  This was removed – and raised, so that the ceiling were higher, but it’s kind of a shame they lost this original ceiling.  Also, there is this long hall that runs along the side.  I wonder if this was added onto the house at some later date?  The rooms that run along the hall were enlarged to incorporate this hall into the rooms.

AFTER:  The hall was incorporated into the main room when the ceiling was raised.  New fireplace.  Fabulous shelving and styling.   New windows and doors that open to the back yard.

A night view of the lighted shelving – antiqued mirror above the fireplace.

Looking back towards the dining room and the foyer.  The hall to the master bedroom is straight off the foyer.

Beautiful huge black leather Chesterfield sofa.

Restoration Hardware sells those caramel directors chairs and Chesterfield sofa.  HERE

Through the dining room is the kitchen that overlooks the front yard.    In the renovation – the wall between the stove and the family room was removed to open up the space.

And here  - with the wall removed is the new kitchen with its fabulous tiled floor.  LOVE THIS KITCHEN!!!!!!     The windows look out at the front yard and driveway.

Black cabinets, white countertops, with brass accents.

Beautiful brass fixtures – they look so pretty with the marble and black cabinets.

Not exactly the same, but very, very close  HERE

With the wall removed, the view is open to the family room and back yard.  Apparently there are three dishwashers! 

On the show, Josh sold the house – to a Jewish couple who wanted a kosher kitchen put it.   A kosher kitchen means there are two separate dishwashers, cabinets – everything. 

To be kosher – the meat must be separated from the milk.  In other words – you wouldn’t want to cook a cow in his mother’s milk.   In olden times, that could happen – with a small farm and one or two or three cows – it might be possible to cook a cow in his mother’s milk.  HENCE…separate facilities so that meat and milk or meat and dairy dishes are not eaten together, nor cooked together, nor even come in close contact.  They must be separated.

That’s why a Kosher kitchen would have two separate dishwashers, cabinetry, etc.

There are other dietary rules to keeping Kosher:  no shellfish is allowed, no pork.  Shellfish actually live in with their own excrement, hence it’s not Kosher or clean.  Most Kosher dietary rules were started as a way to keep healthy and eat without getting sick – centuries before we knew about germs or there was refrigeration.

Hmmm…didn’t know I was going to go off on that tangent!

And, no, I don’t keep Kosher.  But, I don’t usually eat pork – like pork chops or roast pork, just because it’s not “Kosher” – but hypocrite that I am – I love bacon and shrimp!!!!

ssssh – just don’t tell my Rabbi!

Close up of the sliding glass doors between the dining room and kitchen.  NOT a barn door for once!!!  The cabinetry is beautiful.

Close up of kitchen backsplash.   The brass is not polished, it is left to patina.

The family room off the kitchen and the hall that opens to the back yard.  Just like the living room, the ceiling was raised – which meant the pretty wood slats and beams were lost in the renovation.    The room was opened to the hall – so that it became one large space.

The breakfast area off the family room and kitchen.   This wall was also removed to make this one large space.

Today:   The family with lighted shelving, black floors, and textured rug.   I love the mix of the white slips, caramel colored antique leather chairs, with black accents.

The view towards the breakfast room and  kitchen – in this view you can see how open to each other, these three rooms now are.

Notice the light fixtures over the table.  Love the chairs. 

I couldn’t find the exact same chairs, but they have a

similar look and I love these too!  HERE.

In another scene in the family room – Josh notices the cabinet hardware.  Bone?  No, horn.  From India?  Yes!!

It is quite attractive and very luxe.

The breakfast area.

The home office doubles as a library with a Moroccan lantern.

And behind the kitchen and family room is the mudroom.

I love the powder room – that marble sink is fabulous!  Black walls with white wainscot. 

Simple brass mirror and antique print.   Cute rolled up guest towels in bowl.

Before – the master suite. 

And bathroom.  The bay window was kept in the new design.

Today – there is a new fireplace that looks out over the backyard.  Another caramel leather chair and carved bed.  The medallion waits for a chandelier.

Again, the decor is masculine, but I love the touch of the gilt mirror.

The new bathroom is incredible.  I’m so in love with this house!!!   Notice the bay windows.  AND notice the beautiful Venetian blinds with the black ribbon.  Very old fashioned looking – very English, or Southern,  actually.

The opposite side shows the double doors with the stained glass.  Black marble on the vanity.  Large armoire hold the towels.

But it’s the woman’s closet that is absolutely amazing!!  Glass and mirrored doors with black metal hardware.   Pretty chandelier.

At the front door,  to the left,  the two bedrooms are now a renovated loft bedroom.  Below is a sitting room perfect for a teen.  Up the spiral stairs is the sleeping space.

In what was once the attic, the space was carved out for a bed.

The bathroom.  English styled.  LOVE this!

A third bedroom.

And it’s bathroom.

Above the garage is the apartment, which was enlarged.

Joss and the owner/builder go up to the garage apartment.

Previously, the space was rather boring and empty.

Today the apartment is a large media room.

There is a dining room through the doors.  Juliet balconies are at each window.

The dining area/card room.

Another view.  Love the balconies and love the metal hardware at the doors/windows.

At the other side is this bedroom with glass door closets.

And the adjoining bathroom with the concrete tile floor and huge walk in shower.

I hope you enjoyed this close up look at this London styled house in the valley!

To see other houses developed by Rauber Homes, go HERE.

And to see Josh Flagg’s web site go HERE.