Many people would say that the L. A. lifestyle begins and ends in Beverly Hills. That might be an accurate assessment; just look at the houses. Everything from mid-century modern to Crafstman to ultra-modern homes and mansions can be found behind gates in secluded, forested, fenced communities.
The Robert Skinner House, located at 9557 Lime Orchard Road in Beverly Hills’ Hidden Valley Estates is a justifiably celebrated mid-century modern home. The 4,614 square foot, five-bedroom with four full and two half baths sits on 0.42 acres with two fireplaces and a two-car covered garage. It sold on August 21, 2021, for $8.5 million dollars to Ellen Degeneres.
All photos are used with permission from TopTenRealEstateDeals.com
Who is Robert Skinner?
California isn’t full of just movie stars and famous singers. Some of the most celebrated architects of the 20th century have lived here and built houses here as well. A graduate of USC’s esteemed School of Architecture, Skinner designed the Rowan House in 1961 and had it photographed by Julius Schulman.
The residence became the home of the Becket family of architects until 2015 when the house fell into disrepair. The house was subsequently restored by the Cavics, whose architect and interior designer used Schulman’s photographs to painstakingly renovate this gem of a house.
What Does The Rowan House Look Like?
You’ll enter the redwood and glass-walled structure surrounded by lush greenery and mature trees. The living room of the split-level mid-century modern house is paneled in redwood with walls of glass. The wood theme is carried on with a grand piano, two green velvet sectional sofas with wood structure, and an open floor concept.
From there, you will step up. To one side are the stairs leading up to the bedroom level. On the other side, you’ll step up into a galley kitchen.
Paneled in redwood, a very long skylight bathes the kitchen in natural light. At one end of the galley kitchen is a breakfast nook. At the other end is an extra-long island. Custom cabinets and terrazzo flooring complete the picture.
You’ll also find a family room with built-in bookcases, a built-in sofa, and a TV. The home office features an enormous desk with more built-in bookshelves, a separate computer site, and a sitting area beside a wall of glass. All of these rooms feature redwood paneling along with modern, pretty lighting.
More glass walls and redwood paneling adorn the spacious bedrooms, with a fireplace in the primary bedroom. Don’t let the glass fool you, though. There’s plenty of privacy to be had.
The back yard features a pool, fire pit, barbecue, with a dining area and seating surrounded by lush greenery, trees, and blue skies.
What to Like about the Rowan House
Hardwood floors, wooden siding, and wooden window frames have made a comeback in recent years. Only in Beverly Hills, though, will you see redwood used as paneling. I love wood tinged with red, such as cherry and mahogany, in flooring or for other uses in a home. I’d feel right at home in Robert Skinner’s house.
Another thing I like about the house is the glass. Natural light is important to our health, but so is the daily sight of Mother Nature. It calms, soothes, and heals us.
Photo credit: Juwan Li and Adrian Anz