This Holmby Hills estate, originally built in 1928, features a beautiful existing Tuscan style main residence, accessory structures and gardens. Though well maintained, the property had lost much of its distinguished character over the years. The buildings had been painted white, obscuring much of the decorative carvings and details. The driveway and motor court were paved with a concrete much too modern for the site. We were charged with rediscovering the traditional charm that once existed there, unfortunately concealed beneath past renovations.
The Delfern estate was originally accessed from Sunset Boulevard, in the days when that thoroughfare was more picturesque and much less frenetic. Therefore, the formal entry faces Sunset and stands sentry over monumental garden stairs that descend the hillside. However, these garden stairs no longer serve as the formal property entrance. That is now Delfern Drive, which was a secondary street in the 1930’s and served the back of the estate. It is now the site’s only access point. Using it as the main entrance essentially reverses the original concept of the site design.
Our initial task was to reconfigure the gardens, motor court, and service buildings to improve the flow of the property and to restore a sense of grand formality to the entry sequence. The clients also asked us to locate and design two new accessory buildings, an art studio and a gym.