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This Hollywood blend of drama, design and innovation--including 7.1 CinemaScope theater, pop-up televisions, and multiple surround-sound areas--earns our eager nod as best Home of the Year.
Actually, architects from a California-based firm called TempleHome built it. But we teamed up with them, so we'll grab credit. With the help of renowned designers and luxury brands, we turned a $14 million, four-bedroom, seven-bathroom house in the Hollywood Hills into a home worthy of the ultimate bachelor.
According to interior designer and developer Xorin Balbes, a man's house is much more than his castle, reflecting aesthetics, erudition, economics, even ego. Rather, it is a repository and recharger of the spirit, not to mention a barometer by which one's spiritual condition can be evaluated, nurtured, and buttressed.
Since 2003, Esquire Magazine has chosen a select home or condo per year, usually in LA or NY, and turned it into an Esquire House Signature Space. This year, Esquire selected a contemporary home situated in the infamous "Bird Streets" of the Hollywood Hills and outfitted it from top to bottom with the latest sleek and stylish high performance systems. No amenity was overlooked, including the ultimate amenity of perfect air.
Metropolitan Home, the definitive resource in modern design and contemporary style, announces its new LA
My whole philosophy about architecture and space," says Xorin Balbes, "is that there has to be a very strong relationship between the inside and the outside." As a matter of fact, the Los Angeles-based, metaphysically inclined designer subscribes to a number of such tenets, and he is not shy about sharing them. "In order for people and their souls to rejuvenate, there are two things they need to do," he maintains.
Los Angeles design Xorin Balbes creates extraordinary homes and "shares the wealth" by hosting parties for LGBT causes.
Late on a Thursday night, guests are streaming into Xorin Balbes' quasi-Mayan-style mansion, an otherworldly apparition that looms over Franklin Avenue in Los Feliz. Inside the sculptural front gates, guests ascend a narrow, tomb-like staircase to reach the living quarters. The stone stillness of an Indian goddess sculpture sets the tone at the first turn, and another similar sculpture does the same at the top landing. Silently, they give notice that this is not an ordinary place.
"It's an oasis within hectic Los Angeles," Xorin Balbes says of the Sowden House, which was built by Lloyd Wright in 1928. Balbes, who collaborated with Bashar Shbib on the landscaping, restored the neo-Mayan structure with architect Paul Ashley.