LUX Homes: Malibu Beach House
Just saying the name Malibu evokes feelings of luxurious living and success in life.
After all, it is L.A.’s most affluent and globally-recognized beach town. Whether its reputation comes from Malibu Barbie, who was undoubtedly the coolest version of our childhood “It Girl,” or Drake’s rap song about eating crab out in Malibu at Nobu, there are many reasons why Malibu has been home-away-from-home to some of the country’s most popular celebrity figures.
Former MGM executive, Frank Davis’s, residence is located in one of Malibu’s most exclusive gated neighborhoods, “Malibu Colony.” His beach home is the perfect inspiration for creating or decorating the beach home of your dreams this summer.
Beachfront living offers endless design opportunities that make decorating your vacation house much more exciting than your permanent residence. Playing with color, pattern, and natural textures is often the best way to take your beach home to its maxi- mum potential and keep things fun and light.
Davis juxtaposes the natural wood foundation and flooring with bright blue couches that look luxurious, but won’t leave you afraid to roll onto one after a long day spent strolling on the private beach. This is your sacred space to kick back in and enjoy your hard-earned vacation, so functionality becomes a top priority. Did we mention how much we love the easy-to-clean wood floors?
Artwork is a must for any vacation home. A good collection can take you away from the tiresome mentalities of everyday work and home life and back into the relaxing escape your beach home affords you. This is where you can really be yourself, and your décor should reflect that.
The standards for decorating a beach home become even more liberal, so the more eccentric your pieces, the better. This is the perfect place to hang a piece that you truly like but might clash with the style of your permanent home. Whether it’s an original Salvador Dali, as pictured, or a piece you bought from a street artist at Venice Beach, all art has a place at your beach house, as long as you love it. Davis has a variety of artwork hung in every room, but our favorite display is a number of beautiful pieces arranged in a gallery-like setting, all illuminated by a skylight.
Lighting is especially important to consider when purchasing your beach house, and a main aesthetic to enhance when decorating it. Nothing feels better than waking up to the morning light of the ocean shining in and illuminating the possibilities of the day. Shutter blinds over French style doors and windows are both a classic and practical choice that bring a breath of fresh air into any beachside home, regardless of the style or location. Feel free to leave them open all day long as you dip in and out of the waves in the same way that previous Malibu residents have, which includes Tom Hanks, Mel Brooks, Leonardo DiCaprio and Pamela Anderson.
At the end of the day, a vacation house has just as much life as the family who lives inside of it. The Davis family has many hobbies they indulge in when they visit their Malibu escape, which range from collecting and polishing stones on the beach to photo- graphing local wildlife. Their favorite ritual, however, is having everyone they love over for an intimate yet elaborate Sunday dinner. Every Sunday evening the family home-cooks a dish of their choice starting at about two p.m. It’s an open invitation to family, friends, and on a few lucky occasions, myself.
I arrived at Malibu Colony around four p.m. and was greeted at the entrance by a very serious security brief. After finding park- ing in the colony among an array of exotic car imports I walked up to the hidden entrance to the house and entered into a different world, far away from the typical Malibu image I had held in my head. In the kitchen I enthusiastically helped pound chicken breasts for the picatta we would all later enjoy, while other family friends set the table and poured each other more wine. At a table set for 15 we talked enthusiastically over each other about politics, Los Angeles, and the heyday of the Film industry that Frank helped pioneer.
Speaking about a love for entertaining, we can’t imagine spending a summer in Malibu without throwing a few parties to be talked about for the rest of the year. Frank’s daughter Betsy was born on the Fourth of July and the family has thrown a massive celebration on the holiday ever since. Malibu is noted for it’s outrageous Fourth of July parties in general and it’s not unlikely for celebrity neighbors to let the parties mesh into one large party on the beach. Betsy’s favorite celebrity guest was Jim Carrey who made her birthday unforgettable one year, although we won’t say how.
No matter how stunning the house, the most important asset is beach access. Davis’s home is directly on the beach, so much so that you could throw a rock into the water from half of the rooms in the house. The patio is the most spectacular feature of the house which was built with two levels and two different viewpoints of the Pacific Coast sunset. Adobe clay tiles and native succulent plants fit the down-to-earth family perfectly and align with the overall attitude of the city of Malibu: being at the top without trying too hard.
STORY ALISON DU PRAS
PHOTOGRAPHER EDDIE MELIKIAN