Virtually everyone remembers American Idol superstars Kelly Clarkson, Carrie Underwood, Jordin Sparks, Katherine McPhee and Adam Lambert, talented singers who achieved instant fame on the reality series. Few recall the spectacular Beverly Hills Tuscan mansion that housed Idol contestants during their pursuit of music fame. Until now.
“The canyon, reservoir and private golf course views are breathtaking and framed with sculptures, fountains and lush landscapes,” says Steven Dunn, Villa Colibri owner and CEO of Munchkin, a baby lifestyle brand. “We never get tired of seeing beautiful deer prancing across the lawns and the golf greens. One morning, we were lucky to catch the birth of a fawn and watch its first steps.”
Originally built in 2009, the estate (and two adjacent lots) was purchased in 2011 for $11.2 million by Dunn and his actress wife Laura, who upgraded the mansion with whimsical artworks and exotic sculptures. Laura designed the interiors, incorporating pieces the couple collected during their extensive travels abroad.
The home’s timeless design was redefined with extraordinary vintage elements—antique Roman face and foot sculptures; a rare 19th century Murano glass chandelier; and a 600-bottle wine cellar behind an antique jailhouse door. A British-themed room is a nod to London (or perhaps the Royal family) with English flag-print rugs, ottomans, pillows, red-white-and-blue color palette, an authentic red British phone booth, and a “God Save Our Queen” lighted marquee sign.
“The antique jail house door from South America was selected for the wine cellar and fitted with glass so you can look in but no wine escapes,” jokes Dunn.
The eight-bedroom, 14 bath property is co-listed by Joyce Rey, Stephen Apelian, Timothy Di Prizito of Coldwell Banker Global Luxury, and Josh & Matt Altman of Douglas Elliman. “What stands out the most is the absolute perfect fusion of timeless art, architecture, home, functional, entertainment and lifestyle,” says Di Prizito.
“When looking out over the property, it feels like its in the European countryside,” adds Apelian.
Stone work used for Villa Colibri is reminiscent of Tuscany, quarried and hand-cut by 12 stone masons from boulders for authentic interiors and exteriors, according to Dunn, an avid art collector who also owns actor James Cagney’s old Beverly Hills estate.
The colossal Great Room resembles a museum, highlighted by twin grand staircases, sculptures, contemporary art and a 17th Century Trumeau fireplace from the Loire Valley. The kitchen has a huge centerpiece marble island, fireplace, antiques and open-air disappearing windows. The home theater entertains beneath an antique terra-cotta barrel ceiling. The residence also boasts his and her master bathrooms with walk-in closets.
Yet some of these luxurious living spaces are actually upstaged by world-class amenities that could shame a 5-star resort, including a private golf course, three pools (infinity-edge included), pool house, home theater, gym, a pro tennis court, bocce ball court, etc. The future owner better be a Renaissance man or Renaissance woman—with a low golf handicap.
Dean Reinmuth, golf legend Phil Mickelson’s coach, designed two spectacular greens, which are inspired by the historic Rae’s Creek holes at Augusta National Golf Club (part of “Amen Corner”), where The Masterslegends (like five-time major champ Mickelson) are born. The private greens feature 28 different hole placements.
Says Dunn, “When Dean came up to Villa Colibri and looked out over the canyon, he said ‘I see Augusta greens #12 and #13 which would look great here.’ I hired Dean on the spot. Dean has offered to throw in three private lessons to the future buyer.” Sold!
Picturesque greens, tee boxes, and golf cart paths were carved into the hillside. The most dazzling is a cliff-high tee that overlooks a green a couple hundred yards below—Acapulco cliff-diving style (No. 17 at TPC Sawgrass has nothing on this!). The couple hosted a “Closest to the Hole” golf and wine tournament-fundraiser along this remarkable landscape.
“Villa Colibri is the only estate we know of in Los Angeles featuring the ability to play 28 holes of regulation-sized par 3 golf,” says Di Prizito.
This exceptional property could appeal to a billionaire, athlete, golfer, an international buyer or a domestic buyer looking for a trophy estate to entertain or hold functions and fundraisers.
Never mind those past haunted mansion rumors from American Idol Season 10 contestants, who claimed they witnessed flickering lights, banging doors and spooky apparitions. They were either Hollywood fodder, practical joke hijinks or a renovation indicator. That’s all water under the Rae’s Creek bridge now. Besides, who could blame a ghost if he did want to live here? Even former American Idol judge and curmudgeon Simon Cowell give Villa Colibri a thumbs up.
A Season 10 American Idol promo gave contestants and viewers a behind-the-scenes tour of the old Villa Colibri to highlight the TV show’s rags-to-riches potential. The tour showed contestants losing their minds as they entered the mansion, playing on staircases, cartwheeling by a piano, jumping on beds, soaking up terrace views, even shedding tears—a temporary taste of fame and fortune. Today, Villa Colibri is even more mind blowing.
Listed for more than six times its last sale, Villa Colibri is back in the spotlight, like all great American idols.
Source: Keith Flamer
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