In Sunset Beach stands one of California’s quirkiest homes: an 87-foot-tall structure that serves both as eye candy for Pacific Coast Highway passersby and a reminder, in an era of rapid redevelopment, that some things are worth saving.
The landmark water tower dates from the 1890s, when it serviced railroad steam engines traveling along the California coast. Nine decades later, it was transformed into a house. Now, it’s up for grabs at $4.95 million.
Towering above the houses crammed along the sand near the border of Seal Beach and Sunset Beach, the striking residence has become beloved by locals in the decades since it was built — but it has a tumultuous past.
That’s when Long Beach City College math professor George Armstrong stepped up. In response to a community-wide “Save Our Water Tower” movement, he bought the property and remodeled it into a home in the 1980s, saving it from destruction.
It traded hands a few more times in the decades since and most recently sold to real estate investors Scott Ostlund and Barret Woods for $1.5 million in 2016. The pair quickly restored the home to its former glory, opening it up for public tours and renting it out for around $1,000 a night.
Listing photos show the structure is in the best shape it’s ever been. Spanning 2,800 square feet, it features four stories of unique spaces with some of the most impressive views around. Glass windows and a wraparound deck overlook the Pacific Ocean on one side and the city and mountains on the other.
An elevator and spiral staircase made of imported oak navigate the home, which gives new meaning to vertical living. The ground floor features two garages and a storage room, as well as a skylit space that leads to a bedroom and loft. Above that, there’s a deck with a hot tub.
The top floors house the kitchen, a pirate-themed bedroom complete with a porthole window, and an owner’s suite with sunken showers and stained-glass windows. At the very top, there’s a rotunda lounge encircled in windows complete with a custom bar and built-in fish tank.
In Boca Raton, Fla., a modern mansion owned by the late shoe mogul Bob Campbell — founder of footwear giant BBC International — just sold for $19.9 million. That’s the priciest home deal in Boca Raton history.
Records show Campbell, who helped popularize light-up shoes and Heelys roller shoes before passing away last year at 82, had owned the property since the 1970s. The house itself sold for $17.9 million, and the undisclosed buyer paid an additional $2 million for the furniture.
The current iteration of the home was built in 2019 on the banks of the Intracoastal Waterway, and the half-acre estate incorporates water in pretty much every place it can. In addition to 343 feet of water frontage, there are four infinity pools — including one on the second story that’s fed by a waterfall cascading from a garden roof.
Approached by a motor court, the 12,673-square-foot showplace is wrapped in wood and glass and surrounded by palm trees. The same design palette continues inside, where atrium-like spaces feature wood walls and pocketing doors overlooking the water.
There’s a two-story dining room, double-island kitchen, curved bar and lounge with an indoor reflecting pool. A floating staircase leads upstairs, where the primary suite expands to a spacious terrace. All nine bedrooms open directly outside.
At the edge of the property, multiple docks offer parking for yachts.
Campbell’s other property, a 20-acre horse farm in the Hamptons, hit the market for $40 million in 2017. It’s still up for grabs.
Sagaponack is one of the most expensive areas of the Hamptons, the famous seaside playground of New York’s elite at the East End of Long Island. In fact, Sagaponack is cited by Business Week magazine as the most expensive ZIP code in the United States.
In this exclusive enclave, former fashion stylist Kay Olivia Keren and Ryan Jackson, principal of the real estate firm Stellar Management, located their future weekend home. With their two small sons the couple was looking to put down roots in the area where they had spent countless happy weekends in the past decade.
Originally, the interior was cramped and void of character but the new owners were going to make sure all that fuss and claustrophobia vanished before they moved in. No excess, only absolute simplicity.
The result is a stunning all-white house that exudes dreamy beach vibes and casts each piece of furniture and art in a starring role. Enveloped by white floors, walls and ceilings, the striking wood details, light fixtures and art bask in the natural light pouring in from the large windows.
Describing the project, Workshop/APD director of interiors Michael Ellison has spoken about 50 shades of white and a handful of sand. Each grain of sand is of different colour but when you look at it all together, it is one unified colour of sand. This is what the designers aimed for and achieved at this summery residence.
We love the driftwood-inspired pieces, the furry and fuzzy textures of some of the seating and the elegant colour variety of the wooden legs of the chairs and stools. The lighting adds a layer of modern touches while the windows dominate as the overall light sources.
The designers knocked down the ceiling of the great room elevating its height to 28-feet (8,5 metres) and exposing the post-and-beam structure. They also re-built the existing masonry fireplace that now towers the full height of the space like a modernist pillar of white salt drawing the eye to the ceiling.
The custom-skirted sofa is upholstered with Castel’s Sabine fabric, the Fiorenza lounge chair is by the Italian architect Franco Albini and the Waterfall coffee table was made by Gal Shevach in New York.
In the elegantly mid-century minimalist dining room, Adelaide beechwood dining room chairs by Livoni surround a white table lit by our all-time favourite chandelier, the T-shaped T2 by Allied Maker.
Ellison selected fine European and European-inspired pieces throughout, including the iconic upholstered V-leg lounge chairs by Pierre Jeanneret, the low ‘milking’ stools in walnut by Charlotte Perriand, the Jean Royere-style curved sofa and the armchair upholstered in shaggy lambswool designed by the Czech industrial designer, Jindrich Halabala.
Even the project’s art consultant Barbara Cartageui stayed within the white colour palette selecting an eclectic mix of international artists. Represented are, for example, Hiroshi Sugimoto’s black-and-white seascape photographs, Jean-Michel Othoniel ink prints and dreamy all-white paintings by Thilo Heinzmann and movie director Harmony Korine’s art from his VHS cassette painting series. Tuija Seipell
Designed by Athens-based MOLD Architects nCAVED is currently high on our list of genuinely original yet refreshingly unpretentious vacation residences. The drama of the severe rocky landscape is repeated with dramatic skill in the chiselled strictness of the building.
Completed in 2020, nCAVED’s 340 square metres (3,660 sq.ft) of space disappear into the rock in a protected cove on the island of Serifos. From the outside it brings to mind the entrance of a pyramid or tomb. Yet from the inside, the living rooms are filled with natural light and afford spectacular views of the Aegean Sea. The strong northerly winds of the sea were one of the key considerations in the planning process that resulted in a dramatic solution providing both extreme shelter and stunning views.
One of the many aspects that drew us to this project is the beautiful use of staircases both inside and out. They are all functional staircases but at the same time they are fabulously sculptural in their minimalistic exactness. They provide meditative drama and calm beauty.
We also love the way the sparse material and colour palettes, and the interplay between horizontal and vertical lines, highlight the changing effect of natural light in the rooms. Light wood slats soften the hardness of concrete, rock, iron and glass.
The residence is divided into three levels: bedrooms that are connected to the living rooms, and an independent guest quarters. An outside staircase connects the three levels at the main entrance.
Iliana Kerestetzi, MOLD’s founder (in 2011) was the lead architect of the project with Manos Kerestetzis acting as consulting architect. The design team also included Konstantinos Vlachoulis and Michalis Xirokostas.
Serifos is one of the more than 220 islands that form the Cyclades. It is located a three-hour ferry ride straight line southeast from Athens (Piraeus). Unlike the best-known of the Cyclades, Mykonos and Santorini, Serifos is less touristy and therefore one of the vacations spots of Athenians in the know. Tuija Seipell
Images by Yiorgis Yerolymbos, Panagiotis Voumvakias
The angular 5,300 square-foot (492 sq.metre) Villa Varoise is a project that took its time to become a reality.
Boston-based architecture firm, NADAA, completed the initial plans for the residence in 2012 and broke ground on the site in 2013. The plans for the family retreat, then dubbed “Dortoir Familial” or family dorm, won several awards already at this early stage.
The now-completed Villa Varoise is located in the town of Ramatuelle in the Var area of southeastern France. Var is the meeting point of Provence and the French Riviera, known for its natural beauty and more than 80 museums. Saint-Tropez, Hyeres and the Port Cros National Park are all in this region.
The starting points in the design of Villa Varoise were the family’s wishes that included the need for sleeping quarters for anywhere between five and 22 members of the extended family – hence the early dorm moniker – and the need for privacy in the area that has numerous villas nearby.
For inspiration, the designers focused on the natural beauty and history of the site and the region, and on the demands of the sloping location. The area was once inhabited by farmers growing fruits, olives and grapes for wine.
From certain angles, the new two-story structure of raw board-formed concrete seems like a semi-pyramid of some sort; a slightly brutalist, monolithic and angular block.
Despite this angularity and monumentality, the house responds to the site and takes its place in it with confidence. It turns its relatively solid-walled back to its neighbours but opens up on the other side with windows overlooking the scenery and the courtyard with its swimming pool.
The ‘dormitory’ is now finally completed – after a long trek through a regulatory maze that delayed it. It has seven bedrooms in total; the master bedroom on the upper level and six additional bedrooms on the lower level. As a contrast to the exterior, the interior is warm and breezy, with soft wood and natural light permeating each space.
NADAA is a Boston-based multiple-award-winning architecture firm founded in 2011 by London-born Iranian American architect, Nader Tehrani. NADAAA worked on this project with associate architects, Paris-based Bidard & Raissi, established in 2005 by Marie-Eve Bidard and Shirin Raissi.
New-York-based architect and developer Jared Della Valle, his artist wife Carolina and their two daughters fulfilled the couple’s more than two decade-long-dream of a ‘farmhouse’ by opting for something completely different. Through decisions based on serendipity and determination, they have created a brand-new, minimalist retreat that meets their needs and fulfills their dream yet isn’t a farmhouse at all.
Jared Della Valle is the CEO and founder of Alloy Development a 13-year-old company known for designing and building several notable buildings in the DUMBO neighbourhood of Brooklyn, New York. The company office is also located in DUMBO (20 Jay Street) as are the homes of both Della Valle and company president A.J. Pires.
As a family, Della Valles are no strangers to unexpected solutions when it comes to their own residences. Their 2,300 square-foot (214 square metre) home in DUMBO is in a 1890s Brillo warehouse that Della Valle bought in 2012. His company developed the brick structure into eight luxury condos and two penthouses, leaving a large leftover space at the bottom with no windows. By 2014, the Della Valle family moved into the odd leftover space that now includes not just their home and a home-office for Della Valle, it also has a large inner courtyard cut into the centre of the building plus an adjacent studio for printmaker Carolina and a two-car garage.
But all through the years, they dreamed of a farmhouse in the country. They kept an eye on potential properties that they could convert and restore for their own use as a family retreat. And then Jared spotted a property, a sloping piece of land with no buildings, located in the Hudson River Valley.
They fell in love the land and the views and bought it without hesitation. Only 15 months later, their dream ‘farm” was ready. It appears to be just a minimalist, black box from the entry direction, giving no indication of the size of the full structure that includes the black wooden upper part and a concrete lower half. The goal was to make the house as invisible as possible, as indicated in the zoning conditions for the site.
The family was not looking for opulence or showy features. Instead they wanted a retreat that meets their needs without compromising the surrounding nature. As sustainability is important to the entire family, the house has, for example, solar panels for energy and a well-insulated building envelope. In addition to sustainability, time was also of the essence, so Jared Della Valle and family simplified the process by deciding what they wanted and then sticking to that plan. A situation most architects and developers can only dream about.
The result is a gorgeous combination of efficiency minimal and local materials, with maximum focus on the views. This seems to be a perfect counterpoint to the family’s windowless DUMBO home, and an excellent example of how to respect a site for all of its features. Tuija Seipell
50% of us will have our bikes stolen: so prepare in advance! But even if you do everything right, your bike might still be stolen. This is because no bike lock is unbreakable, there are thieves everywhere and they are utterly relentless in their thievery! Theft proof bikes don’t exist!In fact, 50% of cyclists will have their bike stolen at some point. And what’s worse, only 5% of those stolen bikes will ever be returned to their owners! Pretty depressing numbers eh? But the thing is: the police do actually recover almost half of those stolen bikes. It’s only because they can’t connect the bikes to their original owners that they’re never returned. So the first thing we should do is take steps to increase the chances that we’ll be re-united with our stolen bike. And then (in case that doesn’t happen), we can also try to reduce the financial cost of replacing the bike. With that in mind, We’ve got 7 things we should all do before our bikes are stolen (in preparation for what to do when they are)…
The first three are about building up a file of information on your bike. This will enable you to distribute details about the bike once it’s stolen, prove it’s yours (should it be recovered) and make a successful insurance claim if it’s not.The fourth is the single most important thing you can do to increase your chances of being re-united with your bike.The fifth and sixth are all about reducing the financial blow of buying a replacement bike. While the last one enables you to be extremely proactive about getting your bike back once it’s stolen! The great bit is: most of them are free or cheap and they’re all easy. So what are you waiting for?
1. Save all your receipts
Keep all receipts that relate to your bike. Whether you’re buying a new or a second hand bike. Whether you’re getting it serviced or fixed. Even when you buy accessories. Always ask for a receipt.
Receipts are evidence of ownership This is regardless of whether you’re insured or not (although it’s even more important if you are). These receipts are a vital history and proof of your ownership. Keep them together in your file.
2. Take a photo of your bike
Take a photo of your bike when you buy it. Take more photos of any distinguishing marks. And take photos again as and when it’s appearance changes over time (for example when you add accessories).Photos are also evidence of ownership Again, these photos help to prove your ownership. But when your bike’s stolen, you can also distribute them to the police and various organisations that will hopefully help find it.
3. Record the make, model and serial number of your bike
Unless you’re a bike nut, there’s a good chance you’ll forget the make and model of your bike. So write them down and add them to your file.
But most importantly, find and record the serial number of your bike. This serial number is the most important piece of information you have.
Why? Because it’s the only way of identifying a bike beyond all doubt. You could have all the receipts, loads of photos and a full description.
But there’s no way to definitively prove a specific stolen bike is yours if you don’t have the serial number.
How to find your bikes serial number
All bikes have a unique serial number, usually engraved beneath the bottom bracket (the part of the frame that the pedals go through). Just flip your bike over, find the number and write it down.
Serial number: usually under the pedals
If it’s not under the bottom bracket, it might be on the head tube (the bit below the handlebars) or on a rear drop out (where the frame meets the back wheel)…
The serial number can also be beneath the handlebars or next to the rear wheel
It’s worth repeating this again: the serial number is the most important piece information you have. If you don’t know what yours is yet…
Go and find your serial number now!
Because you’re also going to use it to register with local and national bike databases, which is the most significant thing you can do to improve your chances of getting your bike back….
4. Register your bike
You can register your bike with a whole load of organisations that have databases of bicycles that the police (or anyone else) can access, so that if they recover your stolen bike, they can link it to you and return it.The problem is that there’s loads of competing services and it’s not clear which ones the police are using. Ideally, you should register with them all! However, that might not be convenient, so…First of all, register with the local option…Search for “bicycle registration [where you live]” on Google. They’re usually organised by your local police force, so you can be pretty sure that when they recover a stolen bike they’ll check their own directories These local schemes are almost always free and since most bikes are stolen by locals and recovered locally, this is really a no-brainer. However, some stolen bikes are moved considerable distances before being sold on. Plus, the local schemes are usually quite limited in their use of social media etc (which can be incredibly effective). For these reasons, it’s a good idea to register your bike with a national organisation too. But which one?
Bike Index is the new kid on the block. It’s completely free, has a rapidly growing user base and is increasingly used by police, city officials and cycling organisations.
Bike Index is the worlds biggest bike registration and recovery service It’s based in the US and is already the nations largest and most successful bicycle registration and recovery service. However, it’s actually an international service. So you can register a bike from whichever country you live in.Unlike most schemes, they make extensive use of social media to publicize stolen bikes and even have a promoted alerts service that generates Facebooks ads to specifically alert other cyclists in your area if your bike is stolen.Bike Index has a lot of traction, it’s run buy highly motivated cycling enthusiasts and is continually being developed and improved. Plus it’s free. You should definitely register your bike with Bike Index.
5. Consider insurance
Insurance is a complicated topic which deserves it’s own post. All I’ll say here is: have a think about it! Does your household insurance cover your bike? If it does, under what circumstances? And to what extent? If your household insurance doesn’t cover your bike or you consider the coverage inadequate, then specialized bike insurance is an increasingly popular option.If neither of these work for you then how about “self insurance” This is where you put a small amount of money aside each month, so that when your bike is stolen, you’ll hopefully have enough money to cover the cost of (or at least contribute towards) a new one.
6. Consider “anti-theft protection” from the lock brands
If you’ve bought a Kryptonite or OnGuard bike lock, then you may be eligible for one of their “anti-theft protection” programs.Under these schemes, if you register your bike with Kryptonite or OnGuard and it’s subsequently stolen (while secured with their lock), they will pay you an amount of money based on the value of the bike.
7. Install a tracking device?
If you’ve got a particularly expensive or desirable bike, then it might be worth fitting it with a tracking device.That sounds a bit James Bond doesn’t it? But these devices are increasingly affordable and increasingly popular.They’re all based on the same idea: they allow you to remotely track the location your bike, so if a thief steals it, you’ll know where they take it!How do they work? Well, there’s a small transmitter that emits a signal which you attach to your bike. And a phone app that’s able to receive that signal. As long as your phone is within range of the signal, you’ll know where your bike is.However, while they’re all based on the same idea, they don’t all use the same technology which means they don’t all work in the same way. Some use GPS, some use Bluetooth.At the cheaper end of the scale are the Bluetooth trackers, (the best of the bunch being Tile Mate). Because they use Bluetooth, they’ve got a very limited range.For example, Tile Mates range is around 100 – 400 ft. So once your bike is further than 100 or 400 ft from your phone, you won’t be able to track it.Bluetooth trackers are economical but short rangeNow clearly this isn’t much good in a bike theft scenario where a thief and your bike will very quickly be further away than 100 ft! But this is where the power of the crowd comes into play…When your bike is stolen, you record it as lost on the app and from then on anyone else with the app that comes into Bluetooth range of you bike will automatically connect to your tracker. Then their app talks (indirectly) to your app and you’re informed of your bikes location! Neat! But there’s got to be a pretty big community of other people using this device themselves for it to work. If you want something more dependable, something more within your control, then you need to use GPS. GPS trackers are more expensive but their range is much largerGPS trackers are more expensive but they have a much bigger range. More of these devices are being launched every month. And I’ll be doing a full review of the available options soon.
So that’s 7 things I think we should all do before our bikes are stolen, in preparation for when they are actually stolen. Well 4 things we should all definitely do and 3 things we should think about.
I feel like there’s probably more though! If you can think of anything else, let me know in the comments below and I’ll add them to the list!
Atherton is regularly ranked as one of the most expensive residential areas of the United States. San Francisco-based Leverone Design has completed several exclusive projects in the area including Atherton II that the designers describe as a close collaboration with the client.
The large house to be renovated was initially uninviting and not what the client needed in their main home. Rooms were rearranged and reconfigured to accommodate the client’s lifestyle and to give the owners’ collection of furniture and objects their well-deserved prominence.
The designers helped add art and accessories and gave the collection a tactile and calm backdrop of textured fabrics, polished metal details and various hues of stone and wood.
Avoiding the extreme of being harsh or brashly minimalist, there is an assuredly elegant lack of excess and unnecessary ornamentation.
Among the custom desks, chairs and consoles, the lighting fixtures are a special attraction. The selection includes pendants by Eva Menz Design and by the Studio of Billy Cotton who is also the Creative Director of Ralph Lauren Home. The golden sun disk sconce of Mydriaz is another striking light fixture that, although highly prominent, fits perfectly within the eclectic yet harmonious whole.
The estate spans about two-thirds of an acre in Jupiter, a bustling beach town where multiple major league baseball teams hold their spring training — including the St. Louis Cardinals, with whom Holliday won a World Series title in 2011.
Overlooking the Loxahatchee River, the property boasts 105 feet of water frontage. The backyard takes advantage of the prime setting with a custom pool, spa, cabana, fire pit, lush landscaping and a lanai with an outdoor kitchen. Down by the water, there’s a private dock with two boat lifts.
Mediterranean in style, the main house and guesthouse combine for seven bedrooms and 10 bathrooms in over 9,100 square feet. White walls and white oaks floors fill the common spaces, which include a double-island kitchen, a dining room with paneled walls and a living room with a built-in fireplace.
For amenities, there’s an elevator, wine cellar, air-conditioned eight-car garage and a movie theater with a wet bar. The master suite tacks on a custom bathroom with a steam shower.
If you received an email from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or the World Health Organization about the coronavirus outbreak, would you read it? Would you click on a link? Cybercriminals are counting on it.
It is important for you to know that hackers are already sending phishing emails and running disinformation campaigns that incorporate content about the coronavirus to better trick targets and add urgency to their schemes.
Since January 2020, there have been over 4,000 coronavirus-related internet domains registered globally. Coronavirus-related domains are 50% more likely to be malicious than other domains registered. Many of these domains will probably be used for phishing attempts.
While we are all interested in the latest updates regarding this crisis, remember that links supposed to go to news or educational sites may infect your computer. Verify first!
Security Best Practices:
Attackers attempt to exploit email every day, but you can reduce risk for everyone by following these security strategies:
Do not open suspicious emails – When in Doubt, Throw it Out!
Approach email links with caution.
Take care with email attachments.
Make sure you have setup multifactor authentication to protect your accounts from compromise.
Use strong passwords that are changed frequently and do not reuse passwords across different systems and platforms.
Beware of “special” offers. “An exclusive cure for Coronavirus for $150” is usually not a reliable or trustworthy purchase opportunity but most likely fraud.
Beware of lookalike domains, spelling errors in emails or websites, and unfamiliar email senders.
How Do I Get More Information?
County of San Mateo’s Information Services Department recommends the following resources: