Taylor Thomson, of one of Canada’s wealthiest families, has listed the Los Angeles home she has lived in over the past 20 years for US$43 million.
It’s nearing 100 years of age, having been one of the first homes built in Bel-Air in the heyday of Hollywood’s growth. After her purchase in 2001, she embarked on a series of upgrades and renovations. Fortunately, the changes inside and out were sympathetic to the original, creating a unique mix of Moroccan, Tudor, and Arts and Crafts styles.
Thomson told the Wall Street Journal she was taken with the blond-brick home’s “elegance and scale” ( see photos here ) but that “after over 20 years in the house, my needs have changed.”
At 8,800 square feet, the tree-shrouded 1926 home has seven bedrooms, a wood-panelled library, beamed ceilings and a stone fireplace. Arched doorways and metal window frames hark back to the era, as does the kitchen, clad in floor-to-ceiling 1920s-style handmade pearlescent square tiles.
The separate guesthouse shares the lot, which features mature sycamore and redwood trees. Thomson said the property reminded her “of the Hotel Bel-Air, which I have always loved for its old-growth trees and landscaping.”
In keeping with the house, Thomson remade the garden, at just over an acre, to have a classical feel, along the lines of English architect Edwin Lutyens ‘ designs. His long working partnership with Gertrude Jekyll created English country houses whose gardens mixed the formal and informal, blending hardscaping elements with wild plantings and meandering pathways.
Thomson added a fruit and vegetable garden, and installed a chicken coop.
She also told the Journal she added a Moroccan-Turkish guest suite, again incorporating decorative tiles in the style used a century ago.
To keep the look in the guest bedroom, she installed — near the foot of the bed — a vintage French cheese vat made of copper as a bathtub and wrapped the surround in the colourful tiles.
The former actor is moving to a larger home on a larger lot. In April, she bought a roughly 3.5-acre estate, dirt.com says, from Vice Media co-founder Shane Smith, another Canadian, paying US$48.7 million for the $50 million listing. The 1932 house, on one of the largest lots in Santa Monica, has been featured in both Beverly Hills Cop and Entourage.
My needs have changedTaylor Thomson
This one is also in keeping with the Mediterranean theme but leaning more towards Spanish hacienda. The 23-metre-long pool and the pool house are surrounded by a tiled wall. The property has two guest houses, a secluded Japanese-style cedar soaking tub, a wood-burning pizza oven and a bocce court.
The private garden already includes citrus and avocado trees, herb and vegetable beds and vineyards.
According to Mansion Global , the library of the 8,800-sq.-ft eight-bedroom home hides an unusual amenity accessed through a secret bookshelf.
“In the times of the prohibition the wealthiest people in L.A. were gathering in certain houses—especially in Santa Monica,” listing agent Santiago Arana of The Agency said. “This had a speakeasy.” With onyx walls.
The main house has a double-height entrance, a chef’s kitchen, living and dining rooms with hand-painted beamed ceilings, carved mantels and arched glass doors and windows.
A standout feature is a circular double-height wood ceiling with heavy dark beams in a spoke pattern over a wrought-iron-railed staircase.
Mansion Global describes the house as including a music room, a family room with floor-to-ceiling custom bookcases and a Spanish-style antique ceiling, and a primary bedroom suite with dressing rooms (shelving enough to hold 200 pairs of shoes) and an enormous, bright hammam-style ensuite with custom mosaic floors and access to private patios.
Thomson is a grand-daughter of Roy Thomson, whose media empire dates back to the 1930s. Woodbridge, the Thomson family’s investment company, owns two-thirds of financial reporting firm Thomson Reuters. According to Bloomberg.com’s billionaire’s ranking, Taylor Thomson is worth more than $9 billion.
The Journal indicates prices in Bel-Air have skyrocketed 35.5 per cent from an average of US$6.9 million a year ago, according to research and appraisal firm Miller Samuel. A house next door to Thomson’s listing is on the market for $45 million, according to Zillow.
The listing agent for Thomson’s current home is Drew Fenton of Hilton & Hyland, who is marketing the house with Jade Mills of Coldwell Banker Realty.