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WSJ: Howard Ruby’s Italian Villa in Bel-Air Hits the Market for $45 Million

The corporate housing magnate, who has owned the Los Angeles property since the late 1970s, likened the estate to a Fabergé egg

An Italianate Los Angeles estate owned by corporate housing magnate Howard Ruby and his wife, actress Yvette Mimieux Ruby, is coming on the market for $45 million, according to the listing agent. 

Located in the Bel-Air neighborhood, the estate is named Il Sogno, meaning “the dream” in Italian. It dates to the late 1920s and was designed to resemble a villa on Italy’s Amalfi Coast, said listing agent Kurt Rappaport of Westside Estate Agency. 

Roughly 12,000 square feet, the mansion includes a grand living room with hand-painted beamed ceilings, arched windows and a tall, carved stone fireplace. There is also a ballroom-sized party room, a hand-lacquered library with a central skylight and chandelier, a formal dining room and a wine cellar. One of the bedrooms has a dramatic domed ceiling with frescos. 

The interiors were designed by Kalef Alaton, who also designed the interiors for the Hotel Bel-Air and died in 1989 due to AIDS complications. The home is filled with paintings and portraits, classical statues, antique rugs, pottery and elaborate upholstery. Outside, the property includes a wood beam loggia and a swimming pool surrounded by lipstick-pink umbrellas, built-in seating and fountains. 

Mr. Ruby, 86, said he traveled throughout Europe and Asia collecting antiques for the property. One of his favorites is a light marble statue made for Madame de Pompadour, mistress of Louis XV. 

He compared the property, which he has owned since 1979, to a bejeweled Fabergé egg. “Much like a Fabergé egg, it’s not for everyone,” he said. “It’s not the style that’s in vogue right now, but someone out there is going to understand it and accept it. There’s someone out there who doesn’t want a white box.”

Click here to read the full article on WSJ.




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