AD: Tour the Sprawling Brentwood Compound That’s Home to a Hollywood Real Estate Investor and a Model
The family home is the private oasis for an agent trusted by the likes of Tom Brady and Gisele Bündchen and Ellen DeGeneres
A few months ago, real estate investor (and listing agent to stars such as Tom Brady and Gisele Bündchen and Ellen DeGeneres) Kurt Rappaport and his wife, model Zorana Kuzmanovic Rappaport, cradled their newborn daughter Zoe across the threshold of their French-style brick manor for the first time, a monumental event that bested the couple’s former favorite memory in the Brentwood Park home. (That would be an epic housewarming party DJ’d by none other than Snoop Dogg.) Notably, the 1936 estate—originally designed by iconic California architect Wallace Neff—received a 1990s refresh that focused on the gardens and orbiting buildings that was carried out by Robert A.M. Stern.
Kurt and his frequent collaborator, Los Angeles interior designer Clint Nicholas, had intended to embark upon an ambitious one-year renovation. “Kurt says, ‘Let’s take a year,’ every time he buys a house,’” says Nicholas with a grin. “Here we are, five years later.” But then again, there was a lot entailing the update of the now-three-acre property. (Los Angeles–based Scott Mitchell Studio designed and built additional structures on adjacent lots that Kurt had acquired.) As for the 12,000-square-foot main house, it had been a vision of “wall-to-wall florals, tons of silk, and heavy drapery” with a few architectural additions that were unbecoming of Neff’s “totally understated, elegant, and mysterious residences,” says the homeowner.
Nicholas and Kurt have been working together for so long that the designer says, “I’m beginning to think Kurt’s taste is my taste, and vice versa.” For this particular project, a kind of “luxe naturalism” prevails, thematically closer to Neff’s style than the floral smother and drapery stifle of bygone days. Foremost on the agenda was to authentically align the home with its superlatively sunny location. Such unabashed radiance would be just as much part of the decor as, say, the color scheme (eternally earthy), or the materials palette (sumptuously tactile). The atrium, for instance, is a soaring space where a gleaming new wall of double-height steel windows rises from a floor of wire-brushed white-oak planks. (Architecture firm ZU+ Studio was responsible for this effort, and much more.) Zorana and her husband sip coffee here in the mornings, snuggled cozily upon the room’s central objet d’art: a capsule-shaped Rick Owens Double Bubble daybed with a dramatic plywood grain that happens to recall the marbling of espresso and milk.
What other spaces lack in sunstruck volume, they make up for in seamless indoor-outdoor transitions and a natural layered-ness that can only emerge when a trained curatorial eye has been cast upon a few decades of worldly acquisitions. The living room, Nicholas says, epitomizes the design brief: A wall-size portal provides a generous transition between nature and an interior tableau of edited collectibles, from the charmingly catawampus Vincenzo De Cotiis mirror to the charismatically chunky sofa to a wood sculpture—Stack by Shay Alcalay. “Someone once said, ‘Beautiful things go with beautiful things,’ and I live by that statement,” Nicholas says. His client and alleged style twin concurs. “Everything’s chosen,” Kurt says.
Arguably the challenge of a neutral color palette is crafting spaces that aren’t neutral at all. Under this home’s Normandy roof, the design reaches beyond the status quo, in significant but subtle ways. The double-height foyer, for instance, is a minimalist space where the wall treatment is as artful as the pieces that hang on it: The velvety hand of lime plaster adds depth and shadow, and breathing room is prioritized for works by Ed Ruscha (Oh, 2008) and Christopher Wool (Double Brown Nose, 2003). The theater, or “Kurt’s man cave,” as Zorana calls it, mounts a dramatic play on scale: A pitched ceiling ascends 24 feet into the atmosphere, while the legless sheepskin-covered loungers and equally low-slung wood-slab coffee table are conversely down to earth.
Blurring the boundaries between retail boutique and personal closet, the primary wardrobe is outfitted with custom “dressing islands” of antique brass and oak, topped with glass cases for jewelry display. As a model for Shopbop, Gap, and Abercrombie & Fitch, Zorana’s garments fittingly receive the gallery treatment, and a sculptural bouclé sofa portends rest and relaxation rather than dress and dash. Just as her vêtements add a riot of color to the home’s prescribed palette, so too does the Schumacher chinoiserie-style wallpaper in Zoe’s nursery. Ironically, the potential of the blush pink interlude to endure past tweendom speaks to the longevity associated with neutrals. After all, more than any other art piece in the home, the whimsical depiction of flowering trees gets to the heart of the home—a growing family.
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