Another Successful Steel Magnolias Long Beach Home Tour!

The 13th annual Long Beach Home Design Tour dazzled and delighted, despite a bit of drizzle. More than 400 guests braved the threat of rain on May 7 to tour four stunning estates that showcased beautiful and trend-setting design.

The self-driving tour featured stops in neighborhoods that define luxury: Naples Island, Bluff Park, Park Estates and Lakewood Country Club. In addition, there was a garden reception that featured delicious gourmet creations from Forbidden City and Boathouse on the Bay, entertainment by singing piano tinkler Lafayette Ben Charlatan, and shopping for clothes, jewelry and purses at a fashionista boutique. Guests also took chances on Lucky Draw baskets full of gift items, restaurant cards, spa certificates and other goodies.

Each of the houses featured artists and performers, who made for a festive afternoon. Their talents, along with the contributions of our home tour sponsors, volunteers and Steel Magnolias members ensured another successful event

About the 2017 Homes

Over-the-top Modernism in Lakewood Country Club – This 4,700-square-foot marvel is an entertainer’s dream that was completely transformed in 2014 by Long Beach architect Brent Sears, interior design firm White Design and landscape designer Elaine Iverson. Enter this spectacular estate through the massive pivoting steel door of the raised entry to the formal living and bar areas. (Don’t miss the one-of-a kind wine cellar with its wine-cork floor.) The gourmet kitchen opens into the informal family area that consists of corner-to-corner sliding glass doors leading to the rear entertainment area, a sunken living room with full kitchen and swim-up bar at the raised pool. The rear yard also features a separate fire pit and koi pond. The magnificent master suite overlooks the yard as well. It’s now impossible to tell that three years ago, this house had been abandoned and stripped during a renovation by the previous owners!

Grande Living on Naples Island – Step into the heart of Mexico in this open and inviting hacienda that has been painstakingly and lovingly redesigned by the owners. They completed a major remodel of the original 1926 bungalow in 2007 and recently added an outdoor kitchen and dining area to the rooftop deck that provides a magnificent 360-degree view. Impressive are the customization and attention to detail throughout this home, including the unique ceiling designs, hand-distressed plank flooring, original Saltillo tile floors, mahogany doors, hand-painted murals and deco tiles. The upstairs sitting room features a fireplace and open balcony, beautiful wagon-wheel iron chandeliers hung from a cathedral ceiling, and an alcove for relaxing and TV viewing. French doors in the master suite allow ocean breezes to circulate through the upper floor of this south-of-the-border masterpiece.

Classic Modern in Bluff Park – This oceanfront mid-century gem was designed by the firm of Killingworth, Brady & Smith as a model home for a high-rise residential project that was never developed – and some of the artwork on the walls are renderings of that original Marina Tower job. The owners’ love of modern architecture prompted them to purchase the home in 2013 and take on the enormous task of restoring and updating the structure inspired by the original blueprints. The interior is sleek with floor-to-ceiling glass walls, and many of the modern fixtures and furniture come from the homeowners’ collection. Original Shoji doors separate the living area from the office and the light screen that welcomes you into the home was first used in the master bath. There’s also a Zen-like backyard with built-in concrete spa and terraced sitting area.

Beachy Vibe in Park Estates – This spectacular 3,200-square-foot home feels like a seaside resort. The ranch-style architecture was redefined last year by architect Brent Sears, Linda Gordon of Gordon Design Group and builder Dennis M. Gilday. The south half of the floor plan was rearranged, moving the two-car garage from the rear of the house to the front and replacing a small formal dining room. A new front porch, raised entry and custom crystal chandeliers now invite you in, and glass and skylights open up the living spaces. A unique feature of this home is his-and-hers master suites! His is masculine with sloping ceilings, marble walls, TV alcove, large platform tub and glass-enclosed shower. Hers features similar luxuries, plus richly appointed fabrics and wallpaper that make it feminine, soothing and sophisticated.

Photo Credit: Jodi Irish

Watch the KTLA clip!

Long Beach Home Tour 2016

High style and high jinx were in abundance at the 2016 Long Beach Home Design Tour. The popular Steel Magnolias event attracted a record 600+ guests and raised more than $43,000 to help provide medical care for special-needs children.

The four homes on the tour represented a range of design styles, giving guests the chance to experience impressive architecture, gardens, interior spaces, art, furniture and accessories. There was a Naples Island gem designed by architect Edward Killingsworth that reflects his pioneering vision for open spaces, natural light and bringing nature inside. Another waterfront estate had a modern Mediterranean vibe and showcased breathtaking panoramic views. In Belmont Heights, a traditional Spanish-style home from the 1920s balanced original details with inspired renovations and updates. The show-stopper was a spectacular 6,710-square-foot European-modern mansion, an entertainer’s delight with minimalist interiors that overlook Lakewood Country Club.

At each of the homes, music helped set the mood, including a pianist, harpist, flamenco guitarist and the 10-piece Cabrillo High School Steel Drum Band. In addition, a number of actors were on hand to offer up a few surprises: Mad Men schmoozing with their cocktails; a larger-than-life mermaid luxuriating in her bathtub; characters from Gilligan’s Island getting ready for their three-hour tour; and a living-art “family portrait” reminiscent of Pageant of the Masters.

The entertainment continued at a reception in the terraced garden of the Park Estates home of Anthony Gagliardi, chairman of Steel Magnolias. Guests enjoyed a jazz band while they sipped pomegranate margaritas, dined on treats from Forbidden City and Boathouse on the Bay, and shopped at a fashionista boutique. Porter Singletary sang classics from the American songbook and Liz Love wowed the crowd with her impersonations of Etta James and Tina Turner.

Besides the musicians and actors, the 2016 home tour committee — led by Cathy King, Jeannie Jones and Gary Lee Wolf – added other features to give the event extra pizazz, from “morning desserts” at check-in and gourmet bites by TGIS Catering to a late-afternoon raffle of baskets full of gift cards, wine and goodies. More than 100 Steel Magnolias members and community volunteers helped them make the Long Beach Home Design Tour an unqualified success.

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