The dramatic, promontory-location home in Laguna Beach owned at one time by Hollywood legend Bette Davis surfaced on the open market this spring with an asking price of $19.995 million.
The French Normandy-style house, which was completed in 1929, is a registered historic place. From the tile of the entry landing, many of the details of the home appear to be original, or sensitive period-style choices. Highlights include leaded glass French casement windows, unfinished ceiling timber — in the dining room, the raw look gives a heavy coffered job a touch of rusticity — and a couple of fireplaces voiced in keeping with the French country style.
The master terrace, accessible through sliding glass doors, looks out imperiously over its domain; the room is smallish, but luxurious in its space by way of its steeply pitched cathedral ceiling and plentiful glass taking in vistas of the Pacific. The other bedrooms are as pleasingly individual, as are their companion baths; one boasts a step-in shower, another has a framed tub.
Sporting a black-and-white checkered border for its tile floor, the cottagey kitchen is a positive gem; modestly sized and tastefully designed, one gets the feeling Julia Child would have been happy cooking here. A media room, gym, and detached guest house are the primary amenities, along with a courtyard and a private staircase to the beach.
Davis’s career spanned more than 50 years. She won the Academy Award for Best Actress twice.