Kristen and Pete Metropoulos have only lived in their newly constructed Manhattan Beach residence for a few months. But the vision for the couple’s dream home originated long before—“probably five years ago,” Kristen notes.
“We found the lot and drew up the plans and then decided not to build it,” she says. Instead the couple remodeled their home across the street, only to find after completing the project that the space was smaller than they had hoped.
“I love toile, because toile is a very traditional pattern. So Tasha was like, ‘You should do one of Manhattan Beach.’ Pete and I grew up here. We tried to include a lot of memories for us.”
“So we just started over,” Kristen says. On their current, larger lot, Kristen and Pete had more flexibility to expand. “We could do a much bigger house and go subterranean,” Kristen explains.
Utilizing the same floor plan, with only slight tweaks to the design of the front exterior, Kristen and Pete began recreating a larger version of their forever home with general contractor Sean Icaza of Icaza Construction.
Guiding them through the process was interior designer and Chateau 310 firm partner Tasha Gates. “This is the fifth house that we’ve done together,” Tasha says. “Her husband and I went to college together. He’s Greek and I’m Greek, and we’re like family. He met Kristen and got married, and luckily we clicked and bonded … and now we’re closer. Girls bond on a deeper level.”
While some may caution the risks of mixing business with friends or family, the collaboration between Kristen and Tasha was not only successful, it was fun. “Because we’re so close, we speak really candidly with each other,” Tasha says. “And we complement each other. As a whole, we’re much better together than as individuals.”
With a clear grasp of Kristen’s style, Tasha supported her client’s desire to break from the norm. “The vibe right now in general is more contemporary beach. We were trying to get away from that a little bit so the house would be different … and also because traditional is more my style,” Kristen says. Tasha adds, “As an interior designer, I really encourage my clients to make their homes a reflection of who they are.”
The final results are striking. The Metropoulos residence, also dubbed The Acropolis as a nod to Pete’s Greek heritage, has a traditional, almost European feel. The great room and master suite boast hand-carved marble mantelpieces custom-made for the home. A vintage Waterford Crystal chandelier hangs above the stairway.
The molding throughout the home has a Parisian quality. The La Cornue range in the kitchen was hand-made in France, taking six months to complete. Black and gold accents add a subtle drama to the otherwise completely white kitchen.
The hallway that leads to the bedrooms is long and wide and lined with chandeliers. It is somehow both simple and dramatic.
The kids’ rooms have custom artwork and reflect their individual styles. “We really wanted the kids to be involved in the design of their space,” Kristen says.
The master suite provides access to the home’s charming and communal backyard designed by Janiece Snyder of Janiece Snyder Landscape Design. A stunning custom headboard stretches to the room’s 11-foot ceilings. The same intricate molding detail leads from the hallway into the bedroom.
“The colors we used in the house are all classic,” Tasha says. “You’ll see a lot of white, black, brass, navy—colors that will never go out of style.”
A bold Versace print adorns the walls of an upstairs powder room sharing the space with a “cocktail service” bell. The kids’ study room has scalamandre zebras dancing along the walls. The laundry room with a functional “cabana bell” has a pink tile backsplash and the exact pink-and-palm design from The Beverly Hills Hotel.
The basement of the home has a full bar with wire mesh cabinets, dark wood paneling and rich green barstools lining the solid brass countertop. A brass footrest, fully functional antique slot machine from 1937, vintage artwork and antique liquor bottles only add to the charm of the space. “We wanted it to feel like an old-school hotel,” Tasha notes.
Off the bar and rec area is brick-lined gym and steam shower. An additional downstairs bath boasts an Abraham Lincoln print. “We had fun,” Kristen says. “I spent two years working with my best friend,” Tasha adds.
It shows in their work. The home is timeless, but the ladies pushed the boundaries whenever possible. It’s classic with an edge, and it’s gorgeous.
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