Front & Center
A Redondo Beach couple with benevolent ties to the community builds a dream home.
- Written bySuzanna Cullen
After living in a townhouse in Redondo Beach for many years, Theresa and David Plakos knew they wanted a larger home in the Avenues area of Redondo Beach. “My two requirements for my dream house included that it have an ocean view and that it be large enough to accommodate an apartment for my parents,” says David.
One day while stopping to take in the beautiful ocean view in their neighborhood, they realized they were standing in front of an older beach cottage that was for sale. An added bonus was that it sat on a huge lot with established trees. Serendipitously, the Plakos’ neighbor was Patrick Cunningham of C&C Partners.
“I called Patrick, and we climbed on the roof of the vacant house to see the view. And he said, ‘Buy it,” recalls David.
Theresa and David lived in the original beach cottage for seven years while they spent time collaborating with Patrick and determining exactly what to build. “We had a lot of ideas and knew that we wanted a European-influenced home that would include arches, a rotunda room and great ocean views,” says Theresa.
Patrick’s focus was that the house be properly sited on the lot and that the architectural details be strong. “He kept reminding us that we needed girth and substance,” says David.
To that end, the house features ornate iron railings, gutsy columns, vaulted arches and highly detailed moldings. Additionally the beautiful trees in the front were preserved, thereby giving the house properly proportioned landscaping as well as privacy.
Theresa was active through all stages of the design of the house. She was responsible for selecting the finishes as well as decorating and interior furnishings. Crystal and iron chandeliers, topiaries and a soft, neutral color scheme complement the travertine and hardwood floors used throughout the house.
The palette continues in the kitchen, where soft ecru cabinets complement large slabs of granite countertops that are the perfect surface for baking. Theresa is an accomplished baker and creates exquisitely decorated cakes that she frequently sends as gifts to lucky recipients. The elaborate sugar flowers and beautifully iced cakes are a testament to both her patience and her exactitude.
The house has three levels that flow with similar tones and materials, and amazingly all three levels have ocean views. “We knew we wanted a reverse floor plan, so the main living area is on the second floor, which has terrific views,” says Theresa.
The top floor has an exercise room and balcony with spectacular ocean views that inspire longer workouts. The ground floor accommodates an apartment and loggia as well as offices for David and Theresa.
“My father died before we completed the house, but my mother has an apartment downstairs and she’s a tremendous addition to our family and our home,” says David. Frequently everyone gathers in the kitchen to prepare dinner, but the house is large enough for everyone to have a space to retreat for work or rest.
David and Theresa both have significant careers that they incorporate into their South Bay lives. Theresa is the public relations and outreach manager of Cancer Support Community – Redondo Beach. Founded in 1982, the community-funded nonprofit now offers more than 150 free programs of emotional support, education and creative opportunities for people with cancer and their families. The organization has recently expanded to include children and teen programs—so entire families are supported.
David has spent 40 years behind the lens of a television camera, and his office is a testament to his success. Nine Emmy Awards line the shelves, and a collection of antique cameras, certificates and photos are further emphasis of his passion and commitment to his craft. While David is refreshingly modest about his accomplishments, it is evident that his peers and the elite of the television industry hold him in enormous esteem.
Together David and Theresa are committed to and engaged with Cancer Support Community – Redondo Beach. While Theresa raises awareness within the community, David is frequently behind a camera at various events and fundraisers. They truly live their shared passions through their careers and their volunteer work in the South Bay community.
By creating their large home in Redondo Beach, the couple has incorporated all facets of their busy lives under one roof. From the sweeping ocean views to the discretely displayed Emmys to generations of family baking together in a gourmet kitchen, the Plakos home is buzzing with activity.
It took years to plan and execute, but Theresa and David have made their dreams come true. And by extension, the dreams of many South Bay cancer patients and their families have also come true from the generosity and benevolence of the Plakos family.