3415 Beverly Drive

Publicist Marie Dean showed me this newly finished house last week at 3415 Beverly.

This astonishing 11,274 square ft. Mediterranean spec house was a collaboration between Ventura Custom Homes and architect Will Snyder of Boerder-Snyder, which has also just announced a partnership with Harwood International to form Harwood Luxury Homes.

Interior courtyard pool. You can see some additional exterior shots of the house on the listing, but for the most part the photos there are not very good. So I took my own shots with my portable camera.

What's up with real estate photography always looking so bad anyway? Almost every real estate company does, it, too -- they put those fish eye lenses on their cameras and you get some pretty crazy angles. And the harsh lighting! Don't get me started.

Anyway, the house is going for $7,595.00, recently reduced from a much higher number which escapes me at the moment. I have to say, after touring the house, I felt it was worth every penny. And that's my two cents.

This house is one of the most solidly built and finely crafted new contstructions I've been inside in a long time. Even if this Italian Rococo style onyx fireplace is not your taste, you've got to admit it's beautifully crafted. I think it's rather ethereal.

Much of the hand carving and stone work was done by local craftspeople. Can you believe that?

Look at this carved, coffered ceiling with gold leafing. As good as it gets.

In the entry, a groin vaulted gallery with solid limestone columns and limestone floors, imported from Italy.

Moorish-influenced windows....

There are seven fireplaces inside the house. This one is in the kitchen. I love how it's been staged with a sitting area next to the center island.

Okay, pretend these bar stools weren't there.

When was the last time you saw a Viking oven surrounded by Moorish inspired architecture? That's what I thought.

Marie says this is supposed to be the largest Sub Zero custom refrigerator ever made. They all look big to me.

This arabesque-ish pattern on the ceiling is definitely Moorish and makes me think of the Alhambra.

Black Venetian plaster on the ceiling and walls of the man's dressing area and closet

Such drama.

And gorgeous dark wood.

The powder bath on the first floor also has black Venetian plaster. Stunning.

Sitting area in the master bedroom.

A lady's bath...

Look at the silver leafing on these walls (click on the photos to see detail)

This house has a lot of hidden rooms and closets. The linen closets are hidden in the hallway behind this silver leaf paper....

The floor of the lady's bath area is hand stenciled...

The lady's closet has three-way mirrors hidden behind these doors. The mirrors also hide a secret passage to a back hallway, and you can gain access if you know where the secret, invisible latch is. We weren't privy.

Marie in hidden hallway.

The door inside the hidden hallway that takes you into the lady's closet. Now, I suppose this clandestine exit could be used for trysts, but likely the real purpose is for the lady's maid to be able to enter and exit the closet directly with her mistress's clean and pressed clothes without ever having to traipse through the bedroom.

I figured that out because there is a room adjacent to the secret hallway door that is the maid's workroom, and it's part of a suite of rooms that belong to the housekeepers (If you wish. It could also be guest quarters, but that's no fun).

The maid's workroom has some wonderful amenities, including a sink with tiny jets to wash delicate lingerie.....

See the tiny jet holes?

This shower is at waist height, for washing madame's small dogs....

....the secret back hallway takes you downstairs to a whole other world, one that includes a spa and massage room....

and a man's club room.....

Finally a wine cellar that doesn't look like Walt Disney designed it.....

This courtyard can be seen from the basement floor window....it's one of four small interior courtyards that pop up unexpectedly here and there. That's the end of the tour, folks. I had to scurry out because the house was being shown imminently to a Really Big Name You Know. I think he'll love it.