One of Los Angeles’s newest listings is a serene retreat that got its start right here at Dwell. Featured in our November/December 2013 issue shortly after its completion, the ebony-stained home was designed by Sebastian Mariscal for Michael Sylvester, a former content strategist at Dwell, and his wife, Tamami. Sylvester first learned of Mariscal’s work during his time at the magazine, and he eventually commissioned the architect and self-narrated the entire construction process in an epic 22-part construction diary for Dwell.com.
The home is designed as a compound of structures connected by formal outdoor spaces—each room comes with its own deck, patio, roof garden, or courtyard. “In the design phase, I was pushing Sebastian to enlarge some of the rooms,” explains Sylvester in the 2013 magazine article. “He disagreed, and now that the house is finished and we’re experiencing the spaces, I understand why. All of Sebastian’s rooms are very intimately scaled, but the rooms feel huge because they open onto outdoor rooms.”
One of the forces that drove the original design was Sylvester and Mariscal’s desire to save several existing trees, including a magnificent California live oak and a 40-foot-tall pine tree. “When I first visited the site, I was moved by how the trees in the front were creating a special silence of green within the eclectic neighborhood of Venice,” says Mariscal. “The first thing that came to my mind was that I must preserve the same view, meaning my design cannot be seen from the street—only trees, only green.”
“Mariscal is an auteur,” comments Sylvester. “That’s reflected at all scales, from the whole scale of the property down to minute details: the cabinetry, the joinery, small windows onto gardens. Things we take delight in discovering were all part of his vision from the beginning. I think this is a testament to the scope of his talent.”
Now, after moving to Rancho Mirage, the couple have put the storied home up for sale for the first time ever—and they recently reduced the asking price from $4,200,000 to $3,695,000.
“[Our street] is a textbook example of the architectural diversity that you get in Los Angeles, and I think we’ve contributed to that,” says Sylvester. “I don’t know of any home in Venice that looks like ours.” Keep scrolling to see more of this unique property—and at the end, you’ll find links to the epic 22-part Dwell web series that Sylvester wrote from 2012 to 2013.
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