For his new house in Orange County, a young man is building a fully stocked bar in the garage next to his collection of sports cars.
In Trousdale Estates, another purchased the house next door just so he could throw parties in it.
And the owner of a condo in downtown Los Angeles acquired a vintage, autographed four-poster Lucite bed from famed designer Charles Hollis Jones valued at $40,000.
Forget the pizza boxes on the floor, the six-pack of beer in an otherwise empty fridge and the stacks of comic books and video games. For a certain kind of single man — typically young, affluent and design-savvy — the bachelor pad has become a bachelor palace.
“We’ve got a lot of single male clients who have made enormous amounts of money very quickly,” said James Magni, founder of L.A. design firm Magni Kalman. “And they want to be educated about the art of living.”
Magni was one of three interior designers speaking recently at a panel at the Thomas Lavin showroom in the Pacific Design Center. The central question: How do you design for the man who has everything?
“They’re not like bachelors of a bygone era,” said Ron Woodson, co-owner of Woodson & Rummerfield’s House of Design in L.A., who was also on the panel. “They are younger than in previous years, and they’ve got to have the right boots, the right car, the right everything. It’s a new phenomenon. They want a place that is their domain.”
Because much of this new wealth has been made in technology, the clutch of young, unmarried men expect their homes to be completely wired, down to the last detail: Woodson designed a powder room for a billionaire in his 20s with a toilet that starts playing music when the bathroom is entered.
Magni described contemporary bachelor pads as “sleek, effortless-looking, cool and sexy spaces that illustrate their success.” Clients fill out a 20-page questionnaire about their lifestyles to help guide the design process.
Magni said his clients seek out tactile materials — alpaca throws, silk rugs, soft chenilles, dark rich woods — and are looking to showcase art, car and wine collections.
“The most important question is: If someone comes to your house, what do you want their takeaway to be?”
It was a question Gary Treisman was asked when Magni began work on his 8,000-square-foot Encino home after Treisman ended a long-term relationship and “needed a new look.”
Some of the changes Magni made: adding a game room where Treisman, founder of a company that deals in distressed assets, can get together with his friends to play poker, have a drink at the bar and watch sports. Magni also overhauled the master bedroom area, which now includes a gym.
“It’s my hangout place,” said Treisman. “It’s my hiding, sleeping, music place.”
Extravagances are so commonplace that designer Kirk Nix didn’t flinch when one client, who is building a 58,000-square-foot home for himself in Orange County scheduled for completion this year, needed a garage to hold his 30 Ferraris.
“The bar also has a video component that is comprised of nine individual screens so that my guy and his pals can tune into various sports events simultaneously,” Nix said.
For others, quality trumps all.
“That’s the difference between old money and new,” said Woodson, whose client comes from family wealth and wanted his home filled with pieces “that had provenance.”
One of Magni’s bachelor clients sought out several Joel Morrison sculptures in his home that can run from $15,000 to $200,000 and has a Takashi Murakami painting priced at $1 million. The client, an entrepreneur in the wellness business in his 30s, didn’t want his design aesthetic to be encumbered by the perspective of a partner and sought out a space he described as “masculine, strong, minimalistic.”
Focusing on single men is a trend that’s hitting the spec market as well.
Los Angeles developer Max Cherniavsky is poised to start construction on a 16,000-square-foot home in the Sunset Plaza area for what he describes as “an A-list bachelor.”
The 1-acre parcel will hold a main house, guesthouse, pool, spa, gym, movie theatre and garage for nine cars. A man cave will have a pool table and big-screen TVs.
“It’s a three-minute drive from the best restaurants and clubs,” said Cherniavsky, adding that it “has amazing views from Century City to the ocean. It’s what a bachelor expects.”
He expects the house to be completed in 2020, with an expected price tag of $40 million.
The designers agreed that their bachelor clients aren’t necessarily thinking ahead to when they might settle down.
“There is a lot of glass and marble and exquisite pieces that you wouldn’t want to have around children,” Woodson said. “And at this level, if they meet someone, they’ll just buy another house.”
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