The large initial A — laid out majestically in stone at the beginning of the steep driveway — is the first sign you’ve arrived at the home of Max Azria. But the founder of global fashion house BCBGMaxAzria is never one to leave it to first impressions. After parking in the courtyard — with room for 20 cars — a staff member collects your car keys and directs you to the front door. As it opens up, and you gaze upon a 30-foot crystal chandelier cascading from ceiling to floor like a waterfall, you know you’re about to experience a house out of the ordinary.
The Holmby Hills mansion Max shares with his wife, Lubov Azria, and their three daughters, has a rich history. It was designed by Paul R. Williams, who became the first African American member of the American Institute of Architects in 1923. Williams, known as the “Architect to the Hollywood Stars,” had been designing homes for the likes of Frank Sinatra and Lucille Ball when he was hired to create a dream home — at a budget of $70,000 — for radio star Charles Correll. Writer Sidney Sheldon then owned the house for 30 years before selling it to the Azrias for more than $20 million.
The 22,000-square-foot mansion features 12 bedrooms, 13 bathrooms, an office, a pool and guest house, a movie theater and a tennis court. But it’s not the impressive real estate details that leave you wandering around in a happy daze. It’s the opulent, playful and whimsy interiors, which are a perfect mix of fun and sophistication. Bold flashes of color — Max’s favorite is orange — dominate the expansive rooms. The couple’s love for the dramatic is evident throughout, from the life-size orange lacquer horse in the living room to the luxurious Moroccan-style pool house with a Turkish bath. The ballroom, with its ceiling completely covered in 400 laser-cut flowers, leaves you breathless. The only worry is how it keeps from collecting dust. Luckily for the Azrias — and for us — their imagination is not limited by the functional. For them, the sky is the limit. • Ulrica Wihlborg
Above: The pool house is decorated in a Moroccan style and features a traditional, tiled Turkish bath.
Above: The original pool house was part of Paul R. Williams design for Charles Correll, who was a co-creator of the popular 1930s radio show Amos ‘N’ Andy. Sidney Sheldon expanded it with two wings that contain guest rooms.
Above: The Moroccan-inspired patio next to the pool house is a favorite for casual summer parties.
Above: The backyard patio features a stunning bench made out of a large log.
Above: The property features three gardens: an English, a French and a sunken Japanese garden (above) with a waterfall. The couple’s three daughters (Max also has three other children from a previous marriage) have their own organic garden and an orangery they use as an art room.
Above: The living room in the main house is a perfect mingling spot for family, friends and pets (they have several dogs). Rustic wooden coffee tables are paired with luxurious upholstered furniture, and eclectic touches such as a life-size toy lamb add a sense of fun.
Above: Lubov collected more than 60 sun mirrors in different sizes from her travels and used them to adorn the walls in the living room.
Above: The orange lacquered Chinese armchairs were inspired by Hollywood Recency style.
Above: The couple’s love for animals is apparent throughout the house, from the linen pillows with a horse motif to glass birds placed on top of books.
Above: The white and silver dining room features a table made of antique French doors encased in glass.
Above: The life-size orange lacquer horse, which stands in a corner of the living room, wears a vintage Hermès saddle.
Above: The ballroom’s chrome garland is made out of 400 laser-cut flowers and covers the entire ceiling. Noticeable in the back of the room are armchairs upholstered in Pucci fabric.
Above: The couple, Lubov and Max, at home in their ballroom.
The home of Max and Lubov Azria was photographed by Ulrica Wihlborg ©2014.
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