She had me at the kitchen. Kathleen Taggares has listed her contemporary Italian villa in Bel-Air at $14 million. Taggares is the “K.T.” in K.T.’s Kitchen, a Carson company that manufactures salad dressings, sauces and frozen pizzas.

Some of her salad dressings and sauces are sold under the Bob’s Big Boy brand in Las Vegas, California, Arizona and New Mexico. K.T.’s private-label and contract-packed pizzas are supplied to retail and food service firms across the country. Taggares founded the business in 1987 after acquiring the Big Boy salad dressing operations from Marriott International. Pizzas were added during the 1990s.

The 10,000-square-foot house she is selling has much to commend it – including a retractable ceiling in the master bedroom. But when food is involved, I always like to start in the kitchen. And yowza, what a chef’s dream kitchen! Granite countertops, stainless steel appliances, a cook-top with so many burners I thought I was seeing double. The kitchen opens to a spectacular view, as does the rest of the house.

The gated estate has six bedrooms and nine bathrooms. The steel-and-glass doors open to a two-story oval foyer and atrium with double-wrought-iron staircases. There is a formal living room with a stone fireplace. The upstairs master suite includes a sliding glass ceiling that opens to the sky; there are oodles of terraces, views galore and a state-of-the-art home theater, bar and wine cellar. The property has two detached guest apartments, waterfalls, ponds, fire pits, a pool and spa.

Linda May of Coldwell Banker Beverly Hills North office has the listing.

Brentwood Lease

Rachel Ashwell invented shabby chic – the slouchy slip-covered look, the casually tossed throw across the bed, the English elegance that takes delicate fabrics and mixes them up with flea market finds – that’s her. She made organized clutter an acceptable decorating style and on behalf of all packrats, I’d publicly like to thank her.

And now if I could pay $15,000 a month, I could live in her Brentwood house. The furnishings stay.

Ashwell founded Shabby Chic in 1989; her first store, in Santa Monica, sold washable furniture slipcovers and fabulous flea market discoveries.

Today, in addition to Santa Monica, Shabby Chic Couture stores are in New York and London’s Notting Hill neighborhood, and the chain has expanded into lines of bedding, furniture, accessories and vintage items. Ashwell sells bedding and home accessories in a partnership with Target stores.

The home features fragrant English gardens of lavender, roses and herbs. It has four bedrooms and three bathrooms, plus an office and detached barn. There are hardwood floors and a large brick fireplace in the living room. The kitchen, described in the MLS as “thoughtful,” has white Thasos marble counters, a farmhouse sink and stainless steel appliances. There is a balcony off the master suite overlooking the gardens. The home has a saline pool and spa.

It’s listed with Loraine Silver of Pence Hathorn Silver/Partners Trust.

Bel-Air Sale

The Bel-Air home belonging to DTI Services Inc. sold after just 56 days on the market at $5.94 million – not far off its asking price of $6.5 million.

DTI Services is headquartered in Los Angeles, but is owned by a Japanese businessman who divides his time between his residences and travels extensively. The home was owned by the company and all transactions were done through Satoru Amano, the company’s president and chief executive.

The home was sold furnished and the owner sent someone to remove 10 pairs of jeans – nothing else.

DTI Services operates as a data center in the United States. It provides web-hosting services for everyone from individuals to large enterprises. The company was founded in 1996.

The 5,600-square-foot house was a rebuilt gated contemporary with high ceilings and walls of glass. The master suite has a steam shower, double hot tubs and double rain showers. There is a 50-foot-long pool and an outdoor fireplace.

Mauricio Umansky of Hilton & Hyland, Beverly Hills, had the listing. The selling agent was Anne Leeds of Gibson International.

Ann Brenoff can be reached at

For reprint and licensing requests for this article, CLICK HERE.