Do designers always save their best ideas for themselves or is it simply that they know the client better when they are designing their own homes? Tom Fanning, head of Bowery Group – a high-end residential designer and planning group – just listed at $7 million a spectacular Sunset Strip home he built for himself.

The four-bedroom, five-bathroom house has about 5,000 square feet, and an additional 1,000 feet of decking with a wet bar, fireplace and fire pit. There is an open floor plan, walls of glass and inspiration that comes from the Meatpacking District lofts. It has an infinity swimming pool and is the kind of house where proximity to Chateau Marmont matters; it’s close.

Fanning and his wife have two small children and need more of a family home now, he said. Bowery Group is one of the city’s cooler design firms, building uber-high-end customized homes in the Hollywood Hills, Malibu and Beverly Hills. Bowery projects tend to be large architectural homes.

Billy Rose of Rose & Chang, Prudential California Realty in Beverly Hills has the listing.

Beverly Hills Buy

Netflix Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos and his wife, U.S. Ambassador to the Bahamas Nicole Avant, have bought the Beverly Hills home of BCBG founder Max Azria for $5.41 million. Whew, that’s a lot of famous people in one sentence, isn’t it?

Start with Sarandos, who has led content acquisition for Netflix since 2000. During his tenure, the company’s library has grown from 2,000 to 100,000 DVD titles and more than 17,000 movies and TV episodes available to be watched instantly on your computer or TV. We suspect the people at Blockbuster keep his photo on their company dartboard, assuming they still have a wall to hang it on.

His wife was named to her ambassadorship by President Obama, whose election she supported mightily. She’s also a philanthropist and a music executive. She is vice president of family-owned Interior Music Publishing and Avant Garde Music.

Fashion designer Azria has numerous clothing line brands, the most famous being BCBG – an acronym for Parisian slang “bon chic, bon genre” that loosely means “good style, good attitude.” In 2009, he joined forces with Miley Cyrus to design a clothing line for Wal-Mart.

The home that changed hands is a two-story Monterey colonial built in 1923. It has 6,100 square feet and has a gated one-third-of-an-acre lot. There is a terrace and fireplace in the master suite.

Elena Jovis of Nourmand & Associates, Beverly Hills, was the listing agent. Jonah Wilson of Sotheby’s International Realty’s Sunset office represented the buyer.

Beverly Park Sale

In 2007, George Santo Pietro – a real estate developer who may always be better known as the ex-husband of “Wheel of Fortune” letter-turner Vanna White – listed his Beverly Park gated villa at $50 million. It sold at the tail end of 2010 for $23.5 million and, as such, was the year’s highest recorded sale in the MLS in Los Angeles County. (There were other higher sales, just not ones recorded in the MLS.)

Hard to know what that says about real estate developers who got caught with a spec home when the market peaked. Anyway, the Italian-style villa has about 25,000 square feet and sits on two gated acres. The master suite has two sitting rooms. The property has nine bedrooms and 15 bathrooms, and features a wine room and home theater, along with a pool and enough room to park 40 cars. The grounds include an outdoor kitchen, volleyball court, and an extensive vegetable and herb garden.

Mauricio Umansky of Hilton & Hyland, Beverly Hills, was the listing agent. Jeffrey Hyland and Chad Rogers of the same office represented the buyer, according to the MLS.

Ann Brenoff can be reached at

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