Architectural Metal

Kim Kardashian and Kanye West : wrought iron staicases for the Mediterranean-style mansion in Bel Air

Lifestyles of the rich and famous! The first glimpse inside the $11 million Mediterranean villa that Kim Kardashian and Kanye West will call home (but they’re already gutting it)


It may be a bit old fashioned for their modern tastes – but this is the first glimpse inside the $11 million mansion Kim Kardashian and Kanye West have just bought.

The stunning Mediterranean-style mansion in Bel Air boasts wrought-iron staircases, chandeliers and ‘old world’ fittings – so perhaps it will come as no surprise that the high-profile parents-to-be have already made plans to gut the property.

The luxurious home – which was on the market for $10,750,000, according to Trulia – sits in a private gated community in the exclusive California suburb, and is a whopping 10,000 square feet.

As Kim, 32, and Kanye, 35, are enjoying a ‘babymoon’ in Paris, the first pictures of their new home show a light and airy property that features a two-storey living room, an infinity pool and a library – with plenty of space for their little one to run around.

According to the listing, the 3/4 acre estate is situated on a view-commanding ridgeline.

Designed by architect Ron Firestone, the listing says: ‘custom craftsmanship and old world details are combined with every modern amenity.’

It adds: ‘Hand forged wrought iron and glass front doors open up to the two story formal entry with black walnut parquet floors.

‘A two story living room flanked by Cantera stone columns overlooks the rear grounds and mountains beyond. The great room includes wide planked floors, beamed ceilings and a stone fireplace and features a bar and stone wine cellar.

‘The library serves as a warm respite, detailed in rich woods and a burgundy marble fireplace. The master suite has spectacular views from every window, a fireplace, sitting room, large walk-in closet and changing area.’

The master bathroom has large steam shower, spa tub and massage room, while the massive backyard is a dream with sweeping lawns, an infinity edged pool and a loggia that serves as an outdoor living room and kitchen.

TMZ reported on Tuesday that the couple have already gutted the interior and are planning to add an extra 4,000 feet to complete their dream home.

A source told TMZ the new home will be ‘an Italian-style villa, with a gym, movie theater, full hair and make-up salon, bowling alley, basketball court, indoor and outdoor pool.’

Not forgetting a nursery of course.

The stunning infinity pool is visible in new shots of the property, which also has a pool house and large grassy lawn.

The mansion also has a grand driveway and dramatic entrance, as well as plenty of windows to let in the light and a spacious garage.

The pair will join A-list neighbour Jennifer Aniston, Los Angeles Clippers basketball player Chris Paul, and founder of the Girls Gone Wild entertainment franchise Joe Francis as the famous names in the neighbourhood.

Kanye is well known for his love of interior design and will no doubt be keen to put his stamp on their first home together.

The couple have been dating since last spring and were seen in the City of Love on Tuesday after shopping at the Lanvin and Celine boutiques before dining at L’Avenue restaurant.

Kim was wrapped up in a black cape, with any sign of a bump firmly under wraps, while Kanye defeated the cold in a black blazer.

Before their departure, a Kardashian source told Us magazine the couple plan to holiday in Paris “for a week just to chill. It’s a little babymoon!”

The couple – who don’t plan to marry yet as Kim is still married to Kris Humphries – surprised many after reportedly turned down a $3 million offer for the first photos of their baby.

A source close to the Keeping Up With The Kardashians star told TMZ that she and the Otis rapper have been flooded with lucrative offers for their child’s first pictures and were offered the hefty fee from one publication outside the States.

It is unclear if Kim will sign up as it was recently revealed that she and Kanye are planning to share the pregnancy and their adjustment to parenthood with their fans through a show on E!

E! Entertainment network president Suzanne Kolb said: ‘Kim and Kanye are an incredibly dynamic couple, and their baby news is just so exciting.

‘Like so many Kardashian fans, we love it when this close-knit family gets even bigger. We look forward to sharing the joy as they prepare for more diapers, more bottles and without a doubt, more fabulous baby wear.’


Wrough iron design for the Hotel Amba in Taipei

A trip to Taiwan


An island barely four hundred kilometers in length and even less across, one might suspect you’d fall off into the sea if you ran too fast in any direction.

Not bound by such limitations Taiwan is where one experiences spectacular modes of transport; a high-speed train, dangling cable cars and ornate boats.

Hotel Amba where we spend our first night in Taipei requires special mention, for its location and character. A very casual ambience and club like atmosphere, wrought iron chairs and bookracks decorate its dining area.

Go down the elevator and you emerge outside a MAC store, right at the most happening intersection of Ximending, the mother of all night markets. It’s so lively, bustling, dynamic and vibrant, even a non-shopper like me doesn’t want the night to end.


Wrought iron stove for a classic Cape house

Cape House Hunt: Heritage abounds in classic Federal


Some of the splendors of the Cape are heirloom homes, like this classic Federal-style house built in 1807 in a quiet corner of Barnstable village.

Spacious rooms have hosted the lifestyles and comforts of various owners for two centuries, including a deacon, a Massachusetts senator, a shipmaster who sailed to China five times, a bank president and merchant, two judges and a lawyer. Homes that survive time like this one serve as emissaries from the past, deserving of restoration and renovation-minded owners to take them into the future.

Shaded by a chestnut tree and surrounded by rolling acres edged with stone walls and a stream, the home’s slate and bluestone front steps rise to a columned entry. Inside are a wide center hall, three staircases, front parlors, dining room and large bedrooms, all with original pine floors, wide baseboards, horsehair plaster walls, high ceilings, and window and door casings with fluted and roundel moldings.

The south parlor has double crown moldings and a Rumford fireplace with an Elizabethan-style mantel and curved brackets. Adjacent is a library and a south-facing sunroom with pine tongue-and-groove paneling and 14 tall, muntined windows.

Wainscoting in the dining room and front parlors have 28-inch wide pine planks running their full length. The kitchen, which needs updating, began as a summer kitchen and includes a staircase to a second-floor housekeeper’s suite.

The front parlor is warmed by a coal stove with ornate wrought iron and imported green leaf tile detailing. A side hall leads to a bedroom that was once an office, with tall windows and period interior doors with tiger maple panels.


Wrought iron design for the Real Housewives of New Jersey’s Melissa Gorga

Melissa Gorga’s New Jersey Home


The Real Housewives of New Jersey’s Melissa Gorga has listed the home she shares with her real-estate developer husband, Joe. They built the six-bedroom manse in Montville Township, New Jersey in 2009. It’s now up for sale for $3.8 million.

Gorga’s New Jersey home sprawls over 2.24 acres, and has an English slate roof.

The Italian marble foyer in Gorga’s home has marble staircases with wrought-iron bannisters, and cedar French doors.

Chandeliers, carved bookcases, golden detailing and domed ceilings fill the property.

Two bedrooms belong to Gorga’s three children, including one room with a sports theme.

The other child’s bedroom is all done in girly pink, with soft drapery as a headboard and a chandelier over the bed.

The 13,500-square-foot home also has a home theater with luxe leather seating and wood detailing.


Wrought iron and the Hobbit House in Philadelphia

No Orcs Allowed: Hobbit House Brings Middle-Earth To Pa.


Inspired by J.R.R. Tolkien’s descriptions and drawings, Lord of the Rings fan Vince Donovan built a hobbit-hole to house his collection of Middle Earth memorabilia.

In rural Chester County, Pa., about 50 miles northwest of Philadelphia, thick fog swirls around the trunks of knotty trees. This piece of 18th-century farmland could, by all outward appearances, be one of the misty forests of Middle Earth, the setting of J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings fantasy novels.

The Hobbit, a prequel book with a new film adaptation, follows the adventures of hobbit Bilbo Baggins, who lives in an underground home with round doors and windows.

Here in Chester County, at the request of lifelong Tolkien fan Vince Donovan, architect Peter Archer has designed just such a structure — a tiny stone cottage of Hobbit proportions.

“I hadn’t even read the book,” says Archer. “But … as we were doing this, [we] went through a lot of the illustrations that Tolkien had prepared, just for inspiration.”

The result is a building of only 600 square feet, set into a hill behind an old stone wall. The roof is shaped in whimsical curves and covered with clay tile. The showpiece is a distinctive, round, hobbit-sized door that pivots on a single, wrought-iron hinge.

Of course, this little dwelling is not completely up to hobbit code. “It’s not an underground structure by any stretch of the imagination, but it is built into the grade,” Archer says. “We’ll do a round door, but other than that, I didn’t want to be cartoonish in any way. I wanted to make something that’s very handmade, a combination of stone, timber; [to] try to find the craftsmen and let the craftsmen use their skills.”

Archer also made sure to include a man door in his construction, as required by code — man code, that is.

to be continued


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