David Applebaum’s rambling property features his home, a combination of old ranch on the exterior and state of the art modern on the inside. It is small by comparison to the houses he has built for his famous clientele. Further down the property he built a second modern building he calls his studio and retreat. What made him choose this house? David answers without hesitation. “First is my inability to handle that much square footage. I’m not a maintenance person, but I like to be involved in the process so it is easier for me to manage less square footage and live in every inch of it. Then there is the ‘green’ reason; less footage, fewer materials, less air conditioning.
Most importantly I have a young son and a wife I really like spending time with. This house lends itself to that.” His beautiful actress wife is an entrepreneur helping actors who are out of work. His twelve year old son is a gifted musician and painter whose art work since age seven, reminiscent of Picasso, is prominently displayed around guitars and percussion instruments in the entertainment area of their home. David continues, “I have created a compound which allows us to live in the house and when we need more, I have my office below. He leads me through the long open galley of a state-of-the-art modern kitchen which opens to a living area, one step below. “We love to entertain at home.” He explains how important his kitchen is for entertaining, pointing out that guests seem to love to congregate there. He adds with a proud grin, “My wife and I love to cook, we vie as to who does the cooking. She admits I cook a ‘mean’ chicken’”. His specialty, his wife coaxes him to cook and his son loves; a rotisserie chicken with a Bourbon and pepper glaze.

From the entertainment room, I am led through French doors to the pool and garden. We meander down grassy, wood lined steps to the rest of the compound where David Applebaum invites me to sit and chat in the cool of his multileveled studio retreat where he comments he can still remain close to his home and family. Its creatively modern structure contrasts to the exterior of his home, boasting a Zen-like outdoor living room for quiet thought and meetings. “So you see”, he acknowledges, “we have our home and then we have this if we need more. All together we have as much as the large homes I create.”
Asked if he is multi tasked, he responds, “Yes but not as much as my wife. She is the Queen of multi tasking doing ten things at once. I can only do two or three. It’s a guy thing, you know.”

David Applebaum prefers planning to spontaneity.

Applebaum enjoys entertaining at home rather than out. Emphatically he says “Home! This house is all about entertaining at home, both indoors and outdoors.”

David’s restaurant of choice, if there was only one to choose from is Katsu-ya for Japanese food. He adds, “I don’t cook Japanese.”

As far attire is concerned, casual is his choice. “It’s one of the reasons I chose to become an architect. I don’t have to wear a tie”.

Asked which is the most beautiful home he would love to live in, next to his own? David winks, “the one I’m going to do next. Every time I finish a house I think it’s the best I’ve ever done and I can’t do anything to top it…..then there is always the next. Cuba Gooding jnr. wrote to David upon completion of his house, ‘…this isn’t only my dream house; this is even better than what I dreamed of. I asked for it to be beautiful and comfortable and then my sister told me she wanted to take a nap in the corner and that was more that I could have asked for…’ I was so proud. Then the next job came along and that turned out even better. It makes getting work exciting.”

Most favorite reading material, a book he comes back to every three to five years, “Love is Letting Go of Fear”. David claims it brought out the best of him as a person and an architect. Favorite Magazine is ‘Dwell’ about modern design.

.......Find out how the stars live and uncover the glamorous lifestyles behind “Homestyles of the Rich and Gated.”

David Applebaum

In the midst of busy Hollywood is a small cul de sac street, flanked by old oaks and magnolia trees shadowing country English and ranch style homes from the hot afternoon sun. My stop is at an impressive modern glass gate which begs curiosity and opens with slow majesty. It is the home and work place of Architect to the Stars, David Applebaum. He is younger than I expected. He is warm and unassuming with an infectious smile. Applebaum designed and built homes for such names as Frank Sinatra, Bob Hope, Cuba Gooding Jr., Diane Keaton, as well as impressive commercial and corporate spaces for Virgin Records, Quincy Jones and the Esprit flagship store, just to mention a few. The list goes on. David Applebaum is warm and unassuming with an infectious smile as he welcomes me in to the life behind the architect.


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Ann Eysenring
Ann Eysenring is an expert on knowing how to mix business and pleasure. Her Malibu lifestyle is a true commentary on this outdoor dynamo.

Francesca Bowyer at Deauville's Sport Of Kings
Since my arrival from America to join my dear friends and horse owners Adrian Pratt, grandson to Lord Lieutenant of Kent, appointed by the late King of England and his wife Leanore at the Hotel Royale in Deauville, France, it has been five days of nonstop activity.

David Applebaum
In the midst of busy Hollywood is a small cul de sac street, flanked by old oaks and magnolia trees shadowing country English and ranch style homes from the hot afternoon sun. My stop is at an impressive modern glass gate which begs curiosity and opens with slow majesty. It is the home and work place of Architect to the Stars, David Applebaum.

The Mastros
It is easy to fall instantly ‘in like’ upon meeting Robin and Michael Mastro. They welcomed me with a magnetizing ease and grace which seemed to emanate from an inner glow that radiates around them.

Dianne York-Goldman: a name to look out for and be remembered.

She’s got the house, the style and quite definitely, “She’s Got the Look."

Behind palatial gates, Peter Solomon lives surrounded by the splendor of his imagination and Lord of his dream Manor.

To know her is to love her…..

Luise Rainer, with two back to back Academy Awards for best actress, is the last of the great legends.

Philip Treacy crowns the international elite with plumes of glory.  His millinery creativity is sought
after by the world’s most celebrated designers.

“Live where you love. Love where you live”, is David Applebaum’s philosophy.

F.B. What is the most important factor you look for in a house?

D.A. To choreograph a space according to the individual you are designing for. Every person has a life style. My job is to create spaces for that and make it that much more expressive. Everybody’s life is different so everybody’s house is different.

F.B. An architectural feature that makes you cringe is?

D.A. The wedding cake with the two story entrance: One floor, second floor, flat walls on all four sides and a Pizza Hut roof and a two story entrance to give it a sense of ‘grandeur’. There is no humanity or scale to it and there is no humanity.

David likes his homes to have the ‘fingerprints’ of the owner. No one home of David Applebaum’s can be confused with another. Each home reflects the individual he builds for.

David considers himself, in his words, “a sloppy perfectionist”. He explains, “It’s in the mistakes that the magic of inspiration happens. Though I’m very detailed and specific oriented but I let it get messy to discover perfection.”

F.B. Are you a night person?

D.A. I’m a night person. It goes back to Architecture school, when we all stayed up through the night.

David Applebaum is a graduate from Texas A&M and has a master’s degree from U.C.L.A. Asked if he gets up to work on a thought in the middle of the night, he responds, “…constantly, which is why I have a place to sleep in my studio. If I have an inspiration or am bothered by something I’m afraid is not working out, I won’t disturb the rest of the household.”

David maintains his favorite time of day is twilight. He stares out the full length French doors, “It is the magical wonder when the lights of the world begin to descend and the lights of man start to rise” he explains, “giving a glimpse of the ghosts of each, leaving a sublime experience which makes us realize that nature is much bigger than the rest of us yet we have this very inspired need to create within that and to watch interaction of both at that time of day.”

Is David a workaholic? He smiles a refrain. “I used to be,” he explains, “but let’s not forget the term ‘workaholic’ is used for those who cannot do anything else. I have a lovely wife, a wonderful child and great friends and this wonderful environment. I like to work, to be inspired and to create but I don’t live to do

F.B. Do you follow fashion and if so what is his favorite style?

D.A. Fashion is in the now and style is something more enduring. I pay attention to fashion but try not to be trapped in what is happening now. I’m a huge fan of classic modern yet also a fan of casual Spanish, Mediterranean. I consider my work to be a fusion of the two.

David’s favorite form of relaxation is listening to his son play the guitar as well as “listening to him grow in his heart”.

F.B. When you look in the mirror first thing in the morning and shave, who do you see and what do you say?

David gets somewhat teary. “When I shave, which is a lot of work for me as I shave my head too, I see the person I have been attempting to grow into for my entire life. I look at where I’ve been and what I still have to achieve. This gets me very excited about the ensuing day.”


F.B. What’s the biggest fallacy on people owning a home you have had your fingers on?

D.A. The fallacy is that it’s just a house. When you work with me it becomes a part of your heart and becomes a home. I love working on houses where there are kids and I know the environment that I create for them has some kind of an effect on what they will grow into

F.B. When do you read the newspaper and which is your favorite section?

D.A. First thing I do in the morning is read what happened while I was asleep. I like to read the front page of the newspaper. I can get a taste of about five different directions that the world is going in. There is always a little bit of business, a little sports, a little drama and then the rest of news.

David admits to being a night person. “that’s the reason I like staying up and why I like working so much because I don’t like going to sleep and possibly missing something.”

Favorite televisions show is “Dexter”. Applebaum explains, “It’s a series that attempts to look into what is in the shadows of our lives which is what I try to do in my life. Dexter is a little darker than what I do. There are so many layers in our existence and some of them need to come out to make us happier.”

F.B. Who is your Hero?

Without hesitation David answers, “My wife of thirteen years. She is the closest person to me.” Though cringing at the cliché he adds “she completes me, because her strengths are not mine and mine are not hers. I feel by being together I can have a better life by being a partner with her we come full circle.” The very reoccurring trademark feature in all of David Applebaum’s houses is somewhere there is a circle to create a sense of place.

F.B. If you were locked away in one room, which one would you choose?

D.A. I would say the kitchen, because I love eating that much.

David confesses his favorite ‘sneak food’ is ice cream in the middle of the night. Food he can’t do without. Pasta!

F.B. Your worst nightmare is?

D.A. That I will go to an empty canvas on the drawing board and nothing will evolve, come to my mind or be inspired as to what needs to be there.

F.B. You greatest pet peeve is?

D.A. Bad drivers! Though it is a necessary evil in Los Angeles that people must drive, it is amazing how many should not have a license.

The craziest thing David ever did? “Being convinced to do stand-up comedy by a comedian I built a house for.”

F.B. Your closet secret is?

D.A. That I don’t know as much as a lot of people think I do. I have just now become comfortable in not knowing. The discovery that goes into knowing from not knowing and having the confidence to move forward when one doesn’t know what we’re supposed to do next. Maybe this comes with age?

F.B. What do you consider your greatest work of art?

D.A. I would have to say my son is my greatest creation!

F.B. If you could be anyone else in life who would you be?

D.A. When I was younger I had a long list. Now I’m very happy being exactly who I am.

How does David Applebaum want to be remembered? He answers, “As someone who brought out the best in everyone around them”.

David Applebaum. The man, the architect. He is an inspiration.


Written by Francesca Bowyer
All Photographs © & ® 2009 by Francesca Bowyer

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