The Jewish Chronicle - JC Magazine - - Home Life -

OL­LY­WOOD — THE fam­i­lyfriendly and celebrity-free one in Florida — is far less ex­otic than its Cal­i­for­nian name­sake, but one spec­tac­u­lar house in the Oaks Es­tate could well grace that other Hol­ly­wood. The vast Ital­ianate ex­te­rior usu­ally gets a “wow!” when viewed from the street. Boast­ing an 18,000 sq ft (ap­prox 1,700 sq m) in­te­rior, the home is as big as 10 semi-detached houses put to­gether.

Built five years ago by an Is­raeli busi­ness­man, the 12-bed­room, 13bath­room man­sion com­fort­ably ac­com­mo­dates the fam­ily’s seven chil­dren aged two to 14, plus staff. “As large as it is, the house is warm and com­fort­able,” says Liat, the lady of the house. “It re­ally feels like a home.”

Stone lions guard the dou­ble en­trance doors, de­fined by elab­o­rate wrought iron­work and a glass Hamsa (an open hand, a sign of pro­tec­tion that also rep­re­sents bless­ings, power and strength) set into the arched win­dow above.

The foyer poses the ques­tion of where to look first. Should it be at the crys­tal-ini­tialled doors de­not­ing sep­a­rate men’s and ladies’ guest toi­lets, or the two grand stair­cases with or­nate iron balus­ter rail­ings curv­ing the­atri­cally up to the first floor? What about the walls, embellished with sil­very plas­ter leaves, the mar­ble floor or the elab­o­rate gilt ta­ble cen­tred on an in­tri­cate onyx medal­lion?

A crys­tal chan­de­lier, evok­ing a

SUM­MER 2013 fleur de lys, re­flects the sheen on two sil­ver and gold leather chairs, paired across the foyer.

The home’s op­u­lent de­sign was in­spired by the Ro­man, Per­sian and Ot­toman em­pires. Through­out, there are pala­tial fit­tings such as vaulted Vene­tian plas­ter ceil­ings, hand-crafted friezes and finely carved wood­work. Ev­ery de­tail was de­signed with a metic­u­lous eye, from hand-painted mu­rals and tex­tured wall cov­er­ings sten­cilled with damask-like de­signs to cus­tom­made, or­na­men­tal plas­ter panels.

There are three kitchens and two laun­dries. A third stair­case is close to the fam­ily room, or res­i­dents can take the lift, with its sil­very bronze walls and crys­tal but­tons. Up­stairs, leather-look ceil­ing panels, slate floors and dark wood cab­i­netry with mono­grammed doors give an ex­ec­u­tive edge to an of­fice and mini-con­fer­ence cen­tre.

Leisure fa­cil­i­ties in­clude a bil­liards room, a fully equipped gym with leather couches, TV and re­frig­er­a­tor and an eight­seat home theatre with top-notch au­dio en­ter­tain­ment sys­tem.

Swarovski crys­tals gleam and shim­mer through­out, on walls and doors, kitchen and bath­room cabi­net han­dles and 40 chan­de­liers.

Light fit­tings draw the eyes up­wards to soar­ing, cof­fered ceil­ings, some out­lined with in­tri­cate mould­ings, oth­ers en­livened by gold or cop­per leaf or tex­tured to mimic crum­pled silk.

Ceil­ings along the down­stairs hall­ways echo the geom­e­try of the floor de­signs be­low them — slabs of pur­ple-veined quartz are framed in pale green and beige mar­ble,

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