Three L.A. Homes for Design Lovers

Step inside these Los Angeles Airbnb Plus homes where a strong sense of composition plays a starring role.

Photographs by Alpha Smoot

From a Topanga Canyon retreat to a Beverly Hills estate, these Airbnb Plus homes reveal that great design can span a wide range of styles. Whether you’re into rustic bungalows with outdoor showers or glamorous estates with chandeliers and pink velvet sofas, these Los Angeles homes are sure to satisfy the design lover within.

An architect’s mountainside retreat

Meet the Superhost

Michael Sant

Neighborhood

Topanga

Design style

Modern

Decorating plan

“I reflected on what makes a night aboard a wooden sailboat so lovely and realized that the boat is a frame for experiencing the world outside the vessel. Everything is thoughtful and considered. The goal was to make the home comfortable without distracting from the main event: the stuff outside the windows. To help achieve this, the material palette was limited to concrete bearing walls, steel beams, wood, and glass.”

Room with a view: “Looking out, you can see where the mountains meet the ocean.”
A sun-splashed bedroom.

Perks of the area

“It’s quiet, like a nature retreat. You can hear a pin drop. Driving up here along the coast is almost like a cleanse. It’s a nice reset.”

“One guest wrote in her review that she felt like a better person for having stayed here. When the architecture of a home can spark that kind of joy, it’s so rewarding.” — Michael Sant, Superhost

Natural beauty

“The palette is earthy, but with a few sparks of color. If a room is excessively neutral, your eye doesn’t have an opportunity to pause.”

Fine lines: “I chose furniture that you can see through and around to keep the focus on the setting.”

Styling by Rebecca Buenik


A movie pro’s refined-rustic bungalow

Meet the Superhost

Mathias Fain

Neighborhood

Hollywood Hills

Originally from

Queens, New York; moved to Los Angeles 23 years ago with two of his best friends from college to work in movies.

Current job

Cinematographer and set decorator

The minimalist, zenlike bedroom.

Design style

Relaxed boho

Perks of the area

“You have a country living feeling here, and at the same time, you’re less than a half mile from the epicenter of Hollywood.”

“There are tons of spots to squirrel things away. Giving guests a chance to personalize the space is an important aspect of their stay.” — Mathias Fain, Superhost

Go-to spots

Kettle Glazed has the best donuts. Nobody will say a bad thing about it, ever. They have a really great cronut and apple fritter, but the cruffin is my favorite. The Upright Citizens Brigade comedy venue is at the bottom of the hill. It’s hilarious and great for people-watching. It gets a big line around the corner every week. Gelson’s is an awesome market. I’m an avid chef, and they have the best produce in the city.”

Gorgeous greenery in a multipurpose room.

Living the high life:“The house is charming and funky. This vantage point is what sold me. It gave me a sense of calm that I still feel to this day when I sit here.”

Circular logic: “With globe pendants, light falls evenly, not directionally. I’m a cinematographer, so I always think soft lighting is ideal.”

Bath from the past: “The tub is vintage. I reglazed it and updated the hardware. I always enjoy a mash-up of the old and the new.”

Good, clean fun: “Who doesn’t love showering outside? This was the best $12 I ever spent in my life.”


An entrepreneur’s chic Beverly Hills estate

Meet the Superhost

Nathalie Dahan

Neighborhood

Beverly Hills

Originally from

Paris; moved to Los Angeles 18 years ago.

Current job

Interior designer; also CEO of Coco Queen, a French rotisserie.

Design style

Glam meets French country

Perks of the area

“It’s a great neighborhood to walk around in and look at the pretty houses. There are a lot of hills, so it’s good exercise.”

Go-to spots

HD Buttercup is this whole big thing for furniture. You can find all kinds of pieces from different designers. Sunnin Café has incredible Lebanese food — fresh salads and delicious dips. And there’s a great no-frills spa down the street from our house called Soul to Sole. You can get a really good one-hour massage there for like $30.”

Sparkle strategy

“I love chandeliers! I put one in every room. Just like a great handbag helps you look put-together no matter what you’re wearing, a chandelier makes any space look polished.”

Dahan’s sons Alexander, 11, and Michael, 14, play ball. (Daughter Nicole, 16, is not pictured.)
“I knew this was the home for us instantly. The energy was good, and it was a big, open space. We added a pool to make it more like a resort.” — Nathalie Dahan, Superhost
The palm tree–studded pool and yard.

Pattern play: “I loved this wallpaper design. It feels more special when you use it in a small way instead of everywhere.”

Reflection point: “This bedroom is my masterpiece. Behind the mirrored bed is a wall of mirrors, and the headboard is made of Chanel fabric accented with Swarovski crystals. It’s quite special.”

Shining example: “I chose black metallic paint for the walls and gray metallic for the ceiling, to add dimension.”

“Sometimes I’ll think of a color and just do it. The house is a balance of the whimsical and unexpected with quieter, all-white elements.” — Nathalie Dahan, Superhost
The lavender-hued master bath.

About the author: Betsy Goldberg is the Deputy Editor (Home) of Airbnb Magazine. Previously she was the Deputy Editor of Real Simple and HGTV Magazine, Editorial Content Director at Bed Bath & Beyond, and an editor at UsWeekly, Modern Bride, and New York Magazine. She is co-author of BusinessWeek’s Guide to the Best Business Schools and her writing has also appeared in Glamour, Health, Martha Stewart Weddings, and Money.