At Home in Malibu
As her children enter young adulthood, a fitness titan prepares to move on from the warm, European-inspired Malibu home that has long nurtured her family.
Images: Sami Drasin
For Rachel Mumford, Co-Founder & Head of Studio Design at global workout entity Barry’s Bootcamp, her Malibu retreat at 28861 Selfridge Drive embodies a peaceful, natural lifestyle. Here, she and her family have spent the past two years cooking, entertaining friends, and relaxing in the jacuzzi under the stars.
But as her kids head off to college, Rachel is ready to bestow the stunning compound upon a new brood with the help of Compass agents Tony Mark and Russell Grether of The Mark and Grether Group. We caught up with Rachel as she looked back on on her time in the thoughtfully-designed home.
How did you come to live in this house?
I lived in Hidden Hills for 10 years prior to Malibu, and I moved into this house in December of 2015. My eldest son, Alex, now lives in my two-story guest house on the property with his girlfriend while attending law school at Pepperdine University. I also have a 15-year-old son, Jackson, and a 17-year-old daughter, Emma Lyla. I love having them so close.
What’s it like living in Malibu?
I always say that I didn’t buy a house; I bought a lifestyle. I enjoy hiking up to the top of Point Dume, watching the seals splash around, or surfing with my kids. My friends and I hang out at Ollie’s on Friday nights listening to local bands, or we’ll go to SoHo Malibu and eat dinner while the sun sets.
In terms of art and furniture, can you share a bit about where you source it and what styles you gravitate toward?
The whole concept of this house revolves around livable luxury. I wanted a home that reflected my eclectic style, which is influenced heavily by my travels. Antique mirrors, faux fur, and velvet are infused throughout. I love adding small elements of the unexpected and intricate found objects. Of course, the interior style also has a strong coastal infusion. It was important to me that the natural beauty of the home remain the focal point, and that all of the fixtures and artwork compliment the unique architectural details.
The interior architecture includes some unique details. What appealed most to you?
The house doesn’t just embody one conventional design style. The reclaimed wood and bright white, textural plaster walls are quintessential Malibu, while the curved archways, stone flooring, and fireplace details bring in a hint of French romanticism. To keep the home from feeling too stark, the landscaping is lush and slightly wild.
Some design elements like neutral limestone and apron-front sinks are timeless. I think it’s important that a home tell a story of who you are, and for me, that means a blend of European influence with a heart rooted in Malibu.
Are there any particularly interesting stories behind certain pieces of furniture or artwork?
Oh, there are so many! Every piece of furniture and art in the home was thoughtfully selected or custom-made for this property. Pieces such as the rope swing and console incorporate wood chosen to complement the existing barnwood adorning the property throughout.
In the master bedroom, there’s a gorgeous art piece by French artist Belinda Frikh. I purchased it during my travels because I so admire how her works blend sensual, sinuous Art Nouveau lines with images of the 1980s. I call this particular piece “Golden Girl”—she embodies female fierceness.
Many of the rugs in the home are vintage Turkish and are almost 100 years old. I believe it’s important that the décor represent an infusion of the past and present, with classic and updated pieces converging to represent my love for travel, the arts, architecture, and the sea.
Tell me a little bit about working with The Mark and Grether Group to market and sell your beloved home.
I had a previous relationship with Tony Mark — with whom I’ve always loved working — but with his move to Compass and partnership with Russell Grether, the quality of presentation and pricing strategy has reached an entirely new level. I love how Compass embraces technology in everything they do; with their new innovative tool Marketing Center, Russell and Tony were able to create beautiful print collateral to showcase my home easier and faster. I love the look and the press coverage my home has gotten since I listed with Tony, Russell, and Compass, too.
What’s next for you?
I love living here—it’s the perfect place for a family—but all of my kids will be out of the house soon, so I’m looking for a smaller property in Malibu. It’s so peaceful here; I can’t imagine living anywhere else in Los Angeles!
I spent so much of my time traveling for work expanding the Barry’s brand nationally and internationally that I missed out on a lot of time with my children, which I’ve been able to make up for by staying local. Once they’re all off to college in the next few years, though, I could see myself buying property somewhere exotic like Croatia and building a boutique hotel.