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Beachy Keen

October 31, 2008 By Louise Farr



Click the images below for bigger versions:
Beechy Keen outside
Beechy Keen drop down plasma
Sound—other than the mesmerizing crash of waves filtering in from outside—is provided by Sonance Symphony in-wall speakers. All the upholstery in the house is from Nancy Corzine.
In the playroom, the girls like to watch as many screens as possible as music blasts from another room. Most of the home’s electronics are tucked away. “We don’t like to off-load equipment around the house,” says the custom installer.
The main living area, left, combines a bar, and the dining and living rooms. It’s perfect for sipping cocktails to the tinkling of the Steinway grand piano.
The interior designer surrounded the bar’s 23-inch Sony LCD TV with framed art to appease the owner’s aesthetic concerns. A rosewoodframed mahogany dining table gleams with 11 coats of handapplied clear piano lacquer.
“AVX is so easy to work with, and we are repeat customers,” says Cheryl about the company who installed the home theater, and the whole-house automation system.
The homeowner had Kevin Phoenix of Doc Aquarium install a 1,000-gallon aquarium in his home office which houses moray eels, stingrays, puffer sharks and a living reef.
Equipment racks

A long-time Malibu resident who doesn’t watch television turns his beach house into a flat-screen showcase.

Investment banker William J. Chadwick’s father lived by several rules: “Billy,” he said, "You can play football or play in a band, but you can’t be in the stands because spectators are losers.”

Little wonder that full-grown Billy, who became a football and lacrosse star at St. Lawrence University, has little patience with television.

“It caused me not to be a very good sitter,” he says, alluding to one of his father’s rules. “I’ve never seen ‘Seinfeld.’ I’ve never seen ‘Friends.’  We don’t do ‘Dancing with the Stars.’ I’ve never been into mainstream trash.”

Funny then, that Chadwick just happens to have installed an abundance of flat-screen TVs in his 11,000-square-foot home, which takes up a considerable chunk of oceanfront on Carbon Beach—that crescent-shaped white-sand setting, also known as “Billionaire’s Beach”, that boasts some of Malibu’s priciest real estate.

Beechy Keen

The house blends the East Coast tradition of walnut flooring, tailored crown molding and custom wall paneling with a breezy California-style open floor plan. Throughout the lavish two-story space that’s colored in ocean and sand hues, Chadwick, wife Cheryl, and their three young daughters share 18 televisions—ranging from the 15-inch Sharp Aquos LCDs in his and her bathrooms to a 32-inch Sony LCD in the master suite.

“The Chadwicks wanted to lie in bed and see the ocean, the fireplace and the television at the same time,” says interior designer Curtis Stallard, whose International Design Group in Los Angeles specializes in classic American design. “I took a picture of an antique sideboard, copied it in mahogany at 16 inches wide, and put in a plasma lift with a 360-degree swivel.”

Beechy Keen drop down plasma

Aside from a giant wooden doll house, a focal point of the girls’ upstairs playroom, is a cabinet-enclosed 60-inch Sony rear-projection TV topped by three 23-inch Sony high-definition flat-screen TVs. One can’t help thinking that this is a rather elaborate set-up for their three girls, who range 8 to 10 in age.

Chadwick finally comes clean: Sometimes he does enjoy watching television. In the morning, for instance, he multitasks by monitoring ESPN, Bloomberg and  “The Today Show” while making phone calls.

The family has lived in Malibu for years. But Chadwick, who is also a real-estate investor, may have made one of the canniest moves of his life when he persuaded nearby Pepperdine University to part with the beach property that previously had housed visiting dignitaries and high-profile professors.

Sound—other than the mesmerizing crash of waves filtering in from outside—is provided by Sonance Symphony in-wall speakers. All the upholstery in the house is from Nancy Corzine.

At 2,500 square feet, the house was unprepossessing. But it sat on a prime 190-foot sweep of beach where 40- to 60-foot-wide multimillion-dollar lots are customary.

When the Chadwicks began the four-year building project, they were living in a smaller house next door that they had remodeled.

Cheryl threw herself into overseeing details of the sprawling new place.

Since the husband prefers to be surrounded by space rather than clutter, the downstairs great room is rimmed by a bar, and the dining and living rooms—an area vast enough to accommodate 100 or more guests, plus a grand piano.

Through floor-to-ceiling windows, visitors peer across 4,000 square feet of deck space and a 75-foot-long oceanfront pool.

Beyond that lie gasp-inducing vistas of crashing waves, dolphins and the occasional spouting whale.

“Who in their right minds would live in a house like this with three kids, two golden retrievers and a Fox Red lab?” Chadwick asks rhetorically, glancing at the perfectly polished wood floor.

“It’s a noisy, busy house with lots of drama. But the girls know not to come through the living room in their wheelies.”

In the playroom, the girls like to watch as many screens as possible as music blasts from another room. Most of the home’s electronics are tucked away. “We don’t like to off-load equipment around the house,” says the custom installer.

And despite its grand scale, Chadwick finds the great room casual enough that he can comfortably plop down on one of the plump sofas, upholstered in Nancy Corzine fabric, after returning from a sandy jog. “People remark, ‘How can you have an 11,000 square foot house that’s so cozy?’” he says.

If ever the family does feel the need to hunker down for an evening—or if the girls refuse to remove their wheelies—they can regroup in the adjacent kitchen-family-breakfast room, where the children’s three computers are lined up on the built-in desk; a 53-inch Fujitsu plasma TV resides above the fireplace.

Because the home lots on this cramped strip of coast tend to be small, private screening rooms are a luxury—even when neighbors include Hollywood heavyweights such as Larry Elison, David Geffen, and real-estate tycoon and art collector Eli Broad. Still, with Chadwick willing to be a Super Bowl spectator and Cheryl’s viewing partner whenever she’s in the mood for an old musical, he wanted a dedicated theater.

“AVX is so easy to work with, and we are repeat customers,” says Cheryl about the company who installed the home theater, and the whole-house automation system.

“I absolutely desired the highest quality with no compromises,” says Chadwick, who spent six months interviewing A/V companies before hiring Los Angeles’s AVX Audio Video Experience Inc. “We’re not viewing dailies or throwing home premieres, so the movie industry approach of  ‘Let’s throw money at it’ is silly. I relied on AVX for advice. These guys are highly organized and know what they’re doing.”

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