Elaine Culotti bought a SoCal mansion in 2010 with the aim of transforming the place into a bastion of high design and rock and roll swagger that could be used for everything from concerts to charity events.
She tasked herself and eight designers, including famed mannequin man Ralph Pucci, to create a style that seamlessly interwove stately Tudor construction with looming Gothic arches and slick contemporary materials – LA’s Golden Age meets Jimmy Page.
When Culotti began the gut rehab, she realized she was continuing a tradition of revelry established nearly a century ago. The house was built in 1926, and the first owners were “pretty big partiers”, Culotti explains. “During Prohibition they hid all their booze under the floor boards”, and when Culotti had the floors redone, she discovered “liquor bottles, ancient beer cans, and a glass Clorox bottle filled with vodka.” These days empties are put to a better use: when Culotti throws an event, the kitchen’s modular chandelier is reconstructed out of bottles from the brand of beer being served. One man’s trash is another woman’s marketing opportunity.
Nor is the house of rock a stranger to stars, past and present. The voices of Frank Sinatra and former owner Kathryn Grayson (Show Boat star and paramour of newspaper mogul William Randolph Hearst) once echoed throughout the wood-paneled corridors – corridors where you’re now likely to bump shoulders with Christina Aguilera and other contemporary A-listers.
"LA'S GOLDEN AGE MEETS JIMMY PAGE"
Scroll down to see what happens when rock and roll smashes headfirst into high design and classic architecture.