Gary Friedman recently said the “housing market is collapsing” at 2008 levels, but that hasn’t stopped the famously candid and longtime RH chief executive from dipping his toe into the choppy real estate waters. In a deal that closed last week, Friedman paid $26.7 million for an oceanfront mansion in Malibu.
The 66-year-old billionaire and his wife Bella Hunter actually scored a deal on their new vacation home, which sits on prestigious Carbon Beach — the long strip of sand also home to fellow billionaires such as Larry Ellison, Michael Milken and film producer Arnon Milchan. The new Friedman residence was originally offered a year ago at $40 million, though the price tag was slashed down to $30 million before the buyers came calling.
The 0.36-acre lot and its 80 feet of beach frontage last sold in 1994 for just $1 million. The buyer, local philanthropist Mel Rosenthal, subsequently custom-built the current house. Completed in 1997, the boxy contemporary structure is clad in pale yellow stucco and features a gated motorcourt with garage parking for three cars.
Inside, highlights include disappearing walls of glass that drink in the unstoppable ocean views, plus Portuguese limestone floors, a huge atrium skylight, a chef’s kitchen with granite countertops, a laundry room with a dog-washing station, an elevator and long gallery walls “suitable for a museum-quality art collection,” per the listing.
Also on tap are five bedrooms, each with ensuite bathrooms and one that currently functions as an at-home gym. The 5,600-square-foot house also offers an upstairs master suite with a fireplace, bespoke closet, private balcony and a private office with a sink and beverage refrigerator.
Out back, an oceanfront deck spans the full width of the house and sports ceramic tile floors, ample space for al fresco entertaining and a built-in barbecue center and hot tub. And while landscaping is sparse, typical of oceanfront Malibu properties, the front courtyard does offer several mature palm trees and lushly filled planters that lend the place a distinctly tropical vibe.
With only one brief interruption, Friedman has been a top executive of the company formerly known as Restoration Hardware since 2001 and has a personal net worth of $1.8 billion, per Forbes. In addition to his new beachfront retreat, he also maintains a $37 million mansion in the mountains above Beverly Hills. Last year, the San Francisco native has sold a half-built Los Angeles estate for $24 million to an anonymous buyer.