Once Upon A Time…
If this extraordinary home seems as if it has been sprinkled with the glamour and mystique of Pixie Dust, or resembles the fairytale cottage home of Snow White or Cinderella, you might be right! Famously known as The Disney House, this residence was designed by world-renowned artist Melanie Taylor and the Walt Disney Imagineers, and it might just be the next best thing to visiting the Magic Kingdom!
The storybook charm of this exquisite country English Tudor manor is meticulous and elegant in design, and full of wonder and fairytale nostalgia for children of all ages. Built in 1992, it is nestled within the exclusive Island Forest Estates of Westlake Village on 3.19 secluded acres adjacent to the North Ranch Golf Course.
The 11,322 square-foot castle features 6 bedrooms, 9 bathrooms, 5 fireplaces, an office, library, gym, two media rooms, a theater with a stage and balcony, formal living and dining rooms, 3 bonus rooms, a mud room, several storage rooms, wrap-around veranda with panoramic views, a three-car garage and so much more.
The enchanting property is prized for its wooded grounds and professional landscaping with mature shade trees, mighty living oaks, fruit orchards, colorful flowering beds, plenty of green grass, and a natural babbling brook. For seekers of thrills and adventure, a sport court, horseshoe pits, playground area, and fantasy swimming pool with a 50-foot grotto waterfall, raised hot tub, and a lazy river complete this amazing Wonderland, where living happily ever after is not just a fairytale…
The entry and grand foyer
A wandering cobblestone drive leads to a garage with three roll-up carriage doors and portico enhanced with authentic river rock. Stepping up to the front entry on a landing of used red brick dating to 1922, two crafted iron porch lights cast a warm glow for visitors to approach.
Inspired by an English conservatory, the cathedral ceiling opens to the skies with brilliant craftsmanship reaching the top peak where an iron chandelier is suspended from 32-foot skylights to drench the foyer in light and illuminate the French limestone flooring below. Accoutrements also found here, and throughout the home, include signature Disney carved and crafted wood railings, minstrel balconies, and a massive amount of one-of-a-kind woodwork, open beams and loggia’s reminiscent of European castles.
Castle living room and bar with soda fountain
Nearly every room of this timeless home features rustic 200-year old pine floors imported from England, including the great Castle family Room. Named such after its grandiose walk-in fireplace, craftsmen also took meticulous care to build the one-of- a-kind hearth and floor-to-ceiling rock mantle to include several miniature castles, a guard house with a carved nutcracker figure inside, a charming antique clock, Rapunzel’s tower, and remarkable custom stained glass window poised in the center. The cathedral oak wood-planked ceiling peaks at the center, and is raised more than two levels with open trussed beams, where a minstrel balcony overlooks the bright and beautiful space. A custom wrought iron railing and carved wood stairs lead to the foyer, highlighted by a crafted wall lantern to lead the way.
A grand oak parlor bar in a living area enclave is topped with exquisite jade marble is reminiscent of an English pub. A fantastic chandelier tops the sitting bar, and includes a sink, wine refrigerator, ice cream station, and other amenities. No need for theme park service when you have a craving to enjoy an effervescent drink, famous Dole Pineapple Whip, three-scoop sundae, or favorite spirit!
Even if you’re not a member of the Mouseketeer’s, the in-home theater on the main level will inspire even the shyest of performers to embrace their inner actor or songstress and hop on stage to let their talents shine! Designed as a complement to the Globe Theater in England, it features an open beam cathedral ceiling, massive musical themed stained glass window, large raised stage with French doors, balcony overhead, a pair of flickering Medieval ironwork chandeliers (a Disney tradition), and even a secret passage – one of many throughout the home – to produce special stage effects, such as lighting or backdrops.
The delightful French country cottage kitchen is bounding with plentiful natural light from several large skylights that arch within the raised, trussed and open beam ceiling. A raised wood-burning fireplace and hearth and professional cast iron stove adds to the inviting setting. Over the range, tiles depict French cuisine with artisan illustrations of pastries, gourmet delicacies, and food staples. Cabinetry throughout is distressed with a Disney-style antique finish to provide charm and character, with imported French ceramic tile counters trimmed in delicate roses. The island also has a touch of France, with enamel pullout storage drawers painted in French. Over the sink, six enchanted stained lead-glass and beveled windows overlook the verdant scenery, with access through a single French door to the covered terrace and patio. Two large pantries and built-in storage hutches provide ample room to store food items or to display precious serving ware. Top appliances include Miele and Asko dishwashers and a side-by-side Sub-Zero refrigerator and freezer.
Formal dining room and breakfast nook
Inspired by Camelot and Arthurian legends, and heartily referred to as King Arthur’s dining room, this gracious court is surrounded with extravagant appointments. Focal points include a regal coat of arms in the center of a stained-glass bay window that illuminates the custom English walnut floors, carved and beaded wall panels, and open cathedral ceiling. Matching, dual “crowned” chandeliers in the center of the room are replicas from an ancient English castle, and the adorned carved limestone fireplace is inspired by Cinderella’s hearth at Disneyworld. The adjoining butler’s pantry features carved wood cabinetry with two enameled warming ovens and counter tile imported from a castle in the splendor of France’s Loire Valley.
An accompanying breakfast and dining nook of generous proportion has direct access to the kitchen and is enhanced by three, double sets of French doors leading to the rear courtyard beyond. An enchanting, handcrafted hot air balloon lighting fixture suspended from a raised cathedral ceiling provides a bit of whimsy.
The library and office
There is no better setting to read a great masterpiece than to sit in front of a flickering fireplace, wrapped up and cozy under plush blanket. Fairytales and classics can be displayed on carved English walnut cabinetry for easy retrieval and enjoyment. A few steps up from the shared office, two hand-painted wall murals of notable figures flank the steps – Merlin the Magician and an inspirational muse goddess of literature, science, and the arts – to welcome guests under arch of heavenly constellations. The charismatic environment is enhanced with walnut hardwood flooring with a custom burst pattern, and matching carved book cases, cabinetry, fireplace hearth and mantle. The matching coffered, drop wood ceiling further invites readers to enjoy the warm, nurturing settings in faraway lands of composition and prose.
The noble office is a work of art, where a dropped wood beam ceiling and creative illustrations in the form of hand-painted antiqued wall murals and faraway lands surround the studious space, sure to beguile and inspire. Surrounded by a compass of beveled glass windows and three sets of double French doors ensconced in dark hardwood trim, the stately room is ideal for a friendly game of chess or to conduct business in private quarters.