Bel-Air’s Majestic ‘Il Sogno’ Villa Is Available for the Right Dreamer 

An opulent display of masterly old-world craftsmanship and attention to detail makes this property one of a kind
By Phil Butler
Phil Butler
Phil Butler
Phil Butler is a publisher, editor, author, and analyst who is a widely cited expert on subjects from digital and social media to travel technology. He's covered the spectrum of writing assignments for The Epoch Times, The Huffington Post, Travel Daily News, HospitalityNet, and many others worldwide.
October 28, 2021 Updated: November 2, 2021

For the first time in more than half a century, the Il Sogno villa (“The Dream”), located in the swanky Los Angeles neighborhood of Bel-Air, is on the market. With a list price of $39,500,000, this unique property is the historic showpiece of a neighborhood that’s home to celebrities such as Beyoncé and Jennifer Aniston. But this listing from the prestigious Jade Mills Estates of Beverly Hills is without a doubt a cut above.

One of Bel-Air’s most beautiful homes, this former residence of commercial real estate mogul Howard Ruby and his wife, Yvette Mimieux, a multiple Golden Globe-nominated actress, was built in 1928 by renowned architect and engineer Mark Daniels. The Tuscan-style villa is a six-bedroom, seven-bathroom, two half-bath, 10,607 square-foot-masterpiece set in a secluded enclave surrounded by the Bel-Air Country Club.

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Considered by many to be Bel-Air’s prettiest home, owner Howard Ruby once likened the house to a Fabergé egg. His wife, Yvette Mimieux, was nominated for three Golden Globe Awards and starred in films such as “The Time Machine” with Rod Taylor. (Jim Bartsch/Jade Mills)
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The unique, high-beamed ceiling in the formal living room shows off the intricate details that interior designer Kalef Alaton became famous for. (Jim Bartsch/Jade Mills)
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The villa’s aptly named “Red Library” features hand-lacquered paneling and a cove ceiling with a skylight. (Jim Bartsch/Jade Mills)

Purchased by Ruby in 1979, the property features interiors created by one of America’s greatest designers, Kalef Alaton. His vision came to life thanks to artisans flown in from Tuscany and the Amalfi coast to recreate an authentic Italian villa. Il Sogno’s design is similar to what Alaton created for the homes of Marilyn Monroe and Paul Newman, a motif that blends vintage ostentatiousness with contemporary elements to create the overall eclectic style he was famous for.

The expansive floor plan also includes a ballroom, formal dining room, stunning solarium, formal living room, gourmet kitchen, stunning wine cellar with tasting room, and state-of-the-art gym and spa. The home features exquisite hand-carved fireplaces, immaculate plaster walls, delicate hand-painted ceilings and frescoes, terracotta and marble floors, and a spectacular “red library” showcasing craftsmanship that’s almost impossible to replicate today. The master suite has its own private balcony, patio with fountain, fireplace, and dual bathrooms and closets.

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The master bedroom’s vaulted ceiling is adorned with hand-painted frescoes that give the space an air of opulence with a hint of the Italian Renaissance. (Jim Bartsch/Jade Mills)
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The mansion’s massive brick-lined wine cellar features a tasting corner and reflects the designer’s ideas of blending practical opulence with old-world charm. (Jim Bartsch/Jade Mills)
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Il Sogno’s chef’s kitchen was designed to serve for daily family use as well as for catering large parties. The kitchen features commercial-grade appliances throughout. (Jim Bartsch/Jade Mills)
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The verdant interiors and exteriors of the villa complement each other, giving the feeling of complete harmony. (Jim Bartsch/Jade Mills)
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The stylish lap pool area is accented with climbing roses and is framed by a backdrop of eclectic landscaping elements. (Jim Bartsch/Jade Mills)
Epoch Times Photo
(Jim Bartsch/Jade Mills)

Il Sogno sits behind delicate, handcrafted iron gates that open onto a circular drive that winds up at a connected four-car garage. In classical Alaton style, the exterior of the villa matches the attention to detail given to the interiors, with marble statues, fine pottery, and fantasyland flora enveloping the private lap pool and the mansion. A private garden on the property was designed by florist David Jones, who counted among his clients Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis and Elizabeth Taylor. Ultimately, the overall impression Il Sogno gives, even with its grandiose furnishings, sensuous draperies, oriental rugs, and ornate furnishings, is transportive, warm, and comfortable.

Il Sogno
Bel-Air, California
$39,500,000

  • 6 bedrooms
  • 10,607 square feet
  • 0.96 acres

Key Features:

  • Historic design
  • Unique architectural features
  • Lush private gardens and exteriors
  • Ultra-prestigious neighborhood
  • Wine cellar and tasting room

Agent
Jade Mills Estates
Stephanie Zebik, managing director
310-285-7508

Phil Butler
Phil Butler is a publisher, editor, author, and analyst who is a widely cited expert on subjects from digital and social media to travel technology. He's covered the spectrum of writing assignments for The Epoch Times, The Huffington Post, Travel Daily News, HospitalityNet, and many others worldwide.