116 25th Street, Manhattan Beach
South Bay DIGS Magazine, March 13, 2015
Memories of a perfect Manhattan Beach abode
Written by Jenny Peters
Photography by Paul Jonason
“We really try not to think about selling this house, because we love it,” Laurel D’Antoni confides, chatting from the rooftop deck of her Manhattan Beach home. “Every day I come up to the top of the stairs and I see the surfers and I think, ‘What are we doing?’”
But D’Antoni and her famous husband, former head coach for the Los Angeles Lakers, Mike D’Antoni — who led the celebrated NBA squad from 2012 to 2014, after filling the same role for five seasons with the Phoenix Suns and four more with the New York Knicks — are moving on.
“We move around a lot, that’s just the life of people in the sports business,” Laurel says with a hint of sadness in her voice. “You get fired, traded, waived or whatever the deal is.” And so, she adds, the couple looks for properties “we know we are going to have a really great time with” but that will sell too.
And usually, she continues, “I don’t get attached, he doesn’t get attached.” But this time, in Manhattan Beach, things are different. “This is the lifestyle I was born for,” Laurel shares of sitting on her patio, watching pelicans dive into the water, the surfers and volleyball players. “I love it here.”
This is no surprise, however, as the 5,000-square-foot home on 25th Street is a real gem. One block off the Strand (but only 90 feet from the sand), and set on a 45-foot-wide corner lot with 60 feet of walk-street frontage, the four-story house boasts spectacular views, an airy, open-plan layout and the very thing that a high-profile couple needs — privacy.
“We had looked at different places right on the Strand; there were some beautiful properties there,” Laurel recalls. “But we wanted a tad more privacy, because on the Strand, people are looking right into your front window. That [is] why this [home] was really perfect for us. Because we feel like we have beachfront — the beach is right there — but without being quite so public.”
For the D’Antonis, it was love at first sight. Although in the process of bidding on another Manhattan Beach abode at the time, “We knew [this property] was the one when we walked in,” Laurel says. “We walked up the stairs, and I turned to my husband and said, ‘Okay, this is it.’ Because, as it turns out, sauntering up those stairs reveals a “magnificent” ocean view. “Once we saw it, we wrapped up the purchase in 24 hours!” she adds.
And no wonder. The house has 5 bedrooms and 4.5 baths, including a master bath with double sinks, a spa tub and steam shower. The master also boasts a fireplace and two walk-in closets. Also on the first floor with the master are three additional bedrooms, with a fifth bedroom on the ground floor, along with an office, two-car garage and a beach room, complete with an outdoor shower.
It’s the home’s second floor, however, that is so breathtakingly spectacular. Large windows with ocean views from the spacious living room open straight onto a comfortable south-facing balcony terrace, with the massive kitchen an entertainer’s dream. “It’s a good party house,” says D’Antoni reflecting on some really “wonderful” soirees celebrated there. “It’s an open-floor plan; the whole top floor is wide open, with a perfect flow for a party — and everything is a ‘view on the blue.’ I didn’t know what that meant, until we moved here.”
The possibilities for entertaining continue with a beautiful, temperature-controlled wine room. Located on the sub-basement level, it has the capacity to store 2000 bottles and features a lovely area to sit and sip. But as Laurel tells it, most of the couple’s wine drinking occurs while the sun sets. “We love to have wine on the terrace as the sun is setting, watch all the colors that fill up the sky, then take a walk and have
dinner at one of the fabulous restaurants in the neighborhood,” she elaborates.
There are rumors in the press that Mike D’Antoni may end up coaching the Denver Nuggets, but this spring the couple plans to reside in West Virginia along with most of the D’Antoni clan. But Laurel will not leave Manhattan Beach behind without regrets.
“I will be sad when we leave this house,” she confesses. “It’s just been a great house to live in. I will miss the sunsets!”