Real Estate of the Rich and Famous

In “What’s a View Worth” we learn what happens when a billionaire moves in next door.

Several neighbors in Denver’s Grant Ranch subdivision say they were pleased when billionaire Dish Network DISH +0.38%Chairman Charlie Ergen bought a house on 35 acres adjacent to their homes with plans to preserve the property.

They didn’t anticipate what happened next: Crews working for Mr. Ergen began building a 6-foot-high, half-mile-long earthen berm around much of the property in November, planting mature evergreen trees atop it. The barrier, which ensures the privacy of the lone home on the parcel, also ended up blocking his neighbors’ view of open fields and nearby Bowles Lake.
And then there’s The $100,000 Closet.

When Rochelle Maize renovated her 6,110-square-foot Beverly Hills, Calif., home, it wasn’t a new kitchen or home theater at the top of her list of must-haves—it was a closet. 

She hired a designer to create a 400-square-foot master closet with a flat-screen television, a refrigerator for Champagne, white cabinetry with silver-leaf etchings and a large crystal chandelier. Total cost: $100,000. “I wanted to feel like I was walking into a very luxurious Beverly Hills boutique,” says the real-estate agent, who adds that the space, designed by Lisa Adams of L.A. Closet Design, was partly inspired by the Chanel store. “The first thing I do when I go home is go upstairs and be in that space.”

Once a secondary space designed primarily for storage, the humble closet is taking center stage. The latest in high-end master closets go well beyond the typical walk-in and are created to look more like plush lounges or designer stores. Clothing and handbags in glass display cases are lighted like sculptures; custom-designed couches are arranged near Baccarat crystal bars or dedicated breakfast areas.

Most homes and renovations don’t cost this much.  Questions about lifestyle issues?  Ask us.

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