LA TIMES: LIVING FOR ART : Homeira and Arnold Goldstein's Manhattan Beach Home

Self-described “artaholic” Homeira Goldstein and her husband, Shorewood Realtors founder Arnold Goldstein, built their Art Deco-inspired Manhattan Beach home as a place to entertain and showcase their art. (PHOTO by Ken Hively / Los Angeles Times)

Barbara Thornburg | 11 April 2009

The two-story, nearly 10,000-square-foot residence clad in French limestone sits on a hilltop in Manhattan Beach just blocks from the ocean. Resembling an art institution, it stands out in the suburban neighborhood of colorful beach houses.

"First-time guests often call us and say, 'We can't find your home -- there's just this building on the corner,' " owner Homeira Goldstein says with a laugh. "It's definitely not a conventional house. We wanted it to be different -- unique."

Fifteen years ago, she and husband Arnold Goldstein, founder and president of Shorewood Realtors, built the Art Deco-inspired home as a place to entertain and showcase their budding art collection. Today, towering date and Washingtonia palms punctuate the property, throwing dancing shadows onto the smooth white walls and making it look like a kinetic art piece.

Inside, artwork is everywhere: overhead and underfoot, hung on walls, set on tables, in bathrooms and walk-in closets, atop banisters and kitchen counters. The 300-piece collection, which focuses on avant-garde California artists, has grown so large that the couple had to rent storage space.

"I've run out of room," Homeira says.

It's no wonder, considering the size of some of the artwork. Take Lynn Aldrich's sculpture, a single-engine airplane wing covered with feathers that hangs from the second-floor ceiling over the main floor below. Another piece, a cone-shape glass sculpture suspended in the dining room, weighs 700 pounds. Her son's childhood toys, transformed by Simon Ouwerkerk into a rambling sculpture, occupies a good portion of the living room ceiling.

The home's steel-beam construction accommodates the hanging of heavy artwork, and double-pane, steel-mullioned Hope's windows hung with museum shades block out harmful ultraviolet rays. More than 360 recessed ceiling and wall lights illuminate the art.

The Goldsteins are so into their art environment they gave up couches in the living room. Instead of sofas, four powder-coated aluminum chairs of Homeira's design sit in the center of the room.

"They take up less space," she says. "Anyway, when guests are in our house, they rarely sit down. They're too busy walking around looking at the art."

Or talking and looking at Homeira, who is just as colorful. A patroness of the arts, she sits on a dozen boards, serving as board chairwoman of the Los Angeles-based Fellows of Contemporary Art, vice chair of the Modern and Contemporary Art Council of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and board of governors member at Otis College of Art and Design in L.A.

Oh, and her grandmother was a princess. Homeira is related to the Qajar royal family, the dynasty that ruled Iran until 1925.

When she's not curating shows, fundraising or arranging soirees, she's running Arte Ave, a production company that is developing the art-related TV show "Get Creative With Homeira G." Her mission: "helping people be creative in their daily life," she says.

So what does this woman of the arts do in her spare time?

"I'm an artaholic," says Goldstein, who likes to dress in couture outfits that she has redesigned. "As a woman, I love jewelry and clothes, but for me the first thing I buy before anything else is art. Not that I don't love jewelry . . . "