Spending $23 million on a new home without even stepping foot inside of it sounds like quite a stretch, doesn't it? Not for this CEO. Last year, there was a bit of buzz when the CEO of Vice Media, Shane Smith, admitted to handing over such a large sum in exchange for a massive property located in Santa Monica, California. Smith told The Wall Street Journal that when his wife said she was convinced the SoCal sale was simply the perfect home, he paid up.
Constructed and finished in 1932, the home is certainly warrants such a steep price tag. Sitting on 3.3 acres of land, the home has a total of 12 bedrooms and a whopping 14,000 square feet of space. Extra amenities of the sizable property include multiple outdoor ponds, lush gardens, a master suite and a library with a hidden Prohibition-era bar. Oh, and in the backyard, there's a pool that is 72 feet long.
Better known to some as the Villa Ruchello, the $23 million pad has somewhat of a career of its own. Previously owned by movie director Henry Jaglom, the home has been featured prominently in several on-screen experiences, including Beverly Hills Cop and Entourage.
While the Smiths were lucky enough to score what would become their dream home, it didn't come without some minor problems. Because the residence had been neglected for the past 15 years (the couple who owned it had divorced and were in turn renting out the property), the plumbing, electrical, and roof had to be completely replaced. Fortunately, the updates did not deter the Smiths from making the Villa Ruchello their new home.
One of the many stunning characteristics of Villa Ruchello is the home's large, swooping staircase. Popular interior design decisions include large, spacious arched doorways, generous floor plans with unique Mediterranean-inspired accents and multiple entertaining and relaxing arrangements (both indoor and out).
Another stunning addition to the 1930s property is the home's master suite and chambers. While it is only but one of the 12 bedrooms on the property, it appears more like a separate wing than a bedroom chamber. Flanked by a carved marble fireplace – arguably the accent piece of the room – and a royal chandelier, the room also contains a sitting area and leads off into a private spa.
The Mediterranean-inspired home features as much beauty inside as it does outside. Besides the large, 72-foot pool, the grounds are lush with gardens, palm trees and a variety of unique ponds and bridges. In fact, the grounds even hold a sizable wishing well on the pathway up to the house. And what's a mansion worth millions without its own guesthouse?
Despite the endearing look the home originally brought with it, Smith's wife, Tamyka, reworked much of the interior of the property. Her restoration work included the additions of hand-blown glass chandeliers from Venice, antique Persian rugs, a geometric orb bar custom made by MJ Atelier and a variety of vintage Italian and French furnishings. Despite the hard work to make the home livable, the Smiths never hesitated to sell off the property and happily live there to this day.
Shane Smith is a Canadian-American journalist and entrepreneur who maintains a net worth of $400 million. In the mid-90s, he co-founded the magazine VICE, which now spans out to include an umbrella of media channels and outlets. While Smith has suggested that Vice Media may eventually go public – a move that could significantly bolster his net worth – no formal plans have been introduced to make the change.