At the corner of Walden Drive and Carmelita Avenue, the Spadena House, more affectionately known as the Witch House, is unlike anything else in Beverly Hills. The home is within walking distance of Beverly Hills staples such as the Waldorf Astoria, Neiman Marcus, Starbucks, and Los Angeles Country Club, but the exterior appears to be straight off the pages of a storybook.
With a tan exterior, brownish-gray wooden shutters, windows of all shapes and sizes, a sloped and sagging rooftop, and a front garden seemingly tended to by a practiced witch, the nickname of the residence is certainly earned.
What’s more, the inside of the home is every bit as quirky as the exterior. So snuggle up with a warm cup of tea, your best and coziest blanket, and let us tell you the charming story of the Witch House.
The History Of The Whimsical Home
The Witch House was built in the 1920s and served as a set and office for Willat Studios. The home was used for several silent films such as Hansel and Gretel.
“Back in the 1920s, Ward Lascelle, one of the producers who worked with the Willats, bought the structure because the studio was planning on demolishing it,” said real estate agent and now-owner Michael J. Libow in an interview with Los Angeles Magazine.
“He had owned [the] lot at the time, so he moved the house here to Beverly Hills and turned it into a functioning home. It was really small at the time. There was only the entry foyer, a bedroom, a bathroom, and a tiny kitchen,” Libow said. Libow bought the 3,500-square-foot property in 1998 and breathed new life into the home.
The home was clad with out-of-style decor such as red shag carpets and cottage cheese ceilings, so, naturally, Libow took it upon himself to keep the magic alive. The restored home as you see it today is rippled with fine wood throughout, sloped ceilings, at times seemingly haphazardly placed windows, a massive curved fireplace, mosaic tiles, and even a pool and jacuzzi.
The home remains true to the name with the wood accents, neutral colors, curved walls, and faux-dilapidated features, but it’s all paired with playful design choices like pops of color.
How To See The Witch
Unfortunately, the home is not open to the public for tours, but don’t let that stop you from a quick (and respectful!) look-see on a walk through the neighborhood. Many tour buses drive by the property, so you can catch a glimpse of the magic that way, too.
If you visit the exterior, make sure to appreciate the time, money, architecture, and landscaping that transformed the Witch House from an old film set to a splendid, lived-in residence. The magic is before you if you only look. Though not all of Beverly Hills looks like a storybook, here’s our ideal way to spend a day in Beverly Hills!