David Gebbia of “The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills” has a provocative, subterranean secret in his estate that caused a ruckus with his children’s school.
The burlesque room, designed with the business mogul’s former wife and “Real Housewives” alum Carlton, was originally upstairs next to the bar but relocated after teachers and parents caught sight of the stripper pole during a school event held at the Beverly Hills home.
“I got a lot of sideways glances from the administrators when I said, ‘Doesn’t everybody have a pole in a bar room?’” Gebbia said. “It kind of goes hand-in-hand.”
Not everyone was offended, however.
“I don't know what it is, but inevitably when a lot of the mothers started drinking, they would end up on the pole,” he said.
Now downstairs, the new, more inconspicuous space features red walls juxtaposed by cream couches and geometric coffee tables. A crystal beaded curtain adorns the wall behind the wood stage and its enduring centerpiece, the pole.
Why is this your favorite room?
I have three children with my ex-wife, and it was kind of the escape room. After a long week we'd come down here and have a few cocktails; maybe some friends would be here, and inevitably someone would end up on the pole. And it was always pretty good.
What was the aesthetic inspiration for the space?
We were a product of the 1990s, so we would go to Forty Deuce a lot. They would have a very small, three-piece band and two or three dancers a night. Very intimate and exclusive. That inspired us to do a burlesque room. Keep it sexy but elegant and a lot of fun.
What specific design elements did you try and mirror?
The glass, the red, the beaded curtain and the ornate sconces. Those are antique; I think we got them from a ’20s house.
These textured walls are very unique.
It's called Venetian plaster. It took probably a couple weeks to do the whole room. It's a process you don't hire a normal painter for. It's an art form.
Tell me about the stage design.
We wanted the stage have the right kind of hardwood dance floor. And obviously you can't go wrong with a pole. It’s like any pole you'll see in the higher-end gentlemen's clubs. It's completely authentic.
Funniest story in here?
Once one of the very reserved mothers came by when we were at the bar. We started talking, and it wasn’t very long before we said we had a pole downstairs. She ended up on the pole, and there were moves I had never seen, so clearly she had a lot of experience, and I don't think it's the type you learn in pole-dancing class.
Have you ever taken to the pole yourself?