New house is straight out of the Old World


This 2-year-old house inspired by the historic homes of Belgium feels as if it could be sitting in the countryside rather than in a Santa Monica neighborhood just blocks from the boutiques on Montana Avenue.

The house, completed in 2008, is constructed with 17th century limestone floors, Belgian bluestone details, elaborate ironwork and refitted antique doors. The living room, which features a fireplace with a floor-to-ceiling stone face, has twin sets of iron doors that open to a cobblestone courtyard and fountain.

“First, I built the fireplace, then I built the house,” says owner Noelle Chabasseur, a retired businesswoman who was born on the border of Belgium and France and worked with architect Denise Castro-Bran on the dwelling. “I was raised in a solid stone house and wanted something sturdy that looked like it was built 200 years ago and would last another 200 years.”


An entryway leads to the living room, a full bathroom, a butler’s pantry and a kitchen with bluestone counters and a center island. The kitchen has access to the courtyard, which is landscaped and has a gardener’s sink.

Behind the living room is a guest apartment with a separate entrance that includes a bedroom, a bathroom and a kitchen. The apartment flooring is pine, and a washer and dryer are tucked into a laundry nook off the kitchen.

An elegant stone staircase in the center of the house leads upstairs to the master suite, which consists of a bedroom, a fireplace, a sitting room, a walk-in closet and bathroom.

On the opposite wing of the house is a guest suite with bedroom, a sitting room that could be used as another bedroom, closets, and a bathroom with a shower.

Stone flooring throughout the house is radiant heated.

A studio-office with a half-bath is next to a two-car garage in the rear of the house. Beside the garage is a carport with two-car tandem parking.

To submit a candidate for Home of the Week, send high-resolution photos on a CD, caption information, photographer’s name and a description of the house to Lauren Beale, Business, Los Angeles Times, 202 W. 1st St., Los Angeles, CA 90012. Questions may be sent to