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Where sophistication meets big city dreams.
Join us as we roll out the pink carpet and explore the exquisite living arrangements that Barbara "Barbie" Segal once called home.
Step inside the glamorous world of the real Barbie Penthouse, where sophistication meets big city dreams. Don't confuse this home with the Malibu Beach House nor the Barbie Dream House – this is a whole new level of chic. You won't find the usual Barbiecore Pink associated with the brand in this house! The stunning "Barbie Penthouse" holds a remarkable history, having been previously owned by the Handler family, the toymakers who created the iconic Mattel Toys.
The penthouse was sold and completely renovated and decorated for the modern family while maintaining a style true to its heritage. Nicole Sassaman, an influential figure in the design, real estate, and entertainment industries, acquired this property from Barbara "Barbie" Segal herself and completed the gut renovation. "I tore everything out: windows, ceilings." said Nicole. "It was like building a new house. I call it the Barbie Penthouse because of the history."
THE CHIC WORLD OF BARBIE
"From the beginning I knew I would do a book," said Nicole, who self-published a coffee table book titled Barbie Penthouse. "The book is not just a design book, it’s inspirational and a tutorial. I show the before and after and explain to you what I did room by room. I like to inspire design and teach. I like to share that with people."
Ok Barbie, let's go party!
Vintage Barbie and Ken doll image courtesy of homeowner Nicole Sassaman. Right, sprawling view from the 28th floor penthouse.
BARBIE PENTHOUSE MAKEOVER WITH PJ WALLCOVERING
Nicole Sassaman acquired this property from none other than Barbara "Barbie" Segal herself, the very inspiration behind the beloved Barbie doll, which adds to its allure.
Nicole told Forbes Magazine in an article that was published when the penthouse was listed for sale for 10 Million in 2021, “Technically, I bought the home from the real Barbie, Barbara [Handler Segal],” Sassaman says of the penthouse. “Ruth and Elliot passed away. Her brother, Kenneth, was deceased as well. So everything was left to Barbara. But don’t call her ‘Barbie.’ If you call her ‘Barbie,’ she will correct you and say, ‘It’s Barbara.’ She is a lovely woman. But few people know that Ken and Barbie were the inspiration behind the iconic dolls,” she says. Barbie was introduced at the annual New York toy fair in March 1959. Ken was added in 1961."
GET THE LOOK: SHOP THE BARBIE PENTHOUSE
When you rebuild a home, a lot of attention goes into the walls, millwork, and structure of a home. Given the history of this penthouse, Nicole took extra care in creating a complete lifestyle based on the Barbie story. Layers of wallcovering helped warm up the space and provided the perfect backdrop for Nicole's artistic design plan.
"I used wallpaper to protect the walls." said Nicole. " I don’t happen to be a big fan of paint on drywall. Yes, it has its place, but here I like a more finished look. It’s a subtle house. I haven’t used pattern - it’s more textural."
SHOP THE BARBIE PENTHOUSE BEDROOM: PHILLIP JEFFRIES VINYL SNAKESKIN
The master bedroom is truly a sanctuary, featuring a luxurious bathroom adorned with elegant fixtures, a spacious walk-in closet for the most discerning fashion enthusiast, a private office for those seeking a quiet space to work, and a delightful private terrace, offering a serene retreat to unwind and take in the surrounding beauty. The large master bedroom features a textural chagrin in Type II Performance Vinyl.
The edgy look and feel of authentic snakeskin leather, now available in performance vinyl wallcoverings. Shop Vinyl Snakeskin
SHOP THE BARBIE PENTHOUSE LIVING ROOM: PHILLIP JEFFRIES DRIFTWOOD
A textured seamless wallcovering provides the perfect backdrop to these spectacular views. The soft, dimensional colors help create a cool sophisticated vibe perfect for an open plan living and dining space. Nicole often entertains in this main living space.
"I choose a pretty paper weave for the living room wall," said Nicole, "It’s a greyish taupe, with a dark grey, blue thread."
Inspired by coastal treasures washed ashore, this Japanese paper weave wallcovering features a soft, textured style with incredible dimension and a virtually seamless effect. Shop Driftwood
SHOP THE BARBIE PENTHOUSE BATHROOMS: SUEDE LOUNGE
What could be more luxurious than suede wallcovering in a bathroom? We love the melange of textures throughout this spa-like space. A neutral color in a rich texture works well in several spaces.
"I chose a taupe-y grey suede, it’s in the guest bathroom and the toilet closet in the master," said Nicole.
And although the collection Nicole chose, Japanese Imperial Suede 3464, is now discontinued, we offer plenty of suede wallcoverings in the Suede Lounge Collection. Our textile is meticulously laminated, treated with a stain repellent finish, and offered in a wide width.
WHERE IS THE BARBIE PENTHOUSE?
California, of course! Just to the west of Beverly Hills in the prestigious neighborhood of Century City, toymakers Ruth and Elliot Handler lived in a penthouse with their children Barbara and Kenneth. Situated in a bustling downtown area, this condominium soars above the skyline and boasts an expansive view from the 28th floor penthouse. The residence offers a grand balcony spanning 350 square feet, perfect for enjoying panoramic views of the vibrant cityscape.
The interior is just as impressive. Spanning 3,300 square feet, the condo's lavish layout features three bedrooms and three and a half bathrooms. Its impeccable design includes a loft office complete with a queen-sized bed, providing a versatile space for work or relaxation.
MORE ABOUT NICOLE
Nicole Sassaman, an influential figure in the design, real estate, and entertainment industries, has been featured on HGTV, Fine Living, and the Style Network, dishing her favorite ‘Sassy’ tips and tricks for design ideas at every budget. She is known for her design philosophy that anything is possible and sees every wall as a door. Nicole is a true “Jill-of-all-trades” and is a skilled welder and builder fully equipped with her Gucci tool belt. She has designed and sold more than 100 residences in Los Angeles including luxurious high-rise buildings in Century City and high-end homes in the Hollywood Hills, Beverly Hills and Malibu, including the Greta Garbo. Nicole is widely recognized for her exceptional talent as a real estate investor, innovative designer, and captivating television host. Known for her previous works, such as "Design Life" and "100 Sassy Tips," Nicole has garnered immense critical acclaim and admiration from professionals in the industry as well as design enthusiasts.
A lover of homes with Hollywood history, Nicole was excited about taking on the Barbie property.
"I had also designed the Greta Garbo estate," said Nicole, "And the client who purchased it bought it because of the history. I thought to myself, 'If I ever do another iconic property, I’ll take pictures and honor it the whole way.'"
WHAT'S NEXT FOR CITY-CHIC BARBIE?
Be on the look out for a follow-up design book Barbie Penthouse in the near future because... "I continue to put more wallpaper in this house!"
All Barbie Penthouse Photos by Thomas Hencz, Sassaman headshot by Stephen Shadrach
Now in its fourth decade, Phillip Jeffries has emerged as the industry leader in natural, textured and specialty wallcoverings. A manufacturer and importer of unique and fine quality textured wallcoverings, the company was founded in 1976 with just 10 grasscloths. From the humble beginnings of the family garage, Phillip Jeffries now stocks more than 1,000 ready-to-ship wallcoverings in their 60,000+ square foot headquarters. Working hand-in-hand with skilled artisans, Phillip Jeffries creates the design world's most beautiful and sought-after wallcoverings. For more information, visitPHILLIPJEFFRIES.com