Donald Robertson may not be a household name in the entertainment industry vein of, say, Beyoncé, Kim Kardashian or Pharrell Williams, but all three superstars are said to be big fans of the artist and veteran creative visionary who currently serves as the creative director for Estee Lauder Companies and is known in beau monde social media circles as “the Andy Warhol of Instagram” for his whimsical pop art inspired postings that have drawn in almost a quarter million followers (and counting).
Robertson, whose collaborated with a who’s who of fashion world icons, shoe designer Brian Atwood and French fashion editor Carine Roitfeld among them, launched the powerhouse MAC beauty brand and, while at Hearst Communications, redesigned the iconic publication “Cosmopolitan,” would now like to add house flipper — sort of — to his broad repertoire, listing his casually chic Santa Monica home at just under $4 million even though tax records indicate the imaginative polymath faces a loss on the property that was purchased only about one-and-a-half years ago for $4.1 million.
Desirably located just a handful of blocks from the beach and dubbed Hill House, the wood, stucco and glass home is a boxy assemblage of cubic volumes carefully arranged around a spacious, simply landscaped and hedge-privatized courtyard. With almost 3,900 square feet, the family-sized five-bedroom and five-and-a-half bath home was designed for an effortless indoor-outdoor lifestyle with a slew of snazzy features called out in listings held by Rochelle Maize at Nourmand & Associates that include a comprehensive lighting plan, automatic (and manual) window shades, an array of solar panels and a whole-house surround sound system.
Just inside the front door, a potential bedroom with en-suite bathroom is easily converted to a home office and an intimate sitting room doubles as an art gallery with clean white walls, high ceilings and a glass slider to the courtyard. At the heart of the residence, a comfortably cozy great room accommodates a lounge with minimalist fireplace, a dining area and a high-end kitchen that sports pale wood cabinets, delicately veined marble counters and the customary array of designer appliances. Two sets of glass sliders allow the airy space to flow out to the courtyard. The main floor is complete with a second en-suite guest bedroom, a laundry room and a two-car garage.
Two ample bedrooms that each have a private bath are joined on the second level by a petite den boldly wrapped in fruit-tree-patterned wallpaper, while the main bedroom, painted denim blue, comprises a walk-in closet, small balcony and custom-tiled bathroom. A commercial-style aluminum and glass door on the second-floor landing opens to an exterior staircase the climbs to a spacious if unattractively un-landscaped roof terrace that provides lovely wrap-around city, mountain and ocean views.
Robertson, a Toronto native who has five kids with decorator Kim Gieske, previously and briefly owned a home in the Brentwood area of Los Angeles that was sold in April 2017 for a tad over $6.8 million, a nice profit on the $6.16 million paid less than six months earlier. Tax records show his current holdings include a much less modern but no less artistically turned out home in California’s swanky seaside community of Montecito that was acquired in 2015 for close to $3 million. Online resources show the creatively revitalized 1920s Spanish villa has been both for sale and for rent on and off since early 2017. Hidden behind a high hedgerow and protected by gates on 1.3 acres shaded by ancient oaks, the picturesque estate was most recently for sale early in the year (2020) at almost $5 million and recently popped up for lease at nearly $23,000 per month.