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See the Amazing Before-and-Afters in This Stunning Bel Air Home Makeover

Artist and Girl w/ Knife founder Elicia Castaldi is at it again, this time transforming a cluttered, dilapidated LA mansion into a modern showpiece that reflects her bold, sexy and unapologetically feminine brand.

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Photo: Christina Gandolfo

Designer Elicia Castaldi's Second Renovation Project: Welcome to Knife/House Bel Air

You may recall reading about Elicia Castaldi's sexy Palm Springs renovation in 2021. The artist and Girl w/ Knife founder is at it again, this time with a more traditional take on a grand Bel Air home in Los Angeles. In keeping with her brand, however, Elicia repeated her signature white, black, gold and blush palette in the second Knife/House location, a live/work space that's also used to showcase her art and home goods as well as entertain clients and friends.

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Photo: Davidé

Before: A Grand Bel Air Estate Way Past Its Prime

Elicia wanted to find an LA home that possessed the same grandeur as the Palm Springs abode she made over. It took a good deal of vision to see past this home's dilapidated state, but hints of its former glory remained.

The renovation was supposed to take six months, but between pandemic-related shortages and delays, the project took two years to transform 4,500 square feet into six bedrooms and six baths. Elicia and her husband, David, spent the extra time in their Palm Springs home while overseeing the massive renovation.

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Photo: REWS Media

After: A Beautifully Renovated Estate Ready for Its Close-Up

Elicia brought the house into 2022 from the 1950s by freshening up the exterior with white paint and replacing the cypress trees framing the oversized front door. She stuck with cypress as she liked the symmetry and dramatic height the trees provided. Elicia also kept the original door handles and statement-making entry light, because timeless pieces are worth repurposing.

Although you can't tell from the image, Elicia also planted jasmine in front because she loves the smell. "That's the first thing that hits you," she observes.

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Photo: Kris Magenheim

Hold Onto Timeless Features When Doing a Renovation

While Elicia gut-renovated most of the house, she chose to keep a few key pieces from the original, including the staircase railing and gold lamp in the foyer. Both play nicely off of the Sending Good Vibes print from the Girl w/ Knife stationery line.

Compared to the midcentury Palm Springs space, Elicia says that this house is more reflective of her core design style, which skews modern and French with an industrial twist. But both houses "know something about one another at the same time," she says.

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