Oct 13, 2015

Designer Library: "Barbie Penthouse" By Nicole Sassaman

Ever wanted to live in your own Barbie dream house? Nicole Sassaman sure did. In fact, she spent many hours fantasizing about it as a child. 


From her humble beginnings in Shreveport, Louisiana to making her most lavish dreams come true, Sassaman felt a strong connection to this project. She purchased this penthouse in 2012 directly from Barbara "Barbie" Segal who inherited it from her parents and Mattel toy founders (not to mention the Barbie doll creators) Ruth and Elliot Handler.

Contemporary kitchen with a $58,000 custom-made La Cornue stove, modern ceiling light fixtures, and a view overlooking Los Angeles. Photographer: Zach Lipp


Details of the neutral tones and finishes in the kitchen. Photographer: Thomas Hencz

After a $3.5M renovation, Sassaman transformed the 3-bedroom, 3-bath, 3,000 square foot condo into nothing short of Barbie's grown up dream palace, but not before creating a beautiful book documenting every bit of the project.

The open floor plan living space pays homage to Barbie while remaining sophisticated and clean. A contemporary ceiling lighting solution and natural stone lit fireplace complements the design. Photographer: Zach Lipp

The formal dining area relies on the pop of color from the contemporary art. It's the neutral palette carried throughout the condo that provides the backdrop for these moments of unexpected satire and whimsical art. Photographer: Grey Crawford



Chic selections of Holly Hunt furniture among the natural stones, mirror, and glass with leathers and soft textures all play a part in setting this tone and allowing for the spectacular views throughout. Photographer: Zach Lipp


In the master bedroom, Holly Hunt furniture and modern lighting fixtures are bridging the gap between the feminine Barbie influence while providing more masculine linear details as a balance. Photographer: Grey Crawford


In her daughter's bedroom, the Barbie art and mobile are every little girl's fantasy. Photographer: Grey Crawford


In the guest bedroom, the same neutral palette has been carried through but accented by some stronger coral tones as seen in the art above. Photographer: Thomas Hencz


While in the bathroom, the Trove wall covering intermingles in perfect harmony with the textured backdrop and wooden sink, creating an inviting space with both design and function. Photographer: Grey Crawford


A life-sized Barbie mannequin greets visitors to the condo (which Sassaman dresses in different outfits according to the season and occasion). Photographers: Zach Lipp (left), Grey Crawford (right)


The wine cellar is a stand-alone glass floor-to-ceiling box off the living room. Photographers: Grey Crawford (left), Thomas Hencz (right)

Detail of one of the many Barbies seen throughout the penthouse. Photographers: Zach Lipp (left), Thomas Hencz (right)
Today, Nicole continues to transform homes (as she has since the '90s) that she purchases throughout Los Angeles. She has been featured on HGTV and the Style Network as well as sharing tips online and through other published books. Pick up a copy of "Barbie Penthouse" here
 "Barbie Penthouse" By Nicole Sassaman
Originally posted: California Home + Design 01/28/15


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