HOMEPAGE: A Home to Dance In
Thursday, August 11, 2005
There are plenty of tantalizing elements to greet a visitor at the Del Rey Oaks home of Fernando Filipelli, and stepping inside provides the first. Behold a living room with a red brick fireplace, simple vertical mirrors on several walls, some large framed photos seemingly of red and orange swirls, and a minimalist white couch with a pair of flame-red throw pillows sitting against the far wall. What remains in the room is a perfect expanse of parquet floor that’s smooth, handsome and, well, bare.
A closer look at the photos shows the articulated backs of feminine dance partners wearing looks of concentration and red strappy dresses moving in an impressionistic blur to music one wishes could still be heard.
“Yes,” says Filipelli. “I love the tango and have been dancing and teaching in the tango community here for a number of years. When I am entertaining, we dance in the living room.”
Filipelli mentions that the living room floor was carpeted when he moved in and once it was removed, he found only a cement slab.
“I decided then that I would have a parquet floor, something I ended up only being able to get from the East Coast,” he says. It’s a wonderful floor on which to glide.
Although the tango is his passion, he also enjoys his career as a manager of planning and finance with HSBC Technology Services. There are perks.
“I go to London periodically on business,” Filipelli says, “Now I am being transferred there, and though I’ll be back and forth sometimes, I won’t need my house.”
Other magnetic elements beyond the living room are found everywhere, in details such as the doorknobs on the two hall closets. The grips are brushed aluminum set into a satin finish gold-tone. The effect of seeing understated beauty from an item generally invisible or ignored in other houses is a ping of pleasure.
What cannot possibly be ignored in Filipelli’s house is a spectacular family room. Contiguous with the open kitchen, the room has two windowed walls and oversized sliders on the third. The great light is to be expected, but the effect is mesmerizing. The sense of having been transported away somewhere by those windows brings more the feeling of a European auberge than a suburban house. The views of greenery in the backyard combined with the absolute privacy invite a type of relaxation and freedom that’s hard to find in any neighborhood.
Filipelli has lived in Del Rey Oaks since 2002, and worked to make the house his own from the start.
“I didn’t do all the remodel work myself, like in the kitchen (four-burner Wolf Gourmet, light oak cabinets and elegant utilities), where I had to hire a contractor,” he says. “But some friends came from Argentina and we all worked like crazy one whole summer on a lot of things. We put in all the side-sliding double pane windows and we tiled the big back patio, created the landscaping and the lawn, put in the hot tub, and of course being Argentinean, we had to build that huge brick barbecue. I even brought the grill from Argentina. Barbecue is that important there,” he laughs. “We of course have the famous Argentinean beef so everybody grills a lot of steaks.”
Filipelli’s house also has two master bedrooms, each with a full bath. Another large bedroom/bath is off the laundry room, all allowing for many guests.