Star of the WSL's broadcast team loses house featured in NY Times…
Three years ago, the New York Times made a visit to the Point Dume home of WSL commentator Strider Wasilewski and his family, which includes one wife and three sons.
It’s a gorgeous story of a Venice surf rat and his real estate agent wife creating a rich reality, a lifetime home for their precious family.
As a 14-year-old surfing prodigy, Strider Wasilewski used to hunt the crowded Southern California coast for quiet surf spots. One of his favorites was Little Dume Beach, near Point Dume in Malibu, a crescent of sand half-hidden in a cove at the bottom of steep bluffs.
“It was an untouchable area,” gated off and accessible only to local residents, Mr. Wasilewski said. But he heard about a family that kept their gate open. “They lived right by the trail,” he said. “I used to run through their yard. They would yell at me.”
Lily Harfouche, a real estate agent and occasional surfer who spent part of her childhood in Malibu, ran through the same yard with her teenage friends to get to the beach. “You go down there, and it’s you and a handful of people,” Ms. Harfouche said. “It’s so incredibly beautiful.”
These days, Mr. Wasilewski, 42, and Ms. Harfouche, 36, are married (they met at a reggae concert on the Santa Monica Pier) and live with their three young sons on Point Dume, in a simple open-plan house they call “the barn.”
The couple bought a place on a one-acre lot on Point Dume, took it down to the studs and created a dream home on the hillside — which turned out to be too big. “I remember texting Strider from the bedroom upstairs and asking if he wanted to watch a movie,” Ms. Harfouche said. “I thought, ‘This is nuts.’ ”
They often picnicked on a flat part of the property, and they began to envision a new house there. It would be small — around 1,300 square feet, plus a loft — and would reflect how they really lived as a family. The big house, which they still own, is now rented out.
The total budget was around $1.8 million, though that figure is a bit deceiving, because Malibu is a difficult, costly place to build. In reality, the house looks rustic and funky. The exterior was built using old barn boards, and the exposure to the ocean air has further weathered the wood and corroded the metal surfaces. “We just love that rusted, beat-down beach kind of energy,” said Mr. Wasilewski.
Little Dume Beach is a short walk from the house, through a quiet neighborhood of homes set back from the street and down a trail lush with vegetation. But Mr. Wasilewski and Ms. Harfouche no longer have to sneak through someone’s yard to get there, as they did when they were teenagers. Now they have a key to the beach gate.
Yesterday, California wildfires, driven by hot Santa Winds gusting up to a hundred and twenty clicks an hour, tore hell through the celebrity enclave of Malibu.
Kim Kardashian and Kanye West. Lady Gaga. Caitlyn Jenner. Robin Thicke.
All of ’em hitting panic buttons.
And Strider’s house?
The chicest of ’em all. The only one that wasn’t a temple to the depravity and excess of celebrity?
All safe etc.
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Thinking of our mates the Wasilewski Family over in Malibu. Yesterday they lost their beautiful home to the fire. So much hard work and love went into that place. Last year we were lucky enough to share some special times with them at The Barn that we’ll never forget. As amazing as this house was the real soul and life came from the people that live in it. Put the Wasilewski family in any place and it will instantly become magic! So thankful you’re all okay. We’re here for you guys. Lots of love to you and everyone else over there. ❤️ @stridersworld @lilyllh @coastkingsley @countrycove @cruisewest