House Tour: Modern Flair with a Soft Touch, Part I

As one would expect, the house of Baroness Monica von Neumann is luxurious, classy and beautiful. However, for Monica, it is the simple touches that make her home warm and welcoming—the smell of a home-cooked meal, the ambiance of a lit candle, the vibrant colors of an orchid. Through a blend of contemporary and classic, elegant and simple, Monica’s home is a true reflection of her aristocratic yet down-to-earth nature.

Romantic Modern Living Room
Monica takes a modern style and add comfort with touches of romance, such as fresh flowers, and warmth, such as area rugs.

Despite her noble title and celebrity status, Monica comes from humble beginnings. Born in Detroit, Michigan, and raised in Los Angeles, California, Monica worked as a model and dancer before she met and married John von Neumann, an Austrian baron, in 1984.

After they married, Monica was introduced into one of the most elite circles of society, enabling her to travel extensively in Europe and Asia, and live in glamorous locations from Geneva, Switzerland, to Cannes, France, to her previous home in Bel Air, California, where she lived with her husband and daughter. However, after losing her husband to brain cancer in 2003, Monica decided she needed a change of scenery and moved into her new Hollywood home.

Contemporary angles are softened by accessories
Contemporary angles are softened by accessories, such as lit candles, exotic plants and oversized pillows.

“Before this, my home was pretty traditional: early American[-style], hardwood floors, crown molding, beautiful tapestries,” she recalls. “I’d had that home for 15 years and I wanted a change. This house is younger, hipper. It was time for me to have kind of a chick pad. I wanted a nice, romantic place for a single woman, that’s inviting and warm.”

Fresh flowers and a candle
Fresh flowers and a candle from Monica’s candle line create romantic scents.

Located in the hills of West Hollywood, California, Monica’s new home is far from traditional, which offered her a refreshing change from her previous abode. Modern in design, the home boasts unique features, from contemporary woodwork to a bathtub in the center of the master bedroom to a comfy Zen bed in the corner of the kitchen. However, despite the home’s modern and whimsical features, Monica has transformed it into a cozy and romantic sanctuary through her decorating expertise.

Check out part II of this House Tour, where we explore Monica’s kitchen and beautiful master bedroom.

By Justine Lopez

Photography by Bret Gum

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