Got to hang some artwork and mirrors at a cool house in Bel Air a couple days ago. I didn't take any photos because I didn't feel it would have been appropriate. (I always ask permission first.) Anyway, this was easily the biggest house I've been in, and the scale of things was mind boggling.
Bel Air is west of Beverly Hills. It was (and still is) the neighborhood where a lot of "old money" families live.
According to the owner, the house was built in 1927, and it was one of the first homes in Bel Air. I got the impression it had been in her family for some time, but I don't know how they came upon their wealth. (The lady of the house was real nice and down to earth, though. She even had one of the housekeepers heat up a frozen pizza for us to eat for lunch.) The house is a Spanish Colonial style home, with 15,000 sf on what I'm guessing is about an acre of land on a moderate hillside. (The backyard had 7 or 8 different terraced levels, best I could tell.) The covered carport (behind an automatic gate) would easily hold a dozen cars. I lost count of the living rooms, but I can recall at least 8 of them. The master suite alone is bigger than my house. The his and hers walk-in closets in the master suite are bigger than our bedrooms, as are the his and hers master baths. The master suite has a sitting area that includes a full wet bar, reflecting the old days when the owner of the house might be having his own private party downstairs while the big soiree is going on upstairs. The lower level is primarily living spaces (I dunno, probably half a dozen bedrooms along with the master suite) and the upper level(s) are geared mostly for entertaining, with a couple of grand dining rooms and parlors, as well as five or six living rooms or dens. There are also two or three guest bedrooms upstairs, and library/office space too. The kitchen has a bank of four ovens, although you can tell it's been a while since the kitchen was updated...the clocks on the ovens are the old-school "digital" analog clocks with the flip-over numerals. Of course there is the main staircase as well as the servant's stairs, and various passageways to get from one part of the house to another quickly.
The house itself is beautifully crafted, with a lot of the original details still intact. Wrought iron work, hand-painted murals on walls, padded upholstered walls in some of the bedrooms, and lots of curves and arches in the lath and plaster work throughout. And unlike a lot of the fancy homes we work in, this one felt and looked lived in. The owners have kids, so there were more toys than sculptures, and we didn't have to wear clean room booties on our shoes before walking on the hardwood floors. (Which happens at some houses.) The owner did say keeping the place maintained is a lot of work, although she's got two housekeepers and a nanny helping out. (One of the kids has special needs, so the nanny is primarily there to help care for her.)
Best I can do for a photo is this screen shot from Google Maps...it gives a hint at how sprawling the place was. I got lost more than once just going from room to room.