On Malibu’s Point Dume, tableware designer Zoë de Givenchy has created the ultimate family funhouse, a stylish mélange of French antiques and suspended surfboards — with a bocce court and a Ford Bronco to boot
Photography by ROGER DAVIES
Words by KELSEY McKINNON
Zoë de Givenchy outside her home in Malibu with her children, Inès, 7, and Louis, 11, where weekends are spent horseback riding, surfing, and recharging from city life. De Givenchy gave her husband, Olivier, the vintage Ford Bronco for Christmas.
Every few months, Zoë de Givenchy and her husband, Olivier, along with their youngest children (Louis, 11, and Ines, 7), travel to their French country house. The stately 16th-century château, called Le Jonchet, previously belonged to Olivier’s late uncle and famed couturier Hubert de Givenchy and his longtime partner, Philippe Venet. Even though the estate has a moat filled with water from the Loire River and a rose garden designed by the late Bunny Mellon, the manoir in many ways reminds de Givenchy of their new weekend retreat, which, at the end of a quiet cul-de-sac in Malibu’s tony Point Dume, seems worlds away. “It’s very much the same feeling as Jonchet, actually,” she says. “Just the activities are different.” There’s also one major benefit: “I can be here in under an hour.” (Home base is Beverly Hills.)
On her bluestone terrace in Malibu, on one of the last days of summer, de Givenchy sits for lunch served on blue-and-white floral plates that she designed for her homeware line ZdG, which is made by the same French atelier that created much of the faïence at Le Jonchet. Here weekends ease into a rhythm of surfing (the house came with a coveted key to Little Dume Beach), tennis lessons, farmers’ markets, gardening, and, yes, animal tracking. Heading down a garden path past the cottage-like pool house and the bocce and tennis courts, she points to owl boxes and a trail camera that captures footage of the resident bobcat and her pups. “It’s all very Nat Geo,” she says, smiling.
Unlike Jonchet, the shingled cedarwood manse is a study in American traditionalism. “We’re in America. I love a home that feels true to where it is,” she explains. “There’s a lot of blue denim and a California flag hanging out front. I even bought Olivier a Ford Bronco for Christmas.”
“There’s a lot of blue denim and a California flag. I love a home that feels true to where it is”
ZOË DE GIVENCHY
The casual entryway features an antique wicker console bought in London, vintage cane chairs from Olivier’s grandmother, and a pair of vintage longboards from Surfing Cowboys.
After renting in the area during the pandemic, de Givenchy’s main concern when they acquired the property nearly two years ago was reorienting the style of the house from its East Coast sensibility to the West Coast. To that end, dark shingles were sanded down and stained a lighter caramel hue that echoes the promontory’s sandstone bluffs, floors were stripped, and large formal buffets in the dining room were replaced with delicate bamboo étagères.
Outside, traditional hydrangea and roses were uprooted in favor of a naturalistic garden of Westringia, salvia, creeping rosemary, and grasses that nod in the afternoon breeze and gracefully decay each season. The best architectural elements of the home remained in place, however, including deep coffered ceilings, shiplap, nautical porthole windows, and a gracious curved staircase.
Although on the surface it may seem like a low-key beach house, the couple’s sophisticated pedigree as worldly scions of one of the most famous fashion dynasties — and the impeccable taste that comes with — is evident. Zoë was raised in Melbourne and was a PR executive in London when she met Olivier, who grew up in France and moved to New York for college (his late father served as director of the family’s fragrance and cosmetics empire). The couple toyed with the idea of marrying at Versailles, but instead chose to tie the knot in 2011 in the Bahamas, where they have another vacation home and enjoy reuniting with their friends from London (their son was a page boy at Princess Eugenie’s wedding). In 2014, when Olivier was asked to lead J.P. Morgan Private Bank in the West Region, they hopped the pond and landed in Beverly Hills. Today, his eldest son Nicolas a USC graduate works at CAA and his daughter Gabriella lives in Dubai.
“The only thing we quarrel over is who takes credit for who saw it first”
ZOË DE GIVENCHY
Deep coffered ceilings and shiplap in the dining room are complemented by a rustic farm table from Mecox in Napa Valley, bamboo étagères from Chairish, and a 1980s poster from The Whitney Museum of American Art.
The Malibu home is an informal yet stylish mélange of furnishings and art from their former flat in London’s Onslow Square, plus a bevy of French and American antiques from Olivier’s mother and grandmother. There are newfound pieces from sourcing trips (aka vacations) to the South of France and Paris alongside discoveries from local outfits like Surfing Cowboys and Timothy Oulton’s Noble Souls. “The truth is, Olivier and I have very similar tastes and at worst we have very complementary tastes,” says de Givenchy. “The only thing we quarrel over is who takes credit for who saw it first.”
Perhaps most intriguing are the pieces they’ve created themselves. Umber-hued serving platters from de Givenchy’s latest tableware collection take pride of place on the dining table. In her office is a collage of a hunting dog by Uncle Hubert, and in the foyer, a signed and dated seafoam-colored abstract collage by Olivier. “It’s not perfect, but it’s beautiful to me,” she says.
A decade after moving to L.A., the family seems to have finally hit their stride. Weekends culminate with one of Olivier’s famous roasts set on a table, as Zoë arranges fresh flowers from Flamingo Estate before they leave recharged and ready for life back in the city. “I don’t know how I survived in town for so long,” she says. “I do need a bit of both [the city and the country], but perhaps the balance could be weighted more heavily in this direction.”
“Green is my favorite color,” says de Givenchy of the breakfast room that is aptly painted Farrow & Ball’s Breakfast Room Green. An Eero Saarinen table from DWR is surrounded by vintage Thonet chairs from Chairish topped with cushions covered in the Casa Lopez’s fabric Coup de Chance.
The drawing room features a Timothy Oulton denim sofa and shearling puffs. The coffee table is from Malibu Design Center and the bamboo and wicker armchairs are from Casa Gusto in Palm Beach.
A charming nautical-inspired guest bunk room in the pool house.
A poolside view.
Overlooking the canyon beyond the tennis court in the backyard, an old millstone from Inner Gardens is the perfect perch for lunch. The table is set with ZdG’s Camaieu Chocolat plateware paired with ZdG’s hand-turned Romilly cutlery along with an antique French pitcher from Chairish filled with flowers from Thorne Family Farm.
De Givenchy (wearing a Lisa Marie Fernandez caftan) relaxes on a hanging bench in front of the pool house under a pergola covered in passion fruit vines.
TAYLOR FRITZ wears FENDI jacket, GUCCI sweater, DRIES VAN NOTEN pants, CARTIER necklace and bracelet, ROLEX watch. MORGAN RIDDLE wears LOUIS VUITTON and vintage jewelry.
Feature image: A view of the house from the naturalistic backyard with native grasses and drought-tolerant plants. Zoë and her daughter also have garden beds where they grow their own vegetables and cutting flowers.
This story originally appeared in the Fashionable Living 2023 issue of C Magazine.
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