Two years ago, Million Dollar Listing: Los Angeles stars Josh Altman and Heather Bilyeu Altman were living in the Hollywood Hills. They had just welcomed their daughter, Alexis, and were making plans for baby number two.
“We loved the sexy lifestyle of the Hollywood Hills, but as life progressed, we realized we wanted to be in a neighborhood where we could push a stroller around,” Heather tells PEOPLE exclusively. So they began looking for a new home for their growing family in Beverly Hills.
“It’s a very competitive market, and we kept walking into houses that weren’t quite right,” the mom-of-two explains. But then she and Josh, a power broker on the Bravo series, had an “a-ha moment,” and turned to one of his own listings: a 1930s traditional 6-bedroom, 7-bathroom home that had been sitting on the market for months.
“It was a little bit of a challenge because it was dark and heavy, and we were looking for more of an East Coast, Hamptons-style house,” Josh says. But the couple were in love with the structure of the property, which boasts a 6,000-square-foot main house, a guest house, a 1,000-square-foot covered red brick terrace, along with a cabana, pool and spa.
They realized that with a little bit of renovation, they could turn it into the home their dream home, so they went to their client and presented an offer.
“You think there are some awkward moments on Million Dollar Listing, try negotiating with your own client,” Josh says with a laugh.
Eventually the Bravo stars were able to come to an agreement with the seller, and immediately after purchasing it, began remodeling the dated property to be light and airy. Although Josh is an expert in real estate, he says home design is less of his forte, so he let Heather take over when it came to the design process.
“Josh finally got it right this time and said: ‘Whatever my wife wants to do, do it,’” Heather teases. “That made the process super easy, and I think it turned out for the best. Now we have results we are both super happy with.”
“You know what they say, ‘Happy wife, happy life,’” Josh adds. “I told her to do what she wants because truthfully, she has way better taste than I do.”
The pair partnered with Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams home furnishing brand to help decorate and design the the interior of their new home. Of course, Heather still wanted the house to feel like it suited both their tastes, so she brought in some elements to show off Josh’s “flashy” side, like gold rust accents and brass fixtures, balanced by her choices of art deco pieces and jewel tones throughout the house.
“We wanted to give our house a little bit of personality — a little bit of flavor and soul — while also making it a home for the kids,” Heather says.
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“We’re a big foodie family,” Josh says. “We love to eat, cook and entertain, so the kitchen is really my favorite part of the house.”
“It’s definitely the hub, and it’s comfortable for all of us,” Heather adds.
But the kitchen wasn’t the only focal point of their renovation. They tore down doors that once separated the inside from the outdoor space, and created an open-flow with accordion sliders, designed to be an extension of the kitchen with a 12-person dining table for al fresco meals.
“We made it very home-y, adding indoor couches so it’s very comfortable, and we spend a lot of time there enjoying the year-round beautiful weather of California,” Heather says.
If you walk into the Altman’s house and don’t see them on the patio or in the kitchen, though, Heather says you might find them in a surprising spot: their now-two-year-old daughter Lexi’s room. The playful junior master suite features a small sofa, a built-in vanity and a twin bed.
“My daughter has a really incredible bedroom,” Heather says. “We end up spending a lot of time in there, whether we’re curled up on the couch watching a movie or singing and dancing. She is a very lucky two year old.”
Upstairs, the Altmans have a more sophisticated space to call their own: a “soulful, sexy and bright” master suite with hues of navy, gray and white. During the renovation, they expanded the bathroom, added a herringbone tile floor, and created his and hers closets.
“For me, the master was a priority,” Heather says. “I wanted to create a space that was peaceful, calm and comfortable, but also beautiful and elegant — not too masculine, not too feminine.”
The home also features a large backyard, a movie theater/playroom (where the family piles in to watch Frozen) and a guest house that was supposed to be Josh’s “man cave,” but has been transformed into a space for Heather’s mom to live, which they call the “grandma cave.”
Now that their house is finally finished and they’re all moved in, the pair are excited to make memories here.
“It’s truly the perfect family home,” Heather says. “Right now, we’re enjoying the phase where Lexi adores her baby brother. There is no jealousy. She loves to hang out with him and say ‘goodnight’ and give him his bottle, and I am sure that will change when he can start taking her toys, but everything is great with us. We are surviving and it’s crazy, but we love all of the chaos, and we love our new house.”