Honoré de Balzac once said, “Passion is universal humanity. Without it, religion, history, romance and art would be useless.” For a collector, passion is equally necessary; it is his raison d’etre, whether he is motivated by investment, enjoyment, cultural enrichment, preservation of the past or the simple love of the quest. Christophe Choo, a Beverly Hills-based Coldwell Banker Previews International®Property Specialist, is passion personified, reflected in his lifelong pursuit of collecting the things he loves: 17th and 18th century French art and antiques, jewelry and a trove of rare natural crystals and crystal carvings.
“I have always had a passion for beauty in all forms and I naturally gravitate towards things I love,” noted Choo, who began collecting at the age of 13. “When shopping, I experience an instant reaction. If it is ‘wow!’ and my breath is taken away, I will add it to my collection. My love for beauty is part of the reason why I started selling luxury real estate–I love being surrounded by stunning architecture, beautiful interiors and inspiring landscaping.”
Choo has perfected the art of collecting so much so that he often shares his insights with his clients, who are avid collectors themselves. Not wanting to leave our readers in the dark, Previews® Inside Out sought out his expertise in order to shed light on the subject. Join us as we follow him through his world of collecting beautiful objects and his passion for real estate and architecture.
The secret to collecting is: Only buy the things you really love–the items that make your heart skip a beat.
First piece I ever collected was: A pair of 18th century side tables.
Current collecting obsession: Crystals are my favorite things to collect. They are so special and have such wonderful light and energy.
Most recent piece I collected: A large citrine natural crystal point.
Favorite pieces I’ve collected for my home: An 18th century oil painting of Madame de Racine, a pair of 18th century Meissen Nodders, an 18th century Meissen Monkey band, a marble bust of Buddha, and my crystal obelisks.
Most treasured possession: In the material world, probably an enormous rock crystal carving of Buddha. But most importantly, my dogs–although I wouldn’t call them possessions are most treasured. They’re like my babies.
Favorite place and/or city for antiques: It’s a tie: Paris and Brussels.
Favorite place and/or city for art: Another tie: Paris and Rome. If I could travel back in time to any historical period, it would be to 18th Century France because the clothes, the architecture, gardens, art and antiques are just simply perfection in my eyes.
The true hidden gems in Los Angeles are in: Holmby Hills (most people don’t know this area), Lower Bel Air and Beverly Hills, north of Sunset.
If I could buy any 3 Previews homes in the world, they would be in: Paris, Los Angeles (Holmby Hills) and Antibes in France.
If I wasn’t a real estate agent, I’d be: A magazine editor or a curator of fine living, maybe a host of “Lifestyles of the Rich & Famous.”
Favorite style of architecture: High French.
Luxury is: Having the freedom to be yourself and do what you want to do, all while having fun and helping others.
Greatest extravagance: Buying beautiful jewelry for my wife, and myself too.
Greatest necessity: Love and being with people you truly love.
Greatest achievement: The work I have done to help Covenant House California, a homeless youth shelter.
Greatest loves: My wife and dogs.
My idea of perfect happiness is: Being at home with my wife and dogs, sitting in our PJs while relaxing by the fire in the family room.
I feel most inspired when: I am in nature and enjoying the simple pleasures of the flowers, trees, the sky, ocean, etc.
Historical figure I most identify with: Louis XV. I don’t know if I identify with him or would have wanted to be him, but I love his lifestyle!
Looking forward to: My next trip to Paris and a fabulous ball that we will be attending there.
Christophe Choo is an award-winning, top-producing luxury real estate broker with more than 24 years of experience serving Los Angeles’ most elite Westside neighborhoods, from Beverly Hills to Malibu. He has a tremendous base of followers on social media and is a regular cast member on the hit HGTV show “Selling LA.” He has also appeared on several national television shows, including “Million Dollar Listing,” “Beautiful Homes & Great Estates,” “Luxury Lifestyles TV,” “LX Open House,” “Behind the Gates” and “The T.O. Show” on VH1. More information on Christophe Choo can be found here.