SELLER: Les Firestein and Gwyn Lurie
LOCATION: North Barrington Avenue, Brentwood, CA
SIZE: 4,238 square feet, 5 bedrooms, 5 bathrooms
DESCRIPTION: Extensively remodeled, recently published sprawling Traditional on approx 1/2 acre of tree-filled grounds. Sited in a most verdant & private environment with a backdrop of towering Eucalyptus trees, this classic home is ideal for both entertaining & casual living. The over sized living room, cook's kitchen & cozy family room all open through French doors to a large trellis covered patio which looks on to the expansive park-like yard. Off the living room in an inviting paneled library with fireplace. There are 4 bedrooms + maid's, including a fabulous 2nd floor master suite with fireplace. On a lower level is a bonus room with bath, fireplace & sleeping loft. This dramatic, well detailed home will satisfy the most discriminating buyer.
YOUR MAMAS NOTES: Lawhd children, sometimes we just wanna beat our nosy butt-insky neighbors with a baseball bat, and we're quite sure the owners of this home wanted to do the same thing. All you people North of Chatsworth and East of Pasadena may not know who these two are, but Hollywood types will certainly know who Les Firestein and Gwyn Lurie are. The mister is a writer and executive producer who has toiled for shows like In Living Color and The Drew Carey Show. The missus is a screenwriter who, as best as we can tell, is often called to doctor, re-work, and re-write previously written scripts. She also penned the first draft of the the Johnny Depp vehicle Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, which was later rewritten by at least two other screenwriters.
But the reason Your Mama is innerested in this house is not actually the owners, but the controversy that was created a couple of years ago when Firestein/Luries built a huge tree house in their new backyard. Turns out their neighbor, a Bev Hills Plastic Surgeon, was not pleased with or amused by the tree house. Plastic surgeon made such a fuss about the damn thing that the media and local government got involved. And you know when the media and the local government get involved, you got a world of headache.
Not long after the Firestein/Luries purchased this home in July of 2005 for an undisclosed amount of money, they hired a gentleman named Roderick Wolgamott Romero, to build an ugly and grandiose tree house for the couples 18-month old child.Which is so young that the child would not be able to even climb up in said tree house unaided by an able bodied adult. So who was this tree house really for anyway?
Mister Romero happens to be one of the world's premiere builders of tree houses for the rich and famous. Not inclined to spend time with children or to climb trees, Your Mama didn't know such a tree house building expert person existed. But, according to several reports, the man has built fancy tree houses for luminaries such at tantric sex freak Sting and also for the queen of the elastic body suit, Donna Karan.
Well, don't you know that before the damn thing was even finished, Plastic Surgeon was freaking out and complaining to the city that the tree house violated his privacy. Seems Plastic Surgeon was concerned that children in the aerie might be able to eye-spy him and his wife in their swimming pool and hot tub. Was Plastic Surgeon concerned about being caught by the neighborhood kiddies having a naughty Nick Lachey and Vanessa Manillo moment?
Now children, Your Mama does not want to be seen by neighborhood children doing the nasty in the hot tub with the Dr. Cooter either, but people do have the freedom to do whatever crazy things they want to do with the trees on their own property. Our suggestion for the Plastic Surgeon to take a few of his boob implant bucks and install a tall wall of evergreen arborvitae to screen out the views from the tree house. But oh, no, that would have been far to simple a solution for the highly paid Plastic Surgeon, who apparently preferred complaining and whining to the media and local government.
The tree house issue seems to have been resolved because photos of the house, now on the market for $4,595,000, include the completed tree house. We can only wonder if the decision to move had anything to do with the troubles with Plastic Surgeon.
And what about the house? Well, Your Mama is not inclined towards positive feelings about Beaver Cleaver style houses, even well cared for ones like this. We do appreciate the privacy the tall hedges and rose garden at the front of the property afford, but we loathe rose bushes. L.O.A.T.H.E. Damn rose bushes do nothing but cause Your Mama grief having to deal with those thorns ripping our skin every time we reach in to pluck a weed. Can't stand the smell either. We know we may be in the minority about roses, but we'd rip every one of the rose bushes out in a heart beat.
The interior of the house is mostly non-offensive and we like the kitchen with it's enormous Viking range and Carrara marble counter tops. We know Carrara is not the most practical of surfaces for a busy kitchen, but Your Mama LOVES Carrara marble so much that we keep a slab of it just so that we can run our pudgy fingers over it when we're feeling the need for a quick tactile pick me up. The den fires on all cylinders with a simple jute run, a fantastic horse hide ottoman, white sofa (we love a white sofa!), and magnificent mink colored walls. This set up is far more traditional than the sort of decor Your Mama lives with, but we like this room very much none the less.
However, the dining room is a total mess. We feel strongly that whomever put this room together deserves a stern spanking. The most obvious blunder is, of coursse, the terrible blue on the walls. Too dark to be Tiffany blue and too light to be even in the ball park with regal. he curtains, we assume, are a failed attempt at whimsy, and look like they're left over from a 1950s child's room. The brass chandelier is, well, it's brass, and it looks cheapo, and it's not scaled quite right for this room. And lastly the dining room table and chairs has us vomiting in our mouths a little. Your Mama hopes that is some sort of family heirloom, because there is no other reason to have those awful and upsetting chairs with baby poo colored leather up in the one's house. Who can enjoy a meal knowing that your booty is sitting in a chair that ugly?
Now let's discuss the tree house. We do not agree with Plastic Surgeon getting his panties in a bunch over this thing, but the three house does look like something a hippie who got rich from IBM stock would have built in Woodstock in 1974. In fact, once upon a time Your Mama rented a big house on 400 acres just outside of Woodstock and on too many occasions we found ourselves in a tee pee or a tree house being offered magic mushrooms and weed by an aged and IBM stock rich hippie who was ducking the IRS.
Anyhoo, now that the Firestein/Luries are moving on, we can only hope the before they have Mister Romero come over and build another hippie fantasy of a tree house, they'll investigate where to put the damn thing so that their new neighbors don't get in a snit and call the media and the city again.
Sources: ABC, Steve Gilliard, Los Anjealous, A Socialite's Life