SELLER: Ryan Murphy
LOCATION: Marmont Avenue, Los Angeles, CA
PRICE: $4,195,000, later reduced to $2,850,00
SIZE: 3,210 square feet, 3 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms
DESCRIPTION: Designed for his own family by Carl Maston--architect of one of the true masterpieces of the Modernist movement, The School of Environmental Design building at Cal State Poly--Maston did not stray from his usual palette of wood, concrete, and glass to effectively blur the lines between the indoors and the outdoors at his long-time family home. Painstakingly remodeled and seamlessly updated for today's lifestyle w/ all the modern luxuries. Perched above the fray yet moments from the best of LA.
YOUR MAMAS NOTES: After a gruesome couple of days dealing with technological issues beyond our ability to control or comprehend, Your Mama needed to begin again with a celebrity owned property that turns Your Mama green with envy. Owned by insanely successful and wickedly savvy writer/producer/director Ryan Murphy (Popular, Running With Scissors, Nip/Tuck), this gleaming hunk of residential wood, concrete and glass floats just about every one of Your Mama's architectural boats.
Originally we thought he bought this house in 1996, but upon further investigation, property records do indeed reflect that out and proud homosexual hottie Mister Murphy purchased this residence near the top of Marmont Avenue in the hills above West Hollywood back in May of 2001. Records are a little vague about what amount he paid for his 3,120 square foot contemporary crib but if we had to make an entirely uneducated stab based on the mortgage information we located, we'd say it was around two million bucks. But don't nobody quote Your Mama on that because truthfully we don't know.
Anyhoo, although the long, low hillside climbing residence was designed by genius–but often forgotten–modernist architect Carl Maston as his private residence, Your Mama presumes that soon after picking up this prime piece of architectural meat young Mister Murphy spent loads of money and time giving his house a big gay update. If anyone were to ask Your Mama, which of course no one did, we'd freely tell them that we think Mister Murphy's money was very well spent indeed.
Property records and listing information show the sexy and sensational stunner measures a modest but very livable 3,120 square feet with 3 bedrooms and 3 bathrooms. Photos reveal that the flooring in the public rooms is concrete (hopefully with radiant heat) and in the master bedroom Mister Murphy and his team of nice gay decorators chose cork tiles. Both were tremendously trendy floor finishes back in the late 1990s and early 2000s, but y'all know what? We still like 'em, even if they're not as fashion forward as they once were.
Giant walls of floor to ceiling glass ring the residence and suck the rugged terrain right into the sophisticated interior as well as push the polished yet casual interior spaces into the rustic outdoor spaces. It's the quintessential, and even cliche California blurring of inside and outside. Mister Murphy appears to have thoughtfully and thankfully preserved the original open plan layout of the living and dining rooms which are unified by a single glass wall and separated only by a large brick fireplace that looks back to Frank Lloyd Wright but remains thoroughly modern and ready to forcefully face the coming decades.
But for the smallish size–which Your Mama recognizes will probably be too small for many–we appreciate and gravitate towards the kitchen with its shiny white cabinets (we like shiny things), Carrara marble counter tops, sky light and white subway tile back splash. The children will note the anal retentive manner in which Mister Murphy lines up his glassware and dishes in the glass fronted cabinets, a quirk that Your Mama admires and mimics in our own home(s). Yes puppies, the large pantry in our beach house is the very picture of comestible order where every box, jar and bag sits face forward, price tag removed and lined up like Chinese soldiers ready to march into battle. While many think Your Mama and the Dr. Cooter are bonkers for the obsessive manner in which we maintain our pantry, we got nuthin' on Sister Woman who alphabetizes her pantry. Yes, children, the ladee alphabetizes her pantry. 'Tis true.
Moving up the too-steep stair case that would be problematic and perhaps even impossible for our long bodied bitches Linda and Beverly, the generously sized master bedroom includes a fireplace perfect for romantic evenings (iffin you like romantic evenings) and, like most other rooms in the house, floor to ceiling windows that give egress to the private spa and the terraced back yard. If we're being honest, and we always are, Your Mama has mixed feelings on the master bathroom. On the one hand we l.o.v.e. the soo-blime and unexpected combination of Carrara marble floors and walls with the green glass tile ceiling and we consider the addition of the red rug an inspired bit of decorating derring do. On the other hand, there's something a little too reminiscent of an upscale Russian bath house which, quite frankly, is not helped by the stand up urinal, a functional folly that Your Mama has never really understood or appreciated in private homes, but one that has become increasingly popular with men flush with mountains of dough to spend on bathroom renovations.
We recognize that the interior day-core of Mister Murphy's home in the hills will not appeal to everyone, but Your Mama asks that the chintz and china loving children at least try to recognize that it's been well considered and curated to reflect a sassy, sophisticated and quirky point of view. After all, this is not the home of just anyone. It clearly and successfully reflects the very personal taste, lifestyle and particular point of view of its owner which, as Martha Stewart might say, is a good thing. Yes, it is filled to the gills with mid-century pieces, however by not using furniture easily recognizable as being bought at Design Within Reach, Mister Murphy and his team of nice gay decorators have managed to stop short of turning this place into time capsule of mid-century modern style.
Your Mama can't fathom why Mister Murphy would want to leave this piece of architectural paradise behind, but we can only assume he has bigger, better and more expensive plans in his residential future. Whatever the case, the house, which happens to sit just up the road from Hollywood hot stuff Cameron Diaz, is available to purchase for $4,195,000. Any guesses how long before someone snatches this baby up?
Two things quick to Mister Murphy...
1. All that money on Carrara marble, a medium sized Viking range and a SubZero side by side and the microwave is still sitting on the counter? Hunny, please.
2. You might consider clearing off those kitchen counter tops and putting that nasty dish drainer in a dark closet and have your real estate return to take another photo or two, because this kitchen is not nearly as tight as all that visual clutter makes it seem. Just a friendly suggestion from Your Mama.