Tuesday, May 26, 2009

David Niven Jr. Lists Bird Street Nest

SELLER: David Niven Jr.
LOCATION: Blue Jay Way, Los Angeles, CA
PRICE: $5,750,000
SIZE: 4,808 square feet, 6 bedrooms, 7 bathrooms
DESCRIPTION: Extraordinary architectural villa in estate section of the Sunset Strip. Fabulous family room / kitchen ideal for the gourmet chef. Dramatic living room opens to pool & rose garden w/ tree top views & amazing outdoor entertainment pool area. Features include: sky lights, high ceilings, crown molding, hardwood, terrazzo & tile flooring. Library, spacious master suite w/ dble bath & closets plus 5 bedrooms each w/ bath. Pure style sophistication & privacy.

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: Sometime over the long Memorial Day weekend, as we sat on the sofa hooked up to an IV drip dropping a steady stream of gin and tonic directly into Your Mama's veins while watching the opening rounds of the French Open, we received a covert communique from Our Fairy Godmother in the Sunset Strip who informed us that David Niven Jr. listed his house on Blue Jay Way with an impressively optimistic asking price of $5,750,000.

Mister Niven Junior's famous father is, as any moe-ron could figure out, the Oscar winning, pencil 'stached Tinseltown legend David Niven. Junior, who was born in England and whose name appears in the Peerage thanks to his mother's semi-royal bloodline, went on to produce a few films (The Girl with the Hungry Eyes, Psycho Cop Returns, Blue Flame), work as an entertainment executive and promote philanthropic causes such as Recording Artists, Actors & Athletes Against Drunk Driving.

Property records show that Mister Niven Jr. purchased his Bird Street nest in November of 1983 for $1,200,000, which was a lot of damn money for a house back in 1983. Records filed with the County of Los Angeles show the "L" shaped "villa" measures in at 4,808 square feet and listing information indicates there are 6 bedrooms and 7 bathrooms including a master suite with dual baths and dressing closets.

Located just above the Sunset Strip and all those celeb friendly outdoor eateries along Sunset Boo-lay-vard in the Sunset Plaza, the in need of an update residence will appeal to all those Ed Hardy wearing Hollywood "producer" sorts who spend a lot of time in tight black jeans and hanging out at the Sky Bar hoping to snag a too tan wannabe starlet with 5-inch Lucite heels, fake chee-chees, and naive dreams of seeing her face on the silver screen.

The children are going to skewer Your Mama for saying this but, here it goes anyway...Although the rose colored wallpaper is heinous, the parquet floors are tired, the built-in shelves bizarrely off-center, and the fireplace mantel far too diminutive for a room of this scale, there is–if you'll look closely–a kind of decorative sophistication to the large living room where all that rose colored, traditionally shaped and upholstered furniture is played against the Lucite and glass coffee tables. We know we're being uncharacteristically charitable, but once upon a time, before all the Los Angeles property flippers started trying to make every house look like a freaking Armani furniture showroom, this kind of mix and match day-core was considered to be quite chic. Or maybe all that gin has finally turned Your Mama's mind into baby food.

Anyhoo, the wood floored library has been painted a visually uncomfortable and not particularly dignified shade of royal blue and has large floor to ceiling windows, built in bookcases topped with a large, carved shell detail and an obscene beige colored leather sofa that, fortunately, will be removed once the property is sold. In the dining room, china cabinets with the same sea-shell detail as seen in the library flank sliding doors to the rear terrace. Sliding doors? For reals? Sliding doors? Like this is some sort of tract house in Bakersfield? Pleeze.

Anyhoo, the open plan kitchen, breakfast and family rooms have been done over and include white, glass fronted cabinets that rather disconcertingly do not reach the ceiling, sand colored granite counter tops, a beige tile floor, a mac-daddy Viking range that costs as much as a damn Kia and a large work island under a gigantic pyramid shaped skylight which we can only hope has some sort of UV deflecting coating lest Chef be fried up like a bug under a magnifying glass.

The house wraps around a courtyard where a long rectangular pool is surrounded by wide entertainment terraces perfect for cocktail parties, nood sunbathing and the riding of Big Wheels by any resident tots.

According to bits and pieces we read on the interweb, Mister Niven Jr. lives primarily in the UK. And to be honest puppies, given that bit of information, this Bird Street residence could very easily be occupied by someone other than Mister Niven Jr., someone like, say, Barbara Niven, otherwise known as ex-Mrs. Niven Jr. But we don't know because, truthfully children, Your Mama don't know nuthin' from nuthin.

30 comments:

lucy said...

You are being charitable, Mama, because my first thought when I saw this was "Pink moire walls!". Definitely in need of a professional design advice.

Daisy Duke said...

no pot racks at least!

Anonymous said...

I kinda like this house... it's homey and casually stylish in an odd [must be European] kind of way. And I even like the blue with gold in the library. Don't know what's wrong with me, must got swine flue or something...

However, if I had that kind of money to spned on a house, I would be looking for a place in France.

Anonymous said...

I thought it was pretty well priced. Of course it will be torn down & something else will go up but looking at some of the other listings on Blue Jay it doesn't appear to be crazily priced & the lot seems to be a little bigger than the average Blue Jay lot.

Is it a celeb who owns the Paul Williams at the top of Blue Jay that's just hit the market?

Anonymous said...

"it's homey and casually stylish in an odd [must be European] kind of way"

Huh? Where in Europe have you been visiting?

Anonymous said...

"Huh? Where in Europe have you been visiting?"
Not visiting. I lived there until 25. Europe is a large place with many different cultures, and I don't claim familiarity with all of them.

pch said...

I agree the house has a European sensibility. Not a particularly good one, but one that exists. You could have told me this was a house in the south of France and I'd have believed you. The sort of dated, slightly shabby decor, the weird mix of parquet floors and sofas from the eighties, decorative moulding and sliding glass doors.

A nice big piece of land, well located, with a house in need of serious something.

Viva! said...

I'm with pch,

If you'd told me this house was in the South of France (St. Tropez specifically) I'd have believed you 100%.

I love the pool and the kitchen and dining room layout. Love the front door and those fabulous French doors in the pink room...

It needs a decor overhaul, but what can I say, I like it! Well priced too.

Wilbur said...

BLECK!

Anonymous said...

It is like the Villa Leopolda folks said


"These homes are worth what the buyer is willing to pay for them as they are fine works of art"

Works for me !!!!!!!

I will offer 1$ for the Villa Leoploda, not one penny more

oh crap, now I have to pay 8MM a year for taxes ? upkeep ? because the local govt says it is worth 750 MM ?

Anonymous said...

This where you can end up when you are a big sports star making tens of millions, you do drugs, you spend your money like a wildman, you make bad real estate investments and you tell the bank to f off by letting them forclosure on your 10 MM mansion in encino

http://www.tmz.com/videos?autoplay=true&mediaKey=1a856a10-30d4-4293-80d3-bc31ae92cea2

Anonymous said...

click on the Jose Canseco link

bentley said...

I, too, agree about the European something. And I can't say I dislike it. At all. I'd do some work, but I like the bones, and I like a bit of quirk in a house.

The entry is great - dramatic without being all "I'm RICH and just lo-ok at my impressive front door!" - like far too many of the houses showcased here have.

The kitchen is doing it for me in a big way.

Anonymous said...

This house looks so much better and more interesting from the outside, satellite and "bird's eye" photos than it does on the inside...I've admired this house from "afar", so to speak, for some time, and was truly excited when I first saw it pop-up (sans any photos) on the MLS...however, once the pics of the tired and none-too interesting interior were finally posted, I totally lost interest...maybe at a much lower price this place might be worth picking-up for a total redo, though...

Alessandra said...

I like it. Of course, I'd paint and redecorate, but it just seems like a comfortable house. Gracious, but not pretentious.

The kitchen is nifty.

Anonymous said...

I thought David Niven, JR. was married to Fernanda Wannamaker--one of the Wannamaker heirs? Does anyone know or did I dream that? Just curious. Thanks!

angeleyes said...

Nice place, although a couple of those rooms are painful to look at, and for the price that's being asked, it shouldn't be the case.

Anonymous said...

The only cool things about this house are the location and the skylight in the kitchen...

Anonymous said...

when i first saw the photos i assumed david jr was gay. thanks for the back fill on the ex-mrs niven living there.

NewYorkQueer said...

God I hope someone removes all of the color from this house and gives it that "oh so" hollywood all white makeover!
Like the other houses that have appealed to me, this one also looks like someone lived here and enjoyed themselves.

Babe Parish said...

i like this. it reminds me of perusing thru architectural digest in 1983, as a teeny bopper. well, maybe not that blue room so much, but for the most part, i like it.

Anonymous said...

His father had tremendous style!

What a disappointment!

Anonymous said...

Love the entry, pool, kitchen & dining rooms!

Mama - those sliding doors could very well be pocketed into the walls when open. A much nicer detail than french doors and allows better placement of outdoor furniture.

A little paint (and a Goodwill furniture donation) would go a long way here.

Anonymous said...

To Anon from May 26 @ 6:48--Fernanda Wanamaker Wetherill is married to James Niven--the 2nd son of David Niven and the brother of David Niven, JR. One of James and Fernanda's daughters, Fernanda Niven, designs expensive handbags.

Anonymous said...

If you look back at Mama's previous post from January 8, 2008 you will see the Howard Gittis estate--that was formerly the Wanamaker Leas estate--the mother of Fernanda Wanamaker Wetherill and Scarlett Leas Robertson and the step-father of Fernanda and the father of Scarlett, Donald S. Leas, Jr.

Mars said...

What a great house!

And while I'm not one for pools I really love the windows, light and harmony. Gimme, gimme.

Anonymous said...

Wow, I'm surprised no one in this crowd remembers the old fixer himself, Harry Weese, owned this house for a few decades...I can't begin to count how many gay porn films were shot there...and his place in Old Las Palmas...and the back of that limo...

Oh, whoopsy -- we don't talk about early 'acting days', right boys? That's right: we're respectable society folk now!

Your Mama said...

Oh dear...our tired little nubbins hit a 9 instead of an 8...yes indeed, the records reflect miz rivers purchased in 1988 as y'all suggest.

Anonymous said...

It is Jamie Niven, David's brother that married Fernanda Wanamaker.

Anonymous said...

Westerly is the name of the Wanamaker Leas estate on Oxpasture Road in Southampton (aka the late Howard Gittis estate, the acreage recently was subdivided and the main house purchased by Tory Burch). In its glory days it was owned by Fernanda Wanamaker Leas, old guard heiress and great society beauty. She was the mother of Fernanda Niven (Sr.), Scarlett Robertson (Sr.), Donald Leas III, and John Wanamaker Leas. Mrs wanamaker leas gave famous parties at Westerly, pictured in Life magazine and Town & Co., like "Nights in Bagdad" attended by Gary Cooper and high society. Her daughter Fernanda's debutante party at Westerly was one of the most coveted, talked about, and infamous (cover of Time and Life magazines). Jamie and Fernanda Niven's wedding reception was also at Westerly.