Friday, August 7, 2009
A Little New York City Eye Candy To End the Week
SELLER: Julianne Moore and Bart Freundlich
LOCATION: W. 11th Street, New York City, NY
SIZE: 6 bedrooms, 3 full and 3 half bathrooms
DESCRIPTION: Built in the late 1800's, this house has been meticulously renovated with an eye on retaining the original architectural detail, such as crown moldings and wide plank pine floors, while introducing modern amenities such as central air, high speed computer lines and a security system.
YOUR MAMAS NOTES: After the visual quagmire of dancer/rapper/reality show participant/baby daddy Kevin Federline's suburban cauchemar that we reluctantly discussed this morning, Your Mama's soul desperately needed to wind up the week looking at a something that makes sense to our delicate decorative sensitivities and too easily disappointed real estate sensibilities. In short, we needed to look at something pretty and we found that pretty in the New York City townhouse owned and recently listed with an asking price of $11,995,000 by faboo flame haired actress Julianne Moore (Boogie Nights, The Big Lebowski and Magnolia) and her filmmaker huzband Bart Freundlich.
This bit of real estate bizness was first reported two days ago by celebrity real estate gossip boy wonder Max Abelson at the NY Observer and quickly re-hashed by Curbed and Apartment Therapy and just about every other publication, blog or website that cares about these sorts of things. So, yes, we know, we're late to the rodeo and we don't need to hear any griping about it.
Property records and all those previous reports reveal the couple scooped up the Greek Revival style townhouse in 2003 for $3,500,000. At the time they purchased the property it was configured not as a single family dwelling but as four separate apartments. Clearly, considerable time and much moolah was spent converting the five floor glute-busting beauty back to a single family house with 4-6 bedrooms (depending on how one counts) and 6 terlits in 3 full and 3 half bathrooms.
As far as Your Mama and the Dr. Cooter are concerned there's precious little not to love about Miz Moore's manse. The architect has maintained (or recreated) original details thus preserving its historical context while wiring the place up for modern conveniences such as central air conditioning, high speed internet and a security system that will knock the block off an intruder. We find the floor plan extraordinarily well resolved particularly given the house lacks an elevator, the artwork makes us go week in the knees and the overall interior day-core appears comfortable, very personal and easily lived in. Let's be honest chickens, it's practically flawless. This may not be your cup of decorative tea, but you'd have to to be some kind of moe-ron or one of those people who thinks everything should be neutral in a house to not see and understand the quality and style of Miz Moore's residence.
We love that the two parlors have been united with cheap paper shades–which are probably from the dee-voon Pearl River on lower Broadway which was way better when they were still on Canal Street, but that's another story for another day; We pine for a pantry as large as this one and we appreciate the second laundry room on the fourth floor where the primary family bedrooms are located; We're swooning for the 49-foot long rear garden that while probably not particularly private is a true luxury in the sardine-ish West Village and we're seething with envy over the master suite because it's the perfect set up for Your Mama and the Dr. Cooter who would be likely headed straight to the court of dee-vorce iffin we ever had to share closet space.
However, despite its near perfection we found three interior de-zine misteps we think are egregious enough to mention:
1. The Refrigerator / First of all, Your Mama does not care for a side by side fridge but that's not the real issue. What perplexes and flummoxes Your Mama is why the smart architect or skilled kitchen designer did not have custom cabinetry built around that big stainless steel thing. Damn thing is just sitting there looking all unfinished.
2. The Guest Pooper (on the parlor floor) / Although we're enormously pleased and grateful that Miz Moore and Mister Freundlich wisely included a guest pooper on the parlor level, for obvious reasons of privacy and odor control we would most definitely prefer the door open into the stair hall and not into the far more public passage between the two parlor rooms.
3. The Shutters (in the master bath). While we've dig and adore that the original wide plank pine floors in the master bathroom were successfully married to that wonderfully modern, sarcophagus-like marble soaking tub, we're deeply concerned about the wooden shutters. We realize the need for privacy. These are, after all famous occupants and those windows are at the front of the house. We also understand that shutters are in keeping with the sort of thing one often finds in old townhouses in Manhattan and they probably fold back and disappear into a nifty niche. However, we still hate them. A simple top down/bottom up shade would be our preference or maybe even some dirt-cheap matchstick blinds from Pearl River which would work that high/low thing again.
Even with these defects, which are easily and quickly remedied, had Your Mama and the Dr. Cooter twelve million clams and we still wanted to shack up in Manhattan we'd definitely tour this townhouse even though it is located in the West Village, a wonderfully scaled neighborhood once brimming with bohemian joi de vivre that has been transformed into a charming, historic and severely over-gentrified neighborhood where only people with fat bank accounts can afford to live as evidenced by the high asking price of Miz Moore and Mister Freundlich's townhouse.
None the less...well played Miz Moore and Mister Freundlich.
Posted by Your Mama at 11:32 AM