Friday, October 21, 2011

Actor Jake Weber Lists 1959 Fickett-Designed Digs

SELLER: Jake Weber
LOCATION: Los Angeles, CA
PRICE: $2,575,000
SIZE: 3,500 square feet, 4 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: Call Your Mama a tired ol' real estate cliché if you want–we've certainly been called worse–but Your Mama just cain't resist us a privately-situated mid-century modern residence in a (semi-) secluded canyon setting in southern California. With that peg in our architectural groove comes a recently over-hauled home in Los Angeles' boho-chic Laurel Canyon originally designed in 1959 by prolific but mostly under-the-radar mid-century modern architect Edward Fickett and hoisted on the market this week with an asking price of $2,575,000.

Property records show the glassy residence was last purchased through a trust in November 2009 for $1,800,000. The trust's trustee is well-known amongst all us celebrity real estate gossips to work with celebrities and other high profile showbiz types of all stripes and accolades. Naturally, our celebrity real estate intuition piqued by the property records, we did some asking around. We had to wait overnight for the dish but finally heard from our inexplicably and impeccably well-informed friend and informant Lucy Spillerguts who identified the property owner as London-born and Julliard-trained film, television and stage actor Jake Weber (Medium, Dawn of the Dead, Meet Joe Black). Mister Weber, as far as we know and can surmise from a few minutes research on the interweb, shacks up with long-term lady-pal and baby momma Liz Carey, a cat walker turned rock 'n' roll wife–she was once married to Oasis' Alan White–turned comedic actress turned designer of pricey handbags.

Apropos of nothing real estate related, as a young boy Mister Weber led a nomadic and exotic (not to mention criminal) life. Multiple reports in various places reveal he sometimes operated as a mule for his race car driving drug dealer daddy. When just a wee lad of 7 or so, he spent some time at the opulent Villa Nellcote in the south of France where he rolled joints for The Rolling Stones while they recorded their 1972 album Exile on Main St. Your Mama perhaps reveals too much here, but we can't help but feel a certain simpatico of experience with Mister Weber. We may not have rolled joints for The Rolling Stones–wouldn't that have been marvelous?–but we did on occasion unwittingly schlep dope around for our wealthy, Mercedes-driving drug dealer step-grandmuhmaw when we were just hip high to an economics professor. 'Tis true, puppies, but anyhoo, moving along...

Listing information for Mister Weber's Ficket-designed crib in Laurel Canyon shows it's newly remodeled, sits at the tail end of a gated drive, and encompasses around 3,500 square feet with 4 bedrooms and 3 bathrooms.

The L-shaped living/dining area has raw hardwood floors with a barely there matte finish and gallery-white walls perfect for displaying artwork. An asymmetrical marble fireplace and hearth anchors the living area where Mister Fickett conjured up an especially operatic moment with the origami-esque, vaulted and sky lit ceiling. A full wall of single-paned glass towers over the living area and allows a seamless visual transition from the interior of the house, across the backyard to the precariously-steep and thickly-planted hillside into which the .8 acre property is tucked.

The somewhat spare day-core projects a simple but comfortable vibe with lots of casual but pedigreed pieces that offer enough era appropriateness to be deferential to the residence's original mid-century design but new-fangled and off-kilter enough as not to appear overly obsequious or simpering.

Your Mama, in fact, rather appreciates the trio of organically-shaped George Nelson pendant lights that come together as a make-shift chandelier in the living area and inject a vital smidgen of The Femme into the otherwise angular and mostly masculine day-core. We do worry, however, that an hallucinogenic substance ingesting guest might stumble through the living room in the middle of the night, see the collection of curvy, saucer-like fixtures float perfectly still and silent against the soft moonlight and mis-imagine them as a space ship armada.

A short wall of glass sliders in the "formal" dining area connects to a partially-canopied dining deck and, on the opposite wall, a double-wide pocket door leads to a den/family room outfitted with a giant wall-mounted flat scree tee-vee over an Eames storage unit, an elephant gray sectional sofa, and a single vibrant fuchsia colored Arne Jacobson Swan chair for a welcomed twist of the decorative nipple. At the far end of the room there's an off-center raised fireplace with white painted chimney breast flanked by identical honey-comb inspired shelving units. Alas, because the fireplace is off-center the identical shelving units just make the whole thing look wonky. Instead of balance they actually enhance the catty-wompiness of the room's slightly awkward architecture. For what it's worth–and it ain't worth a god damn nickel–Your Mama recommends ripping those things off the wall and custom building simple, open shelves into the niche to the left of the fireplace and doing something else entirely with the wall space other side, say a small console table with photos and table lamp.

Beyond the dining room, the crisp and clean-lined kitchen offers a center work island with vegetable sink and snack counter, gleaming white flat-fronted cabinetry, grey slab counter tops, high-grade commercial-style appliances, a trio of windows with hillside view, and sliding glass doors that lead out to a dining deck partially shaded by a series of over-lapping canvas canopies.

At least one of the family/guest bedrooms accesses the backyard through a bank of sliding glass doors as does the master bedroom that–like the living room room–has a dramatically pitched and vaulted ceiling that culminates in vast planes of windows and sliding doors that overlook and connect to the backyard.

A dining, entertaining, and sunbathing deck hugs the interior corner of the house and at the same time wraps itself around the classic kidney-shaped swimming pool, itself girdled by flag stone coping. Beyond the swimming pool, a thick carpet of what appears to be well-watered grass provides the perfect spot for a pair of pooches like our long bodied bitches Linda and Beverly to skedaddle around and do their dirty business.

Your Mama read on Mister Weber's baby-momma's website that the family live out in Malibu but other than that, chickens, we know nothing of their beach digs.

listing photos: Westside Estate Agency


midTN said...


Hey, if you don't want to pay 12.8 million for a famous 1954 Neutra, you can buy a 1959 relatively unknown Fickett for 2.5.......see, there are bargains in CA!


Anonymous said...

I love all the glass but I wonder what it costs to keep it clean?

angie said...

Very, very nice place. If it were mine, I'd have to incorporate more color via furnishings and wall hangings, to heighten visual interest and add warmth. It's a bit sedate as is for my tastes, but that's the easiest fix. Thanks Mama

P.S. the new photo viewer isn't working

FonHom said...

Yo Mama,
"...we did on occasion unwittingly schlep dope around for our wealthy, Mercedes-driving drug dealer step-grandmuhmaw when we were just hip high to an economics professor."
More, s'il vous plait!
(Word verification=princess! Don't know whether you or me...)

Anonymous said...

This California mid-century redux has now become as boring and cliche-ridden and trite and unoriginal and tiresome as the worst Queen Anne traditionalism.

Nuetra has become numbing.