Tuesday, May 27, 2014
Stephen Gaghan Sells East Coast-y Abode in Brentwood
LOCATION: Los Angeles, CA
SIZE: 5,267 square feet, 5 bedrooms, 6.5 bathrooms
YOUR MAMAS NOTES: Oscar- and Emmy-winning screenwriter Stephen Gaghan and his well-born wife Minnie Mortimer listed their East Coast-y abode in L.A.'s quietly swank Brentwood area in late April (2014) with an asking price of $4,995,000 and within two weeks the property was put into escrow with an unknown buyer at an unknown price. (As of this morning the deal has yet to close.)
Early on Mister Gaghan worked in television (American Gothic, The Practice) and in 1997 he took home an Emmy in 1997 for his work on NYPD Blue. He shifted to the silver screen in 2000 with the war-drama Rules of Engagement and the star-studded Traffic (2000), the latter for which the clean and sober Mister Gaghan won an Oscar and Golden Globe. (He was also nominated for an Academy Award in 2006 for penning the script of George Clooney's geopolitical thriller Syriana, which he also directed.) In more recent years Mister Gaghan has shifted somewhat back towards television, writing scripts for a couple of programs that were not picked up for series and here are scads of reports he's writing (or written) a script for Malcolm Gladwell's fascinating book Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking but, honestly, children, we don't know nuthin' about that.
In 2007, Mister Gaghan married New York City-bred Standard Oil heiress, fashion designer and casually chic sophisticate Minnie Mortimer. They met, so the story goes, at a pre-Oscars picnic at Diane von Furstenberg and Barry Dillers' secluded estate in Beverly Hills and their deluxe Fifth Avenue nuptials, attended by a who's who of New York society types, were swooned over in no less than The New York Times.
Property records show Mister Gaghan and Miz Mortimer purchased their Brentwood spread in late 2008 for $4.4 million and digital marketing show the house was originally built in the 1940s on a gated and elevated 1.15 acre parcel with five bedrooms and 6.5 bathrooms in 5,267 square feet.
Stone columns flank a gated driveway that rises gently to a decent-sized (if decidedly declassé) black topped motor court that gives way to a wee patch of tree shaded grass embraced on three sides by the house's wood, stone and red brick accented front façade. (We'd prefer the blacktop be replaced with pea gravel or compacted decomposed granite but what do we know, right?)
Inside, the public entertaining spaces are spacious without being grand and include a formal living room with honey-toned wood floors, exposed wood beams on the ceiling, a flagstone-faced fireplace that nicely ties in the flag stone on the front façade, and a massive 18-pane picture window with lovely and long views.
The roomy formal dining room does double duty as a library with floor-to-ceiling book-filled library shelves installed on three walls. While the living room day-core appears to have been put in place by Staging Lady in a Pink Toyota, the dining room still presents (in listing photos) as an eclectic, seal gray room with a idiosyncratic mix of furnishings and a capiz shell chandelier Your Mama would swear was hand-made by our dear old friend Gwen Carlton.
The kitchen doesn't look particularly large in listing photos but it is expensively outfitted and well-equipped with a vaguely Craftsman style with unpainted Shaker-style cabinetry, marble counter tops and a full suite of top-grade appliances. There is, as per listing details, an "ample pantry and enormous Butlers/Laundry room" plus a convenient back staircase but and alas, as many of the eagle-eyed children probably noted, the kitchen designer failed to provide a built-in cubby for the microwave so there it sits, inelegantly at a cattywompus angle, on the counter top next to the sink.
Off the kitchen there's a spacious sun porch with wall-to-wall windows carpeting and wrap around floor-to-ceiling windows. At the other end of the main floor, behind the living room we find a paneled den quirkily painted a steely shade of blue. There's a tile-accented fireplace, built-in bookshelves, and direct access to the red brick veranda that runs the the full width of the back of the house.
A separate screening room provides a private entrance, paneled walls, a raised red brick fireplace, a vaulted exposed wood ceiling, wall-to-wall carpeting (in a questionable shade of midnight blue) and, natch, state-of-the-art projection equipment.
The expansive, upper floor master suite is complete with wood floors, a third fireplace, a private sitting room/office, and extensive (and meticulously organized) walk-in closets. French doors in the bedroom and in at least one of the two master bathrooms lead out to a deep, semi-private red brick veranda with an exterior staircase for easy access to the backyard entertainment and recreation areas. There are two (or maybe three) additional guest/family bedrooms in the main house plus another with private bathroom located off the kitchen and, hence, best positioned for a live-in domestic or household office. A detached guest house with high ceilings offers additional living space for live-in staff and/or guests.
The main floor veranda has a sweeping mountain, city and even ocean view and gives way to a flat lawn girdled by a glass railing. A wide red-brick staircase descends to a lower plateau with more red brick terracing, a rectangular swimming pool, a slightly raised circular spa, and another flat patch of grass or two.
The Gaghan-Mortimer's Mandeville Canyon nabe is home to a long list of rich and famous people including, just a few doors down the street, conscientiously uncoupling Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin who bought their 8,000 square foot Windsor Smith-conceived manse in mid-2012 for $9,950,000.
Although we didn't find any incontrovertible evidence they own any other private residences, this property gossip did read the boho-glam couple, both surfing aficionados, once lived in Malibu and we'd be somewhat surprised if they didn't maintain some sort of pied-à-terre in Manhattan, the Hamptons and/or Palm Beach, the three pricey and posh locales where Miz Mortimer spent her well-heeled youth.
listing photos: Partners Trust
Posted by Your Mama at 10:11 AM