Monday, July 16, 2007

Jane and Marcus Buckingham in Beverly Hills

SELLERS: Jane and Marcus Buckingham
LOCATION: N. Linden Drive, Beverly Hills, CA
PRICE: $5,950,000
SIZE: 4,388 square feet (main house), 5 bedrooms, 6 bathrooms
DESCRIPTION: Magical Mediterranean on one of the most coveted streets in BH. This beautifully restored home has a 2-sty entry, step down living room w/ f/p, hardwood floors, formal dining room, and family room overlooks BBQ, sparkling pool and sports court. The kitchen is highlighted w/stainless appliances, center island, charming breakfast and den. The second floor features a romantic master w/ f/p and 3 additional family bedrooms. There is also a guest apt and 2-offices. For the most discriminating buyer.

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: We know that 99.999 percent of you don't have a clue who Marcus or Jane Buckingham are. None the less, Your Mama includes this property because once upon a time in a land far, far away, Your Mama consulted as a "cool hunter" for the market research and trend consulting firm Youth Intelligence, which is owned and operated by the female side of this couple. Back then the company was based out of a dark garden apartment in the West Village of New York. Now the lucky lady appears to have digs on both coasts.

Your Mama, a little bit of a trend setter in our youth, used to get paid to come to the Y.I. offices and "interview," which meant we told the folks what music we listened to, where we shopped, what we bought, what we wore, where we went out, what books were we reading, where we vacationed, what artists we liked, etc. Sometimes we'd be summoned to The Mercer Hotel in Soho to do a focus group for a big soft drink company or maybe a booze company. They even paid Your Mama to stroll them around to all the newest and best shoppy-shops that were popping up all over the Lower East Side back in the 1990s. It was an odd, easy, and very New York way to make a few extra bucks.

We only met Miz Buckingham on one brief occasion, so we're quite certain she would not remember us from the many other lower east side hipsters she casually employed in order to codify, quantify, and commodify their personal style and sell it to corporate America so they could better access and market to a young and influential consumer base. We called it "working for the devil."

Mister Marcus Buckingham toils as a successful author and "expert" on how to be a better boss and a more effective leader. Corporate snoozola stuff if you ask Your Mama, but clearly the gentleman makes big bucks teaching management types the mostly futile art of how to motivate cubicle dwellers and office denizens how to be more productive. Ack!

Located in the flats of Beverly Hills, this big and beautiful Mediterranean style house is walking distance to the swanky and exclusive Los Angeles Country Club. But of course, most Angelenos, freakishly rich and just sorta rich alike, would keel over from humiliation if anyone saw them hoofing it down Wilshire Boulevard to the clubhouse. So perhaps proximity to the fancy golf course is irrelevant.

The Buckinghams purchased this lovely house in October of 2001. Property records do not indicate the purchase price, but from our estimation it looks to be somewhere in the neighborhood of $2,000,000. Don't quote us on that one children, because it's only a semi educated guess.

Sizing in at 4,388 square feet, the house is large without being upsettingly huge. Of course, the two-story guest house/pool house/office house adds considerable square footage which likely launches the house into the two-maid-twice-weekly territory.

All the children know by now that Your Mama is partial to Mediterranean style houses, and while this one might be decorated too traditionally for our personal taste, it's really quite a lovely house. We feel that with a decorating do-over and some other minor adjustments (i.e. removing the sport court and that awful child safety fencing around the pool) the Dr. Cooter and our long bodied bitches Linda and Beverly could be quite happy living up in this big Beverly Hills house where we could stash less favored guests and in-laws in the large, 2-story building out back.

We confess to considerable disappointment that a lady who deals in what's new and notable in the world did not make any effort to mix all that traditional furniture with some new fangled designs by arty farty designers like Marc Newsom and the Bouroullec brothers. We incorrectly imagined Miz Buckingham to possess a more forward thinking and eclectic taste in interior decoration. But alas.

The living room looks like a nice gay decorator might have been brought into whip the place into a taupe fantasy of an East meets West formal living/reception room. We are decidedly not the taupe type, so we are deeply grateful for all the colorful orange and red cushions. Because let's be honest, without them it would be nearly impossible to distinguish where the sofas end and the walls begin.

We do like the black glossy dining set, which looks reminiscent of something one might see in a fancy British pub or buy at a yard sale in Connecticut. But we would have chosen to pair it with a more modern take on a traditional rug, maybe something like the Pat Nixon rug by Jonathan Adler. The Fortuny fabric chandelier was an obvious and uninspired choice, and again, we wish that a woman who sells trends for a living might have chosen something a little more aspirational and contemporary for the lighting scheme. The painting over the credenza that shows a grand piano in a blue room perplexes and annoys us, but we are digging the blue honeycomb print curtains.

We've never been a big fan of black granite, but we do appreciate the kitchen's large (but not too large) size, and the functional appliance layout. The teak counter top on the island is exquisite and the warming drawer is a nice feature. Although quite frankly, we expect warming drawers in all homes of this caliber and price range. However, what's with the microwave sitting on the counter by the refrigerator? Come on now people. Who spends $75,000 remodeling a kitchen and forgets to have a custom cubby designed for the microwave? Seriously. Your Mama sees this gross and offensive error all the time in rich people's kitchens and we are sick and tired of this oversight.

While the family room is rather puny, we do appreciate the effort of the colorful and mixy-matchy decor which gives the room a slight and not unpleasant grandma on mushrooms vibe. We can only cross our fingers and hope the enormous flat screen television is on a swinging arm, otherwise the folks sitting on the green sofa are going to get a serious kink in their necks trying to watch the new seasons of Big Love and Big Brother.

Upstairs in the master bedroom, we are once again confronted with too much traditional furniture for our personal taste. The fireplace is a bonus feature for the cold footed and/or romantic types, and we are silly with delight to see bookshelves full of actual books, a redeeming feature which allows Your Mama to forgive the strange and confusing placement of the sofa at the end of the bed. As for the beige master bath? Well, Your Mama thinks it needs to be gutted.

Perhaps in their next home, the Buckinghams will hire a nice gay decorator who can successfully merge traditional design with a modern and forward thinking sensibility. Because if you're going to sell youth trends for a living, it would seem to Your Mama that your own personal style and taste should incorporate some of that youthful vibrancy and edge that corporate America has become so good at parsing and selling back to the young and old(er) alike.


Anonymous said...

Mmmmm, some more Spanish Mediterranean, yum, though I agree with you Mama.. it could use a healthy dose more decorative spice. And yup, gut the master bath. That long, narrow galley arrangement is AWEFUL, forget about the color.

Anonymous said...

The shower is nice. All the rugs are blinding me, though. I don't even mind the kitchen.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

I agree with most of what you are saying, but if you see the Druyanoff's walking through the house you realize that this "place" is certainly home to someone.

Anonymous said...

? That one went wizzing right over my head. I refer to my home as a 'place' from time to time. "Come on over to my place", "We can meet back at my place", etc. No one's ever questioned if my place is also my home, or gotten confused and thought my home was theirs. What am I missing here? I'm not being confrontational, just genuinely perplexed.

Anonymous said...

Pretty nice house. I like the kitchen...even the microwave doesnt bother me. Better a pool fence then dead floating kids....