Friday, May 16, 2008

At Home in the Hills With Ryan Murphy

SELLER: Ryan Murphy
LOCATION: Marmont Avenue, Los Angeles, CA
PRICE: $4,195,000, later reduced to $2,850,00
SIZE: 3,210 square feet, 3 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms
DESCRIPTION: Designed for his own family by Carl Maston--architect of one of the true masterpieces of the Modernist movement, The School of Environmental Design building at Cal State Poly--Maston did not stray from his usual palette of wood, concrete, and glass to effectively blur the lines between the indoors and the outdoors at his long-time family home. Painstakingly remodeled and seamlessly updated for today's lifestyle w/ all the modern luxuries. Perched above the fray yet moments from the best of LA.

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: After a gruesome couple of days dealing with technological issues beyond our ability to control or comprehend, Your Mama needed to begin again with a celebrity owned property that turns Your Mama green with envy. Owned by insanely successful and wickedly savvy writer/producer/director Ryan Murphy (Popular, Running With Scissors, Nip/Tuck), this gleaming hunk of residential wood, concrete and glass floats just about every one of Your Mama's architectural boats.

Originally we thought he bought this house in 1996, but upon further investigation, property records do indeed reflect that out and proud homosexual hottie Mister Murphy purchased this residence near the top of Marmont Avenue in the hills above West Hollywood back in May of 2001. Records are a little vague about what amount he paid for his 3,120 square foot contemporary crib but if we had to make an entirely uneducated stab based on the mortgage information we located, we'd say it was around two million bucks. But don't nobody quote Your Mama on that because truthfully we don't know.

Anyhoo, although the long, low hillside climbing residence was designed by genius–but often forgotten–modernist architect Carl Maston as his private residence, Your Mama presumes that soon after picking up this prime piece of architectural meat young Mister Murphy spent loads of money and time giving his house a big gay update. If anyone were to ask Your Mama, which of course no one did, we'd freely tell them that we think Mister Murphy's money was very well spent indeed.

Property records and listing information show the sexy and sensational stunner measures a modest but very livable 3,120 square feet with 3 bedrooms and 3 bathrooms. Photos reveal that the flooring in the public rooms is concrete (hopefully with radiant heat) and in the master bedroom Mister Murphy and his team of nice gay decorators chose cork tiles. Both were tremendously trendy floor finishes back in the late 1990s and early 2000s, but y'all know what? We still like 'em, even if they're not as fashion forward as they once were.

Giant walls of floor to ceiling glass ring the residence and suck the rugged terrain right into the sophisticated interior as well as push the polished yet casual interior spaces into the rustic outdoor spaces. It's the quintessential, and even cliche California blurring of inside and outside. Mister Murphy appears to have thoughtfully and thankfully preserved the original open plan layout of the living and dining rooms which are unified by a single glass wall and separated only by a large brick fireplace that looks back to Frank Lloyd Wright but remains thoroughly modern and ready to forcefully face the coming decades.

But for the smallish size–which Your Mama recognizes will probably be too small for many–we appreciate and gravitate towards the kitchen with its shiny white cabinets (we like shiny things), Carrara marble counter tops, sky light and white subway tile back splash. The children will note the anal retentive manner in which Mister Murphy lines up his glassware and dishes in the glass fronted cabinets, a quirk that Your Mama admires and mimics in our own home(s). Yes puppies, the large pantry in our beach house is the very picture of comestible order where every box, jar and bag sits face forward, price tag removed and lined up like Chinese soldiers ready to march into battle. While many think Your Mama and the Dr. Cooter are bonkers for the obsessive manner in which we maintain our pantry, we got nuthin' on Sister Woman who alphabetizes her pantry. Yes, children, the ladee alphabetizes her pantry. 'Tis true.

Moving up the too-steep stair case that would be problematic and perhaps even impossible for our long bodied bitches Linda and Beverly, the generously sized master bedroom includes a fireplace perfect for romantic evenings (iffin you like romantic evenings) and, like most other rooms in the house, floor to ceiling windows that give egress to the private spa and the terraced back yard. If we're being honest, and we always are, Your Mama has mixed feelings on the master bathroom. On the one hand we l.o.v.e. the soo-blime and unexpected combination of Carrara marble floors and walls with the green glass tile ceiling and we consider the addition of the red rug an inspired bit of decorating derring do. On the other hand, there's something a little too reminiscent of an upscale Russian bath house which, quite frankly, is not helped by the stand up urinal, a functional folly that Your Mama has never really understood or appreciated in private homes, but one that has become increasingly popular with men flush with mountains of dough to spend on bathroom renovations.

We recognize that the interior day-core of Mister Murphy's home in the hills will not appeal to everyone, but Your Mama asks that the chintz and china loving children at least try to recognize that it's been well considered and curated to reflect a sassy, sophisticated and quirky point of view. After all, this is not the home of just anyone. It clearly and successfully reflects the very personal taste, lifestyle and particular point of view of its owner which, as Martha Stewart might say, is a good thing. Yes, it is filled to the gills with mid-century pieces, however by not using furniture easily recognizable as being bought at Design Within Reach, Mister Murphy and his team of nice gay decorators have managed to stop short of turning this place into time capsule of mid-century modern style.

Your Mama can't fathom why Mister Murphy would want to leave this piece of architectural paradise behind, but we can only assume he has bigger, better and more expensive plans in his residential future. Whatever the case, the house, which happens to sit just up the road from Hollywood hot stuff Cameron Diaz, is available to purchase for $4,195,000. Any guesses how long before someone snatches this baby up?

Two things quick to Mister Murphy...

1. All that money on Carrara marble, a medium sized Viking range and a SubZero side by side and the microwave is still sitting on the counter? Hunny, please.

2. You might consider clearing off those kitchen counter tops and putting that nasty dish drainer in a dark closet and have your real estate return to take another photo or two, because this kitchen is not nearly as tight as all that visual clutter makes it seem. Just a friendly suggestion from Your Mama.


Alessandra said...

I love this style of post-and-beam architecture. Open and stark, yet warm and inviting. My only nitpick is the kitchen, which looks smallish and lacking in enough usable counter space.

As for the master bath urinal, I've already agreed with my husband that our dream home will have his and her master baths, and he can do whatever he wants with his side, including having a urinal. Just so long as I don't have to see it...

Anonymous said...

Mama, as always, you are correct. A truly beautiful home. One I would be hard pressed to vacate. Although, like you, I do chuckle over the urinal in the bathroom. I don't understand the attraction unless one is reliving wild nights. But the urinal does remind me of a restaurant I was at where unshelled peanuts were placed in a urinal and a toilet, in the middle of the dining area, for customer to scoop out and enjoy. Mmm...mmm...good. Want some nuts?

Mama glad to hear you're back up and operational. I've said it before, and I'll say it again, This blog is an absolute treat and one I look to forward to. Thanks!

Enjoy the day all!

Anonymous said...

pch said...

Beautiful house. I like cork floors, but always thought of them as 1940s Cliff May-ish...didn't realize they had a resurgence in the 90s. Shows you what I know.

Also, I've wanted a urinal in my bathroom ever since I realized it could be done in a private house. (It took actually seeing one to switch on the figurative flashbulb above my head.) Current beach cottage dimensions don't allow for one. But one day...a guy can dream.

Anonymous said...

you guys don't know what you are talking about. You focus on a urinal, this and that.

Have you ever questioned the terrible location?
The massive trees on the left hand side of the property making the house cold?

The fact that there is a ridge behind the property therefore the sun is lost about 1pm.

When I ever look at a property I value house and land separately. Land worth $4m? In this case NO, $1.8m. Does it cost $2m to build this rumbling shack? $800,000. I'll buy for $2.8-$2.9m tops.

Anonymous said...

It blows the mind on how a property in the sunset strip hills can go up 1000% in less than 15 years

Even if it is sold at 3MM it is still around a 800% profit but knowing this economy I am sure he will get 4MM for it in a month or two.

I wonder when we will have another real estate boom like this again ?

5 years, 10 years, 20 years ?

Anonymous said...

Next time I will be prepared way in advance.

Anonymous said...

The house has great character and openness to it. It isn't the usual house you see in the hills and is slick. The only thing I'm not big on is the kitchen, but it's a nice spread.

just do it and don't talk about it ed from westwood... just do it.

Anonymous said...

Anon 8:09, I can't comment about the location, and I don't really know what the real land value of this place is, but you must be kidding if you think you can build this place for $800,000. Architect, plus construction costs, plus landscape/pool....minimum $2.5M, and most likely much higher.

Ed, I'm sure there's a tidy profit here, even at $3M, but I am sure plenty of money was put into this house, more than the purchase price.

Anonymous said...

Looking at the snaps again...I will disagree that the kitchen is neither too small nor that there's not enough counter space. Get rid of the turtle-y platter thingy next to the range, the dish drainer next to the sink (there's a dishwasher, why do you need the dish drainer out?), slam the microwave into the right hand corner and, voila, you'll have enough space to prepare and serve 25 people dinner without a problem. I've used a similar sized space to prepare a buffet for 65 and it was a breeze as everything was so gosh-darn handy. Including the red wine and glasses. One has to have priorities y'know. :)

StPaulSnowman said...

Geez Mama........ I was having a great day until you made me feel bad about alphabetizing the spices. It never occured to me that this was worthy of ridicule. My wife and I relish knowing where to find tumeric.....and we can now that the kids are away at college. Welcome back!

lil' gay boy said...

It's a lovely home with mitered glass corner windows, beamed ceilings, and enough touches of warm-toned wood to take the chill off dark days.

It also lends itself to some judicious remodeling that would put things like the kitchen drawbacks to right.

All in all a lovely, peaceful property that could, in the right hands, make a wonderful home.

Anonymous said...

Love te dining room table and chairs.

Parker said...

I adore this home and my only complaint is that while I think the kitchen looks functional (and I do love the details), it somehow makes me feel claustrophobic. Maybe it's because my three kids would be tripping me and causing me to spill all over the beautiful marble, or maybe it's because I'm still feeling like such a sloth after reading about Mama's pantry...

Anonymous said...

In the 1996-1999 era you could get an amazing property in the hills for 500k just like back then you could get a home in beverly hills for 220k or a condo with the view of the city for 100k, I know this because I was looking at properties back then and had I known that less than 15 years later they would go up like they did I would have bought many of them, but the rule of thumb back then was every decade will double the price of your property so it did not seem like a good investment at the time.

Sad to say that real estate in the high end market has really gone up 1000% in some areas 1500%

What happened here is that 72 trillion in foreign money was invested into the RE market, reason for the lax rules on the loans and now that 72 trillion in foreign money is being invested into commodities including oil so we could see a 1000% increase in eggs, fruits, meat within the next year from 1996, already the eggs where I shop have gone up 300% they were $1.50 in 1996 and now they are $4.50

Gas was $1.29 a gallon for premium in 1996 and now it is $5.20 a gallon for the same grade.

My sports cars the Hummer and Escalade are sitting in the underground garage collecting dust, I cannot see the sense of spending $5000 a month in gas on them.

I may even sell them and get a hybrid honda, fuel cell BMW, a Tesla, or some other car that gets at least 70 mpg but it still looks good and drives comfortably.

This is starting to get insane.

Oil is now at $130 a barrell I would not be surprised if it went up to $200 a barrell and gas went up to $10 a gallon.

Now the New York prices are looking very favorable.

You pay 12k a month, and take a cab or walk to where you need to go.

Far cheaper than owning properties and driving cars in LA.

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry, but I hate the house. It's so stark, it doesn't seem like a fun, happy house...I just don't like it. I've never liked that style, I never will. Although I do appreciate the urinal...classy and functional.

Give me a Cape Cod with a nice big pool, a view of the ocean and I'm a happy guy.

Anonymous said...

Building this place for $800,000, seriously? The kitchen and baths cost $200,000 alone. As someone else said... pool, landscaping, the HOUSE itself, designre fees? hahahaha.

Anonymous said...

Quit complaining about the price of gas - go & live in Britain & try filling your Range Rover up over there ... it's more than twice the price it is here - then you'll have cause to complain!

I Like the house, noticed it the other day but needs some dollars spent to sort a few things out - overall it's pretty good - Not so keen on the location though, a little further west would be better ...

'Although I do appreciate the urinal...classy and functional.'

I sincerely hope you're kidding.

neil in toronto said...

I love every single square beooootiful inch of it!!!

Anonymous said...

Ryan Murphy actually bought this place in 2001. It was already remodeled when he bought it. He just did the decor, which if I may say so myself, is fantastic!

Anonymous said...

Those ceilings are awfully low.

Lighting design could be better.

Anonymous said...

Mama, I know you love your quirky furniture, but please...give me a farmhouse in the Hamptons! I need florals and plaids!

Anonymous said...

did he buy it for 400k in 2001 ?

Anonymous said...

Don't care for this house. The doors seem to be the only appealing thing. Kitchen is too confining and the bathroom, well, it would need to be redone.

Anonymous said...

D*mn. It followed us from the other comment. Everyone pretend it isn't in the room and maybe it will go away quietly.

Anonymous said...

At first glance, almost everything about this house spoke 'you gotta love it' to me, kitchen excepted. But the more I look it over, not so much.

Anonymous said...

This house gives me a stemmy a cat couldn't scratch..... I'd write a check furnished as is and bring my toothbrush. The urinal is awsome! I hate flushing 5 gallons just for takin' a whizz. I'd say the urinal is functional and environmentally friendly in water-scarce SoCal....

so_chic_darling said...

I love it too and the urinal is genius.It doesn't seem though that the house has any kind of view.

SequimLadee said...

Looks like a Bus Station to me....very cold. The urinal would have to go, If the guys can't hit the right spot let them go out behind the trees. If I had to rate this joint it would be a 2 on a scale of 1 to 10.....sorry MAMA.

luke220 said...

The all white kitchen looks out of place with all the natural woods in all of the other rooms. And for $4 milliion, I'd want more than a lap pool.


Anonymous said...

It's kind of dreary, actually. The house is sooooooo generic. The furniture isn't Design Within Reach, but it's Diva and other ordinary crap. The kitchen is a horror for a $4.4 million house. Horribly thought out. A microwave and dish rack on the counter?!! That's the most revealing room in the place. I'm surprised that the creator of Nip/Tuck would leave such an egregious wrinkle.

Anonymous said...

Ryan Murphy is one greedy prick. $2.8m is what you will ever get. Are you really sure those ceiling don't leak?

Anonymous said...

okay so lets say for the sake of argument he will get 500k for it ?

4MM is his asking price in 2008

lets rewind back to 2001 when he bought it for 400k so with normal with inflation growth it is worth 500k today ?

Anonymous said...

Just FYI, he paid far more for this place in 2001 than $ the millions.

Is it just me or do all these people cheering for the prices to plummet all just seem jealous and bitter that they can't afford a multi million dollar house?

P.S. I can't afford a multi million dollar house either.

Anonymous said...

tricia, I don't perceive people so much cheering over falling prices here, as they have a sense that this house & property is overpriced. As far as jealousy, some perhaps, but the broader picture at last for me is the amount of money you're being asked to pay verses what you get for it. This particular property has no view to speak of and the kitchen is claustrophobic for starters. Think for a moment and ask yourself if you had the money, would you shell out $4+ million for what you get here? I'm betting probably not because you know you could do so much better. Just my thoughts anyways.

Anonymous said...

An afterthought.. cheering verses not cheering and what that means is relative. For someone who dosen't yet own a home and would like to, falling prices give them every reason to legitimately cheer. For those who own a home already, the opposite is true.

Anonymous said...

Anon above...I didn't say I thought the house was worth $4m because I don't really know whether it is or not.

but when you have people saying silly things like this house is worth $500k, that's just asinine and frustrating because it's not based on anything factual. It's simply meant to inflame other people.

And let's remember this blog is about celebrity real estate and not the mortgage panic.

Anonymous said...

I sense that the rat pack could arrive at any moment and settle in for some poker and pops.

Anonymous said...

Luv the house! Luv the master bath! Especially the green tile ceiling and the urinal! I'd luv to have a urinal in my bathroom.

Anonymous said...

I for one would not cheer on the plummet of prices if had gone up accordingly from 1996-2008, but the fact is that since 1996 RE has gone up 1500% for the most part all over the US and now gas and food are getting up there as well ?

Now I am hearing about a 72 trillion fund from foreign investment is the real culprit of this ?

First the 72 trillion was invested into RE and now it is in commodities ?

It looks like the brokers, lenders from all of these industries worldwide do not care about the outcome as long as they get their huge commissions and now the US is going to have to pay the ultimate price ?

I think the quickest way to fix these escalating problems is to have a reversal of fortune bill, the ones who think they made off like bandits have to give back 90% of the proceeds, US or foreign.

Many of these fortunes were made illegally anyway.

The ironic thing is that a high percentage of the US flippers are now homeless, broke or are on their way to prison, the foreigners simply took off and went back home.

We also need a bill that makes most foreign investment into this country esp from that 72 trillion fund illegal, let them invest in their own countries and F**** up their own economies, apparently the reason for the recent lax lending rules was because the foreign fund was supposed to guarantee the bad loans.

What I am worried about is that it is starting to become clear more and more every day that the 72 trillion dollar foreign fund could really bankrupt this country

I have properties, condos in prime buildings in westwood that I rent out at 90's prices, I have excellent long long term tenants who are set for life so thank god I do not have to sell them, they were purchased in the 80's as long long term investments and I did not get caught up in the gold rush, so where the market goes has no affect on me but if my area becomes a ghost city, and it could go that way, that will have a major affect on me.

There is a new trend developing now, the sellers in buildings, a high percentage of them are very wealthy foreigners are asking ridiculously high prices for their investments and if they cannot get their price they are starting to abandon them and go back home, why should they care ? the banks own the condos anyway.

Anonymous said...

Ed/Joe/ et al.

You are a tragic sad little troll.

Your depressing posts are not of interest here.

What the F is you problem really? Nobody cares about the shit you cut and past here, your delusional twisted need to invade, your sad life. You f'ing loser.

You thrive on negative attention. If you are trying to appear informed or smart or to impress, or fit in, you have the wrong address.

Go back to your trailer at the river you freak. Shut the F up.

You're costing mama the loss of commenters. The demographics here are many rungs above your IQ, needs, and interests. Wait. You're not even on a rung. You're sub-terraine like a worm or a grub.

Anonymous said...

so tired...I really have to disagree with you. Your belief that the demographics of posters here is of a certain caliber strikes me as nothing more than elitist clap-trap.

Mama writes this blog as entertainment and, as such, everyone is allowed to comment...even those you consider beneath you. So deal with it and move on. If you don't like the posters point of view...don't read his or her postings. It's that simple. And, believe you me, I am far from well-off, but I truly love this blog for the wit, sass and just plain fun it provides me.

As a person several rungs below the lofty heights from where you reside...I can tell you with brutal honesty that the idea of home ownership for me is a dream not yet accomplished...and may never be. That makes me no less welcome here than you who seems to believe you sit so high above.

I would suggest that attitudes like yours, complete with foul language to match the attitude, would go further in lessening people posting at this site than Ed from Westwood's diatribes. I would also suggest thjat perhaps a bit of decorum, known as keeping your mouth shut and your fingers quiet, may be a kind idea for you to consider.

I will apologise to Mama and all for the length of this rant but I absolutely can not stand the type of attitude you possess. Please keep it to yourself.


Anonymous said...

You and I have had fun exchanges in the past and I do have an established "name", but I elect not to disclose it for this disfunctional little troll. I'm not better off financially than you. If I gave that impression, I'm amazed. it was not my intent. I do admit to using foul language about Joe/Ed, because he's such a miserable little bastard. (IMHO)

Blast me but I still don't understand the way average creep invades here.

Anonymous said...

so tired...Fair enough. And I will admit that my posting came off as pompous now that I reread my it. My apology. Blame it on not enough caffeine I suppose. Another case of not engaging the large head into gear before sending signals to the fingers.

But that last sentence of your first paragraph and your second paragraph said volumes more than your entire previous my opinion. And, again, I can understand entirely about feeling impatient with some folks.

Sending you a virtual handshake and now where is "girl at the bar" if I'm buying the first round? Mmmm.


Anonymous said...

"so tired"

I could insult you back but why waste the energy ?

and Joel thank you for your kind words

fyi, prices could go back down to pre 1998 levels in the next few months, the banks are turning down loans for high end homes left and right so I suspect that the sellers are going to be forced to lower their prices way way way down to meet the banks demands, when that happens I am sure we will see a lot of sales every day on this blog.

Anonymous said...

I made an all cash offer on a house and now I cant get any answer. I think they are holding out for more money but I cant afford more. I really want this house it would be soo cool to have my friends come over.

am I right?

Anonymous said...

uh that one sux

you have bad taste ajax

Anonymous said...


Now you're talking back and forth with yourself again.

You freaking whack job.

We know who you are every time.

Anonymous said...

anon 10 29

I have no idea who ajax is so who is the whack job now ?

and why are you trying to play a policeman although no one asked you to do it ?

you are getting really annoying, so annoying that I am just going to ignore you.

lil' gay boy said...

Anon 9:15,

I'm right with you on this one - that house has all the charm of an abandoned cold war bunker.