Monday, June 13, 2011

Amy Smart Gets Engaged, Lists Bev Hills Cottage

SELLER: Amy Smart
LOCATION: Beverly Hills, CA
PRICE: $1,995,000
SIZE: 2,000 square feet, 2 bedrooms, 2.25 bathrooms

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: In April (2011), after only about six months of doing the dating dance, it was announced in all the tabs, blogs and gossip glossies that fresh-faced model turned actress Amy Smart got engaged to her man-model turned reality tee-vee carpenter beau-hunk Carter Oosterhouse. The handsome couple's planned nuptials may (or may not) have something to do with Miss Smart putting her Beverly Hills house on the market with an asking price of $1,399,000.

Miss Smart, a classically attractive and wholesome California blond with perfect white teeth, shifted from clothes hanger to actress in the mid-1990s. Her career didn't get into full swing until the late 1990s with rolls in movies such as Varsity Blues, The Butterfly Effect and Just Friends. Along the way she's voiced an animated thing or two (Robot Chicken) and had recurring appearances on television programs that include Felicity and Scrubs.

Lantern-jawed and hairy chested Mister Oosterhouse–like Miss Smart also a former manikin–is best known as one of the hunky and flirty carpenters that ply their good-looking trade on home renovation reality programs. While undeniably skilled, good with a hammer and proficient with power tools of all types, the raison d'etre of these well-built manly men carpenters like Mister Oosterhouse are not to build a buffet for the dining room but–let's be honest butter beans–to make all the females and gays swoon with both raw lust and a hollow sadness from the bitter reality that they do not, in fact, wake up every morning next to a tasty piece of man-bacon like Carter Oosterhouse. Miss Smart, on the other hand, does, which is enough to make any number of females and queens hate her with a deep passion even though she seems like a perfectly lovely woman. Anyhoo, Mister Oosterhouse has appeared on or hosted a number of home renovation reality programs including Carter Can and Three Wishes but it was as the sometimes shirtless lumber and nails expert on the home renovation reality program pioneer Trading Spaces that put his firm fanny and well-shaped pectorals on the map.

Property records show that Miss Smart picked up her ivy-covered Cape Cod-style cottage in April 2002 for $699,000. At that time Mister Oosterhouse was not even a twinkle in Miss Smart's romantic eye as she was was thick into a relationship (and engagement) with actor Branden Williams that came to an end in 2008 after 12 years.

The house, what Your Mama thinks of as an appropriately-scaled celebrity starter house, occupies a tiny hillside lot in the rustic and affluent Benedict Canyon area. Set slightly above the street behind a tall privacy hedge, the intimately-scaled brick-faced residence measures around 2,000 square feet according to listing information and includes 2 bedrooms and 2.25 bathrooms

A gate next to the front-facing two-car garage swings open into a courtyard-style front yard with brick terrace, fountain, mature landscaping that includes a row of white roses along the front of the house and a wee patch of grass pock-marked with canine urine burns. Word up Miss Smart (and the children): Garlic pills available at your local pet store help neutralize dog pee so it does not burn spots into the lawn.

The front door, painted a shiny black and flanked by a pair of corkscrew-shaped topiary, opens into a squeezy entry that leads into the living room dressed in traditional furnishings that include roll-armed sofas and chairs and a grandfather clock plus a thin vein of Chinoiserie–i.e. mis-matched bamboo side tables–that weaves itself through the room. White walls offset the dark and distressed wood floors and a built-in bar and wood-burning fireplace give the space a cinematic air of Ozzy and Harriet have cocktails

French doors lead from the living room into a greenhouse-like room with different but also dark and distressed wood floors that listing information calls a "family room/conservatory." Your Mama thinks it could also serve as a proper dining room, where a person could suffer a damn heat stroke during a hot summer Sunday luncheon. Adjacent and convenient to the greenhouse/family room/conservatory/dining room is the cozy–and by cozy we mean small–eat-in kitchen with vaulted ceiling and built in breakfast banquette lined with thick cushions and pillows upholstered in a a variety fabrics appropriate for a French farmhouse.

An older article in In Style magazine reveals that Miss Smart renovated the kitchen after she bought the house. Instead of sleek cabinets and slab granite or marble counter tops that were, by then, de rigueur in upscale homes she stayed true to the home's casual Cape Cod cottage vibe and opted for simple white Shaker-style cabinets with glass-fronted uppers and tile counter tops updated with high grade stainless steel appliances such as a Sub-Zero fridge and Wolf brand range.

Miss Smart's trad country house gets a necessary injection of Hollywood glam in the mirror-lined and leopard print-carpeted staircase where Miss Smart–or probably her decorator who was named in the In Style article as Brandi Geller–hung a couple of vintage-looking black and white photographs.

The second floor master has wood floors, a second wood-burning fireplace, tree-top views and a modestly-sized attached bathroom with vintage (looking) black and white tile. The children will notice the small sunburst above Miss Smart's tufted headboard. We went on a bit of a tirade last week about the ubiquity of sunbursts in professionally decorated homes and here again we have another example. It appears to Your Mama that Miss Smart utilized the second bedroom as den/office with a wall of built-in–and book-filled!–bookcases and cabinetry, a dormer window and a crazy zebra-striped rug that lends a little more wild to the tasteful but otherwise fairly staid day-core.

The back of the house opens to the terraced and thickly-planted back yard that steps up the steep hillside. Just above the house an expansive flagstone terrace with lounging and sunbathing area surrounds a small dark-bottomed salt water swimming pool and spa. Behind the pool a narrow brick staircase curves gently as it climbs up through the vigorously blooming garden-scape, through a vine draped arbor to a meandering flat grassy area planted with rose bushes and citrus trees.

Your Mama hasn't and iota what Miss Smart's real estate plans are once she sells her Bev Hills cottage but it's probably safe to assume they include her fiancée Mister Oosterhouse. Although they've known each other less than a year it seems these love-struck love birds are eager to hunker down together in a new crib where they can raise babies or breed cats or build bird houses or whatever it is they plan to do in their wedded domesticity. Mazel tov!

Mister Oosterhouse's real estate holdings include a townhouse-type 3 bedroom and 2 bathroom condo just a couple short blocks off the sand in Hermosa Beach, CA that property records show was purchased in April 2005 for $1,000,000. Natch, Your Mama did a quick and entirely unscientific sweep through the interweb to see if the comely carpenter's condo was also on the market. We did not, alas, turn up any evidence of the condo being on the (open) market but we did turn up an older article in Elle Decor about Mister Oosterhouse and his then recently renovated kitchen. The article states that Mister Oosterhouse had an assist in his kitchen re-do and day-core by his interior designer sister Sienna Oosterhouse who at one time–and may still for all we know–worked for celebrated L.A.-based designer to the rich and famous Brad Dunning.

listing photos: Hilton & Hyland


Anonymous said...

Nice home for exactly what it is. I like it. But, when departing the house and gazing out the "living room" windows, one must do one's best and not look too far over the road slightly to the north and see the latest home of Dr. Phil. Personally, I need less reminders of him than more.

Miss Lily Pond

Anonymous said...

I would find it pleasant to sit in the early evening in the garden room when it is raining and watch and listen to the water pouring down over the glass roof and wall. A simple pleasure.

Trixie von Trott said...

This looks like a comfortable home, not overly-designed to impress.

I love the comment about the "urine burns" in the lawn. I do wonder about the state and aroma of the carpets though...

Anonymous said...

I miss Andrew Dan-Jumbo. He was my favorite of the reality "carpenters."

Lady J

Anonymous said...

Maybe it's just me, but for as comfortable as this place is "for what it is", it seems outrageously over-priced "for what it is." She buys it for $700K in 2002 and it's now worth $2M?

PebbleBeach said...

The house is done well and is cute. Backing out of the garage of Ms. Smart's home on to Benedict Canyon looks like it could be downright dangerous. That can be one busy road.

Every summer, I stay at a little vacation house on an offshoot from Benedict Canyon. Just pulling forward into the road is challenging at times.

At $1.39M, I think it's about $200K too high, but since I won't be buying it, what do I know?