Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Bi-Coastal Double Whammy: Norman Jean Roy (Los Angeles)

SELLER: Norman Jean Roy
LOCATION: Los Angeles, CA
PRICE: $1,395,000
SIZE: 2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: Before anybody starts to stamp their feet, roll their eyes and whine like a three year old about how they ain't never heard of a "celebrity" named Norman Jean Roy give us a  moment to say a little about who this person is and why his modestly scaled (if not exactly inexpensive) and done-done-done domicile in Hollywood (CA) qualifies to appear on our little online endeavor about the real estate doings of the rich and famous.

Many if not most of the children may not instantly recognize Norman Jean Roy's name but Your Mama would fall out with flabbergast iffin all of y'all aren't familiar with at least a few bits and pieces of the bi-coastal celebrity photographer's considerable body of work. A quick perusal of the website for Mister Roy's representative(s) reveals the slender, handsome, lantern jawed, and smooth-pated professional picture taker has captured the photogenic mugs of Tinseltowners for advertising campaigns that include (but are far from limited to): Drew Barrymore for Neiman Marcus; Demi Moore for Ann Taylor; George Clooney for Omega watches; and Halle Berry for Revlon.

Mister Roy's resumé also shows he's much in demand—mostly by Condé Nast, it seems—to shoot stars for the covers for high-gloss publications. He's photographed Lindsay Lohan, Sandra Bullock and Cher for Vanity Fair, Armie Hammer, Channing Tatum and Zac Efron for Details, Eminem for Rolling Stone, Kim Kardashian, Blake Lively and Eva Longoria for Allure, and Liv Tyler for Harper's Bazaar, just to name a few. He was selected—and no doubt paid boo-coo bucks—to shoot the triple-wide fold-out cover of the annual Hollywood Issue of Vanity Fair in 2011 on which appeared (among others) Ryan Reynolds, Jake Gyllenhaal, Anne Hathaway, James Franco, a barely dressed Olivia Wilde and a simply flaw-less Mila Kunis.

Mister Roy is—or maybe was, we're not sure to be honest—married to fellow photographer Joanna Isobel Kelly and property records (and their own bios) reveal they maintained residences in both Los Angeles and New York City. Property records show in August 2005 Mister Roy forked over $1,230,000 to acquire a 1920s bungalow in a leafy and upscale pocket of Hollywood. The property was purchased in only his name but her name pops up on some of the deeds and documents we peeped at in the public property records.

Anyhoo, the fully-renovated, meticulously-maintained and high-hedged house in the Hollywood, CA neighborhood sometimes referred to as Sunset Square has popped up on to the market with an asking price of $1,395,000.

The painstakingly landscaped front yard, completely hidden from the street by a tall hedge and driveway gate, has been almost completely graveled over to provide additional off-street parking besides what's available along the narrow, paver-tiled driveway that runs up alongside the house. This graveling might seem like a ludicrous notion to some people, but it's really rather practical and has all been handled by the landscape designer(s) in the most dignified manner that includes a birch tree-backed, trough-like fountain/water feature.

A small, vine-draped front porch provides shelter from rain and sun and opens into the L-shaped and hardwood floored, open plan living/dining/lounging area that includes a not especially formal "formal" living room with fireplace at one end and a cozy den with a bank of French doors that lead out to the backyard entertainments and delights on the other. In between, the windowless (and also not very formal) dining room borrows its natural light from the wide banks of paned windows and  French doors in both the living room and den. Artificial light in the dining room comes courtesy of a George Nelson bubble pendant fixture that hangs sparingly over a wonderfully gigantic, dinner party-friendly Parson's table surrounded by ten matching molded plastic Eames side chairs with wooden tower bases.

An home office area—a potential third bedroom, according to listing information—tucks into a tight corner between the dining room and the light, bright and almost entirely white galley kitchen outfitted with snow white, Shaker-style cabinets with glass-fronted uppers, some sort of sand-colored tumbled stone counter tops, and medium-grade stainless steel appliances. We do like the chopping block center island even though it seems a bit in the way but we are irrationally fearful of that pot rack dangling from ceiling in the center of the room and laden with pots and pans that look eager as beavers to bang somebody upside the head or get snarled up in some hair-hopping queen's extra-high beehive.

Current listing information does not indicate the size of the house—the Los Angeles County Tax Man pegs it at 1,805—but does reveal there are two bedrooms and 2 bathrooms. The master suite at the rear of the residence offers "plenty of closets" and an attached "bespoke" bathroom with tumbled Carrara marble tiled steam shower. The second bedroom has a view of the front garden/graveled motor court.

The kitchen, den and master bedroom all open on to a trellis-shaded dining deck with handy-dandy, built-in outdoor kitchen/barbecue set up. The deck steps down to the paver-stone driveway that runs up along one side of the house to a detached 2-car garage at the back of the property as well as down to the backyard fun-in-the-sun space with tanning terrace and plunge-sized saltwater swimming pool set simply into a flat grass pad with just the slimmest of stone coping.

Listing information indicates the home and swimming pool are powered by a solar system and indeed several banks of solar panels can be seen in at least one listing photos mounted on the roof.

Mister Roy's soon-to-be ex-residence sits in the very same neck of the Hollywood woods as homes owned by a variety of Showbizzers who include Academy Award-winning filmmaker Dustin Lance Black (purchased fall 2010 for $1,455,000); Stylish actress Selma Blair (listed earlier this year for $1,780,000 and no longer on the open market); Nip/Tuck actor Dylan Walsh (listed in late January for $1,425,000 and is now deep in escrow); The inestimable actress and activist Sally Struthers (purchased February 1991 for $762,500); Reality queen turned clothing designer Lauren Conrad (recently listed for $2,100,000 and currently in escrow); Agent to the stars Simon Halls (sold August 2010 for $2,000,000, not long before he and man-mate Matt Bomer bought a big house in the historic Hancock Park 'hood).

Stay tuned for the 411 on the (also currently on the market) New York City apartment Mister Roy and Miz Kelly bought in March 2011 and flipped back on the market less than a year later.

listing photos: Sotheby's International Realty / Los Feliz


nursedeb said...

I love this house! like how the front gate is hidden by the hedge,and the graveled area is practical. but how big is that driveway? too much furniture in that tiny LR,imho. like the den/study off the kitchen. handy for drinkies and num nums. DR okay,the kitchen is nice. that pot rack HAS to go! I don't like the island either. LOVE the outdoor room/entertaining area!don't know that I like the master BR being so open to that space, though. wasn't aware that mister Roy took those pics, but his work is all sorts of awesome. thanks Mama!

FonHom said...

Looks like a well-maintained home with lots of light. Nice for the price.

Because they're so large, I'm guessing the dining room table & credenza and the living room sofa & console table belong to the owners. IMHO those large pieces kill the flow and in person will make the rooms look cramped and small. If you're entertaining, gridlock develops anywhere you've got room for only one person to pass at a time. Surprising how many carefully decorated homes in all price ranges have more bottlenecks than an Ikea.

Anonymous said...

I like the general look of this house and it looks like the architecture, for the most part, is still there. I think this is a nice size home for a single person or a couple. I would imagine the electrical, plumbing and mechanical is up to date. With all that addressed and in order, I'd hit this damned place like General Patton in a Sherman tank. The majority of the friggin white paint would be gone and there'd be COLOR and WOODWORK and drapes with patterns. When I got done people would stand there and go, "Holy, shit, Germany surrendered, the war is over and the troops are coming home! Am I alone in reaching back on houses like this and desiring a more 40's color palette and vibe? I'd still do a good mid-century with respect to THAT period. I think the BORING, BORING, BORING beige and white period needs to be shot and given a proper burial.

Anonymous said...

"I think the BORING, BORING, BORING beige and white period needs to be shot and given a proper burial."

They are all over the LA area. I have a deja-vu every time I see one. In fact, this one was suspect but I suspected it was closer to Mali-booboo. Fail.

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