Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Jesse Tyler Ferguson Buys Los Feliz Casa

BUYER: Jesse Tyler Ferguson and Justin Mikita
LOCATION: Los Angeles, CA
PRICE: $4,450,000
SIZE: 4,926 square feet, 4 bedrooms, 4.5 bathrooms

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: Four-time Emmy nominated Modern Family actor Jesse Tyler Ferguson—always the Emmy bridesmaid never the bride—married his slender, swarthy, and scruffy-faced man-friend, Justin Mikita, in July (2013) in a downtown New York City ceremony officiated by legendary playwright and screenwriter Tony Kushner and attended to by a small flotilla of Showbiz types.

Like so many other rich and/or famous newly-wedded heterosexuals, the happy couple soon sought a new nest. We'd heard word through the celebrity real estate gossip grapevine they peeped properties deep in the spiritual heart of the San Fernando Valle but it wasn't until Yolanda Yakketyyak and Lucy Spillerguts both snitched to Your Mama that Misters Ferguson and Mikita—or is it the Misters Ferguson-Mikita now?—coughed up $4,550,000 for an updated and well preserved Spanish Colonial Revival residence with a celebrity pedigree in a star-studded pocket of L.A.'s Los Feliz neighborhood.

Rock star power-pair Gwen Stefani and Gavin Rossdale bought the house in 1998 for $1,375,000 and sold it in April 2007 for $4,795,000 to two-time Emmy nominated television writer/producer Mark Brazill (3rd Rock From the Sun, That 70s Show). They moved, in case y'all don't know to to a gated community in the Beverly Hills Post Office where they spent $14 million on a large modern mansion previously owned by J.Lo.

Mister Brazill, bless his heart, caught an immediate and raging case of The Celebrity Real Estate Fickle and, just a month after he bought it, flipped the property back on the market with an asking price of $4.885 million. Sadly for Mister Brazill, it took a number of price chops before, finally, in October 2009, he managed to unload the property for $3,995,000, a heart-stopping $800,000 loss not counting carrying costs, improvements, upkeep and real estate fees.

The buyers, according to property records were artist Bill Nelson and Lara Merriken, the latter the entrepreneurial creator of the Lärabar snack bar. Mister Nelson and Miz Merriken, according to digital marketing materials, made a long list of crucial restorations and renovations (i.e. new tile roof with copper gutters and custom swimming pool tiles) before they listed the the property in March (2103) with an asking price of $5,195,000.

A long, gated driveway sweeps up and across the steep slope in front of the house that listing details show was originally built in the late 1920s and is currently configured with four bedrooms and four (or maybe 4.5) bathrooms in 4,926 square feet.

It takes a full flight of exteriors stairs to get from  the motor court and front-facing three car garage to an unexpectedly large, Mexican paver-tiled terrace with a perfectly lovely sky view over the thick and mature tree tops that provide the gated and fortified mini-estate with visual privacy from the street and surrounding homes. An antique, carved wood door leads into a grand, rotunda-type foyer that is sure to impress guests and the hunky FedEx delivery man both with paver-tile floors inset with shiny black tiles; a vintage light fixture that is either original to the house or looks like it could be; a dramatic, Norma Desmond-worthy curved staircase with swirly wrought iron banister; and a hand-painted, exposed wood ceiling.

We don't care so much for the parquet flooring in the cavernous formal living room—it seem out of character for this room—but we are otherwise down down down with the the rest of the room that features a voluminous, 25-foot exposed wood ceiling; a barely-adorned carved stone (or possibly but hopefully not poured concrete) fireplace; and French doors with terraces access and a super-sized arched window with side garden view. Tucked into a tight cranny between the curve of the staircase in the foyer and the living room there's a downright clever and fully-wood paneled office nook or writing room or whatever.

There's a tall, barrel-vaulted ceiling and snowflake-patten tile floor in the library and in the spacious formal dining room there a paneled coffered ceiling finished with pretty-nearly the exact same if less chatoyant rich and reddish brown tone as the wood floors. The children will note the rich and reddish brown wood floor in the dining room is the fourth—and not the last—floor treatment on the main living level but, thankfully, the wood floors in the dining room extend into the sunny breakfast room as well as into the kitchen itself, a high-end country-style affair with industrial-style stainless steel appliances, marble counter tops and a pair of huge and chunky woodblock center islands set end to end for maximum snack and prep space.

A fifth floor material/pattern presents itself as oatmeal-colored wall-to-wall carpeting in the partly-paneled family room that does double duty as a screening room with a projection system and large screen that drops out of the ceiling at the touch of a button or a flip of the switch or whatever mechanism it is.

Three family bedrooms on the second floor share a single hall bathroom while the reasonably roomy master suite has space for a sitting area in the bedroom plus a small private balcony, dual closets, and a renovated master bathroom with lots of arches and a spine straightening groin vaulted ceiling.

The .55 acre, street-to-street lot has numerous patios, terraces, balconies, and courtyards as well as an outdoor fireplace, a terraced swimming pool and spa with custom tile work, a raised vegetable garden, a yoga pavilion—it's L.A., after all, and a decked perch at the top of the property with long views over the trees towards the Pacific in the far off distance.

Some of Mister Ferguson and Mister Mikita's new, high-profile neighbors include comedic actress Kirstie Alley, Weeds and Orange Is The New Black creator/writer Jenji Kohan, and Red Hot Chili Pepper Michael "Flea" Balzary. Until recently Twilight heartthrob Rob Pattinson lived on the same street but he's since decamped for rented digs in the same Beverly Hills Post Office enclave where Gwen Stefani and Gavin Rossdale live and has his lavishly landscaped house on the open market for $6,750,000.

Eagle-eyed celebrity real estate watchers may recall that it was only just a bit more than three years ago that ginger-haired and usually bearded Mister Ferguson shelled out $759,000 for a compact two bedroom and one bathroom Spanish bungalow in the Silver Lake area. The fate of the bungalow is as yet unknown...at least to Your Mama. Bueller? Bueller? Anyone? Bueller?

listing photos: PostRain Productions for Sotheby's International Realty


Unknown said...

This looks like one of the houses used in Entourage. Maybe I'm crazy.

lil' gay boy said...

Good bones, bad wardrobe; time for an emergency makeover.

Nothing the Ferguson-Mikitas cannot handle; I believe they just might know a good gay decorator.

Perhaps it's just that disturbing shade of aqua on the woodwork that's throwing me; or that peculiar way the tub/shower combo is worked into the arch. Not only does it seem a little off to me, but for no logically explainable reason it reminds me of the zero gravity toilet in 2001: A Space Odyssey.

Anonymous said...

I know it was 2012, and more money, but when you look at what David Hyde Pierce sold in Los Feliz, they paid much too much.

Rosco Mare said...

Beautiful estate, though I don't care for the configuration of the pool and the spa, and what appears to be many steps up to the front door.

Anonymous said...

Have seen JTF in my neighborhoodI (East 70s NYC) since his days as a relatively minor stage actor. And this past summer saw both of them regularly at Joe, a coffee shop on Lex/75. Bet the Los Feliz house is 1000x bigger than the UES digs. Wonder if they're gonna keep them.

Anonymous said...

Almost $1,000 a sq ft in Los Feliz for a nearly sunless house with no views, no lawn, not great privacy, partially subterranean dining room, awkward pool, many strange and dreary colors, and lots of floor plan problems. And, no, the entryway lantern is not original - it's a modern, Asian made pseudo-antique of not the highest quality, maybe worth at most $800. You see them here and there in that area. I just sold two out of a house I bought a few months ago. All the better.

Wonderful! Absolutely wonderful! Go with God, Ferguson-Mikitas!

The Swan said...

The entry lantern IS original, the parquet is as well for in the 20s...a parquet floor was de riguer for TANGO dancing. The kitchen was redone, the pool added by, the garage doors created to enclose otherwise an open parking loggia, by Gwen and Gavin. The recent removal of the Gladding McBean Roof Tiles was a sin by the last owners..not only money thrown away, but historic roof tiles that I am sure the roofer resold to someone who paid several times more to have PERIOD roof tiles worthy of Neff, Kaufman, Johnson or other Golden Age Architects. There was NO Saltillo tile anywhere but period Glazed Tile. I know as I was the one who chose the house for Gwen when she embarked on her own in 1997!

Petra's said...

Have to admit I'm with LGB here. Not feeling it at all. And that's saying something because a good Spanish Colonial really gets me going.

It might be just that horrid aqua color though. Gwen has always had impeccable taste and I'm sure this place is much better in person.

Anonymous said...

To The Swan:

I've seen that entryway lantern up close, and it is EXACTLY the same as a whole room of such fixtures that was sold a few months ago in a downtown Los Angeles estate sale. And it is the same as the two fixtures I sold myself ... which were appraised and guaranteed modern by an independent appraiser.

And if a parquet floor was de riguer for TANGO dancing in the 1920's, then not many people tangoed in their Los Feliz living rooms, because I have not seen another floor like that one original to the 1920's in Los Feliz. Very few 1920's Los Feliz homes had parquet living rooms. I've seen almost all of the grand Los Feliz and most of the lesser ones. In person, this floor looks far more recent than the 1920's. I have walked on it more than once, and parquet - especially this parquet - sure isn't consistent with Spanish revival style in a house that was obviously built by so done determined to design in that style everywhere else.

If the lantern and parquet are original, and you were the one who chose the house for Gwen, then you must have some period photos of them to share with Mama. Please do!

Sandpiper said...

This is spectacular!

I would be their house frau in a heartbeat.

Looked familiar. Checked. Mama, you covered it in March '07. Oh how your words linger in my mind.

Anonymous said...

Shalom Kinderlach:

The "haint blue" window trim, originally used by the Gullah people to repel malevolent spirits, is culturally and architecturally appropriate when used on a South Carolina Lowcountry home, for trim, shutters, and even porch ceilings. Middle-eastern homes, especially if built during the Ottoman Empire period, also historically feature aqua-blue trim. Mediterranean-revival homes generally have brown trim.

The foyer chandelier, while a beautiful vintage fixture, is not sufficiently scaled to the grand size of the entry rotunda.

The living room parquet floor appears to be from a 1960s remuddle, and the dining room floor appears to be even newer. The original hardwood floors would have been laid parallel to the lengths of the rooms with shadow box borders.

Nevertheless, the Rabbi would be delighted if the Ferguson-Mikita home was designated as her parsonage.

Rabbi Hedda LaCasa

The Swan said...

The AQUA paint trim is referenced in the EPITOME of Spanish Colonial architecture - THE ADAMSON MALIBU RESIDENCE which by the way is a MUSEUM!

Tango parquet floors were seen even in Santa Barbara and Montecito estates, some still untouched - Parquet does go back further than the 18thC. Last I recall, dialogue mentions Norma Desmond installed a floor especially for the Tango with Valentino in the movie - Sunset Blvd.

The chandelier is authentic, scaled to the Entry Tower. I had another similar shape entry chandelier in a house I restored on the Blvd and in a Neff as well. The house is a 1920s capsule and on a lot street to street.

Rosco Mare said...

Didn't Norma Desmond refer to a tile floor that had been installed as a dance floor, referencing Rudolph Valentino, in SUNSET BLVD?

Anonymous said...

Yes, but the floor in Sunset Blvd. was changed from wood to tile. "Valentino said there is nothing like tiles for a tango." Valentino ought to know!

The Swan said...

Everyone knows wood is preferred to a tile floor for dancing...common sense! Terrazzo, I've read, is what was referred to as the TILE in Sunset Blvd movie. That makes sense in the context of a movie, but not in real life Ballroom, Flamenco, or Tango dancing.

Anonymous said...

Swan, now you've lost me. Comment at 11:25 was in response to your comment, which seemed to imply that the floor in Sunset Blvd. was parquet. "Last I recall, dialogue mentions Norma Desmond installed a floor especially for the Tango with Valentino in the movie - Sunset Blvd." See clip of the floor: http://www.tcm.com/mediaroom/video/376371/Sunset-Blvd-Movie-Clip-You-Want-A-Valentino.html

Anonymous said...

I bought the same chandelier at Lamps Plus 50% off sale.

lil' gay boy said...

Despite the esoterica vis-a-vis tile & wood, yes, wood is generally preferred for dancing because of its "give" -- however, it is undeniable that the parquet flooring here, even if vintage, just looks "off" -- in the listings photos it appears off-scale and out of proportion to the room -- perhaps it's just poor execution.

As for dancing on tile, well, the last time BGD (Argentinian, of Spanish & Italian extraction) & I were in Bueños Aires to visit my MIL (the Spanish half), she took us to a local dance recital (in which she used to dance the tango & flamenco, and played flamenco guitar) in one of the oldest theaters in Capital Federal -- complete with a tile inset in the larger dance floor; mostly used in flamenco because it was "mas fuerte".

As far as matters of taste? Po-tay-toe, po-tah-toe. I loathe the aqua trim; authentic or not, it makes my eyes itch. But then not everyone loves Fallingwater the way I do either.

Anonymous said...

To The Swan:

Insisting that the entry lantern is original to this house when anyone who has seen it and paid attention would know otherwise, or that the living room floor is original when anyone who has walked on it can see it is from a much later period, just deprives you of all credibility. If you really "chose" this house for Gwen on such bases, then you and she were had. Give it up or provide some period evidence (photos).

You wade deeper and deeper into the old muddy with each ridiculous post!

The Swan said...

ANON 2:24, 12:44, 8:38, 4:49 - sounds like your not feeling well! It's alright to be wrong...perhaps your Independent Appraiser works with your Downtown Estate Sales Company in swindling those who haven't a clue what's authentic into selling for pennies on the dollar. What is important is FACTS...the floor is beautiful, shaded in intricate tones and is ORIGINAL as is the LANTERN!

Fallingwater is divine, as singular in Beauty as the Ennis House perched overlooking Los Angeles right by this.

Anonymous said...

Dearest Kinderlach and Feigelach (Tr.: Birds):

The vintage foyer lighting fixture appears to be a lantern-chandelier hybrid, a lantelier. Oy, the Rabbi cannot help herself!

Enlighteningly yours,
Rabbi Hedda LaCasa

The Swan said...

Sad...'faygelah' dearest rabbi...sad...try reading your Torah while touching your mezuzah for more enlightenment since you cannot help yourself! Put the hot toddy of manischewitz away...'faygelah' - sad!

Petra's said...

I have no dog in this amusing catfight, just wanted to say that the "Lamps Plus" comment cracked my shit up. That is all.

Anonymous said...

Confidential to The Swan:

I am sorry if I offended you. I extended the Yiddish word feigelach, birds, in a friendly manner to you and Sandpiper; however, I clearly crossed a line and I am genuinely sorry, Please know that the word feigeleh, little bird, a euphemism for a gay man, was never my intention, in part because I know neither your gender or preference, and also because I embrace all gender identities and loving forms of sexual expression. Please accept my apology.


The Swan said...

Thank you for your sincere apology.

Anonymous said...

These are some photos when Gwen was in residence. Loved her decorating style. (I'm not the earliest poster.)
Re: Pattinson, will be interesting to see how long it will take to sell.

Anonymous said...

In addition to being an obvious Asian-made modern creation, the entryway lantern is disproportionately too small for the space. That's not an uncommon mismatch where the original fixture has been removed and replaced, as is clearly the case here.

To see what a correctly proportioned fixture might look like, one could do worse than ponder the also non-original (but lovely and correctly proportioned) fixture in Los Feliz house David Hyde Pierce sold a little while ago:


On the other hand, perhaps The Swan should forego such pondering, since there appears to be a risk of a burst blood vessel.

Candy Spelling said...

To quote the exceptional lyricist Tiffany: "Children behave!"

Play nice or you're all uninvited from my next delightful Sunday soirée at the beach house.

Anonymous said...

The Swan started it in1997, your mama (not Your Mama) wears army boots, and we don't like your caterer.

Verandah and Patti

Anonymous said...

The Swan appears determined to prove he is a silly goose!

Where are the period photos?! Stop quacking and produce the evidence.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for posting the link to the David Hyde Pierce house. It's instructive to contrast the exterior color palettes of the two houses. Where it goes wrong at this place seems to start with the color of the roof tile.

Anonymous said...

Guenther, you are absolutely correct, as soon as I saw the house I swore it was on Entourage also. I am sure it was the last house Vince & Co. lived in.

Anonymous said...

This was then Laverne & Shirley set.

Don Juan's Wreckless Daughter said...

Nana Candy emerges!!! eeeek!!! My day is made :)))

@Petra: The "I have no dog in this cat fight" cracked my shit up even more so than the 'Lamps Plus 50% off' comment. Keep it comin' love.