Dewey Nicks Is Picture Perfect in Beverly Hills

SELLER: Dewey and Stephanie Nicks
LOCATION: N. Sierra Drive, Beverly Hills, CA
PRICE: $5,625,000
SIZE: 4,429 square feet, 3 bedrooms, 4 bathrooms
DESCRIPTION: Perfectly designed for chic entertaining and comfortable living in the prestigious Beverly Hills flats. This stylish traditional has been recently renovated from the ground up by renowned architects Marmol & Radzinger and celebrity interior designer Brad Dunning. Garden by Chris Brock. This home has the sophistication and glamour of the Beverly Hills Hotel with the latest and greatest amenities.

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: Simmer down children, Your Mama knows you people probably don’t have a clue who this Dewey Nicks dude is but we can assure you that if you have eyes you have seen his work. Mister Nicks is a famous (former) fashion photographer who shot photographs for prominent publications such as Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, W and our favorite for terlit room reading, Vanity Fair. He’s also directed commercials for fashionista folks like Guess and Hugo Boss, made the fantastic photos for a faboo coffee table book called Kustom and he also directed the film Slackers. So he may not be a real live celebrity in the classic sense of the word, but he certainly plays in the same sandbox. Okaaay?

Plus, Man and Wifey Nicks are selling their celebrity style house in Beverly Hills that has been done up by architecture hotshots Marmol & Radziner with a wacky, whimsical but still quite taut interior worked over hard (HARD!) by mucketymuck decorator Brad Dunning. The much lauded Mister Dunning–who has nipped and tucked the living quarters of such luminaries Tom Ford, filmmakers Sofia Coppola and Spike Jonz (back when they were coupled), and Demi Moore and Ashton Kutcher–was IT for Los Angeles based interior designers before that Kelly Wearstler gal scooted on to the scene and became Tinseltown’s shiniest decorative darling with her far-out fashion ways, imaginative hair-dos and Hollywood Regency style resurgence.

Anyhoo, Mister and Missus Nicks have listed their N. Sierra Drive home in the Bev Hills flats with an asking price of $5,625,000. Property records show that the aesthetically minded pair purchased the 4,429 square foot house in December of 2002 for $2,195,000 and listing information reveals the house includes just three bedrooms, four bathrooms, 2 fireplaces and a detached 2 car garage at the rear of the property.

Now listen puppies, Your Mama is feeling particularly long winded this morning, so get your self a stiff cappuccino, a stiffer bloody mary or whatever it is that gets you through the early a.m. hours and let’s have a walk through this updated and upgraded mini-manse in Beverly Hills and hit some of the high and low points, shall we?

The traditional front facade has been meticulously maintained, fits into the neighborhood like it always has and offers no suggestion that the interior spaces are vibrantly colorful, funky fine and, for better or worse, an apex of contemporary and eclectic interior day-core as defined by all the gleaming shelter rags. In the foyer, with it’s girlish pink paint and curvaceous, dazzling and dangerous for drunks staircase, someone clearly took a lesson about picture hanging from the deevoon decorating demon who did up deceased doyenne Brooke Astor’s exquisite Holly Hill estate just north of New York City

Much brainstorming, energy and, of course, money was spent to impress-the-guests in the powder room where we find ornaments and oddities we’ve never actually seen in a guest terlit including an occasional table and lamp for mood lighting, a trapezoidal mirror, high-priced objet d’art and a fish tank built right into the damn wall. This fish tank was, apparently, purposely placed level with the eyeballs of whomever sits on the campy jet black terlit. Now children, it does look sort of, uhm beguiling, don’t it? However, it’s entirely gratuitous, distracting from the matters at hand, quite frankly, reminds Your Mama too much of the orthodontist office where Sister Woman went to get her teeth tortured into submission back in the 1980s.

We’ll pass on discussing the lemon yellow living room other than to say that we sincerely hope someone in this household plays that gigantic grand piano. Otherwise, it’s just an uppity artifice that serves no purpose other than to not very discreetly inform your maid and your guests that you are so fucking rich that you can afford to fork over $75,000 or more for a glossy Steinway and not even play the damn thing.

Let’s move into the dining room which, we freely admit, we love. Mostly. Mister Dunning’s dining room do over day-core is so absurdly old school and high camp that it will always manage to look timeless. If Your Mama told you this room was done back in 1962, wouldn’t you believe us? We are simply swooning over the tangerine colored rug (we love almost anything orange), we think the turqwahze seat cushions were an inspired choice and, surprisingly, we’re even digging the wrap around wall mural even though we seldom think a wall mural a good idea. None the less, we do find a few chinks in the exquisite armor. Far be it from Your Mama to question the sagacious and sophisticated Mister Dunning, but we have to be honest–because we always are–and say that it is our humble and entirely meaningless opinion that the antique glass chandelier is not only too diminutive for the room, but it appears to be hung a wee bit too high. We think chandeliers should be out and proud, not a shy and demure damsel as this one appears to be.

The family room/den/office/boob-toob room is probably where Mister and Missus Nicks actually live as opposed to entertain. While we do like the orange and red patterned carpeting (there’s our love of orange again), and we appreciate how it’s the only pattern in the room but we do worry that it might prove frustrating first thing in the morning before we’ve managed to bring our bleary eyes into proper focus. On the other hand, that gigantic chocolate brown velvet sofa looks pleasantly long enough for both your Mama and the Dr. Cooter to lay down at the same time while watching those unnerving beehawchas on the Bravo’s The Real Housewives of Atlanta. Note the book shelves with actual books.

We have no serious beef with the modest sized kitchen with its simple white cabinets (sporting the very same nipple-like pulls as Your Mama and the Doctor Cooter had in our kitchen on the East Coast), Carrara marble counter tops and massive Mac Daddy Viking Range that is bigger than one of those cute little Smart Cars. Unfortunately, the breakfast room pushes the irony envelope too far for our personal taste, although we do appreciate its relationship to the rear patio and we recognize and acknowledge the delicious tension created by those Shaker style stools pulled up to the breakfast bar.

Upstairs, the mammoth master suite features a fantastic Lucite four poster bed, baby blue and orange linens (there’s the orange again) and plenty of floor space for yoga on the unfortunate yellow plaid carpeting which does nothing for us but make us dizzy. The table-cloth like carpet has been pulled into the large dressing closet that includes a cute little oval window. The large but fairly non-descript master bath has plenty of storage space for all the anti-aging creams a ladee can buy. We appreciate the burst of color the three fuchsia orchids provide, but honestly, we find orchids to be such a tired and over-used cliché in upscale day-core. They are orchids, right?

We included a photo of one of the guest rooms simply because Your Mama has a special affection for toile and this room is practically drowning in toile. Plus we love how Mister Dunning inserted those modern orb lamps sitting on the side tables. We do not care for the caca colored carpeting and we wonder what would happen if Mister Dunning had placed some reading material in the side tables and then jumped right over the toile cliff and covered the bed with the stuff too. If you’re gonna do it, why not really do it, right?

The backyard features a charming brick terrace shaded by a retractable striped awning over looking the petite lawn area and heated swimming pool. Someone try to tell us that this isn’t the perfect spot to spend the afternoon sipping gin and tonics, reading the gossip glossies and feeling superior to all those poor people who can’t afford a five+ million dollar house in the Bev Hills flats. Be assured children, that patio furniture cost more than your car.

We already know some of you are going to scream, shout, holler and spit all manner of piss and vinegar about how this house is an over-processed hot mess. And it would be…for most people. However, whether it’s the right style for you or not, one has to admit (or at least we do), it’s quite compelling, visually startling in a (mostly) good way, not particularly precious despite it’s obvious expense and self-consciousness and, ultimately, a very livable abode.

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  1. Marc says:

    They are just some of the coolest people I’ve had the pleasure to hang out with. The house it rad! : )

  2. Anonymous says:

    “Stevie” is a knickname for “Stephanie” as in “Stevie Knicks. But I do not believe this Stephanie is that Stevie. . .

  3. Anonymous says:

    The yellow living room that you “pass over” is the best room in the house for me. Pure orange is a bit hard on the eyes, or at least on mine unless mixed in with some nice chocolate and black.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Insane price.How about 1 million smackers how about 500k?Look at citibank,merrill lynch,wamu,aig all gone.GM and detroit gone.World financial marks shut down and have lost 50-80% of value like russia and china and now usa.
    Then what in the name of common sense can justify that a house/commodity like this sell for 5-10 times what it sold in the mid 90s?The real estate market has a long way to catch up to financial reality.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Master bath is quite nice. Also, the decor is quite whimsical. Still needs updating, though. I don’t care for the back yard, but the patio furniture is nice.

  6. Grrrowler says:

    I love that this classic house has been revamped and the exterior charm retained. I love these houses in the The Flats. As for the interior, I’m not impressed. It looks as if the designer took a 1968 Architectural Digest he found at a thrift store and simply recreated what he saw in there. I’m not sure I see the cleverness of the design.

  7. Any tips on finding out how someone is connected to a trust? Sheryl Crow lives up the street from me at 1900 N Vista Street in Hollywood (90046) and her home is actually owned by the Joel W Vuylsteke Trust. Just curious! And thanks for all the fun info mamma!

  8. TheFlyingDutchman says:

    Good piece, moms, good piece.

  9. Viva! says:

    While I don’t love a lot of the decor, I do think the stairwell, master bathroom and kitchen make up for the rest of the interiors.

    What I LOVE is the exterior of the house. It’s PERFECT and I want it! But not for that price…

  10. Anonymous says:

    i do believe that one of the positive effects of the current financial crisis is that the shelter magazines (at least those that can survive. . .) will soon run out of houses like this to photograph. i don’t mean to single this particular house out, it’s just that as mama, i think, pointed out, we have seen this many, many times before if we have a subscription to elle decor. i very much lament the passing of house and garden. in addition to the great writers they gave columns to over the years, they seemed to have (generally) a much more idiosyncratic approach to interiors. now the remaining magazines that strive to be current (hmm who would that be. . .) will have to focus more on finding pictures of rooms that are the product of the creative minds that actually live in those rooms. i have a sense that at this point readers would be more interested in that. they no longer can rationally aspire to hiring x decorator to do up their digs, so instead let’s take a look at what still seems aspirational (that is, something put together by a more creative mind than our own), but also something that seems more ‘real’. more layered, more accumulated with meaning rather than just bought. just thinking. . .

  11. Anonymous says:

    Anon 12:44
    what are you, a republican?????
    dewey rocks.

  12. Billy says:

    It looks like the Owners Suite of the 1963 Freeport Howard Johnson’s .

  13. I also thought of Holly Hills the moment I saw that staircase.

    For some strange reason, I like the yellow gingham inspired carpet in the dressing room. I certainly wouldn’t run it any further than that though.

    The backyard looks very Stepford Wives to me. I could see my girlfriends and I wearing pastel coloured 50’s inspired dresses, sipping on icey cold refreshments and gossiping our way through the afternoon around that outdoor setting.

  14. Anonymous says:

    IMHO, the asking price is high but I wouldn’t call it way overpriced. I can see from the other listings in the area where they came up with the price, and if they get a buyer who falls in love with it, more power to them. The market is fickle that way. I predict a reduction in a few weeks and end up selling in the mid to high 4s.

  15. Anonymous says:

    Tacky house in the flats of B hills. Good luck with that price.

  16. Anonymous says:

    A lovely home but way overpriced (echo, echo, echo). The decorating is for the most part whimsically interesting with the exception of the lemon that was laid in the living room. If it were mine, the plaid yellow rug in the master bedroom & closet would have to go too.

  17. babe parish says:

    brooke astor arty stairwell!
    i like this place.

  18. Anonymous says:

    I love when your posts are long like this, unfortunately I gotta run so I’m gonna save it for later, love you Mama

  19. pch says:

    Sierra is blessed with a number of unmolested facades, and this one gives a great snapshot of what Beverly Hills used to look like. I don’t want to live here, necessarily, but I like that it’s there.

    I agree that the price seems ambitious. They might have put too much money into a house an 11,000 square foot lot in the 500 block.

    Or maybe not, based on the 10:25 comment.

  20. TonyV says:

    I agree with Anon 8:36. Way overpriced given the size of the house and lot. Unless it comes furnished… Certainly not my taste but definitely out of the decorating box thinking. And for that I give kudos.

  21. Anonymous says:

    I was so excited to see this when it first caravaned… just based on the terrific photos. Unfortunately, the house just didn’t measure up to the pics. The backyard is tired beyond belief. House especially falls apart upstairs. Really crummy rear cabana too. The house overall only feels half-done.

  22. brooklawn dr. says:

    I love the front of the house. Very gracious and inviting.

    I love the staircase and the backyard is so very Beverly Hills and glam. Also, the closet is enormous. Nicely organized.

    The price…. well not so terrific unless you are the sellers and you get it!!!

  23. Ed Lamp says:

    Oh Mama, you really have excelled yourself with this one! Now I have calmed down enough, admittedly with the aid of a woo-woo, I might just be able to type sensibly. I think this house is just wonderful! I simply love that theatrical-style staircase, the over-sized walk-in closet that reminds me of the upscale London hotel where I often stay, and the azure blue pool shimmering sexily in the garden. A true triumph of aesthetics. But my sides are hurting so!

    (Oh, and a woo-woo is a cranberry and vodka cocktail for those that might wonder…)

  24. Anonymous says:

    Way over priced. He is dreaming – maybe 3.75-4.25 in this market.

  25. Anonymous says:

    I especially love the ‘crook’ in the walk going up to the front door – original or not. Just a little clue that what’s inside isn’t going to be quite what you’re expecting.

  26. Anonymous says:

    Mama was on a roll this morning! Great post…and the house ain’t so bad either. Not my personal taste but not uglee either.

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