James Perse’s Pad in The Birds

SELLER: James Perse
LOCATION: Oriole Drive, Los Angeles, CA
PRICE: $3,750,000 (reduced from $4,995,000)
SIZE: 2,235 square feet, 1 bedroom, 1.5 bathroom
DESCRIPTION: …This residence designed by James Perse exemplifies the Southern California lifestyle: flr. to ceiling walls of glass provide abundant light & seamless indoor-outdoor flow, fantastic master w/ FP, huge walk-in closet & luxurious bath, lrge open eat-in kitch. w/ stainless steel appliances, wonderful open living rm w/ FP & wet bar opening out to private lush landscaped grounds, pool, spa & outdoor shower.

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: Last night, as we were watching those skinny bitches strut their wannabe model stuff on that deelishusly undignified America’s Next Top Model program, we were also perusing the newly available properties in the Bird Streets high above Los Angeles’ Sunset Strip. It wasn’t long before our beady little eyeballs beheld a re-worked ranch directly across the street from the architectural tour de force of Ricardo Montalban, may he rest in peace, and around the corner from Leo DiCaprio’s recently remodeled crib. As it turns out (and as the listing so boldly declares), the desirably located property is owned and being offered by t-shirt tycoon James Perse.

Unless you’re in the tax bracket where you can comfortably afford to fork over more than fifty bucks for a cotton t-shirt or 145 clams for a pair of cotton cargo shorts, you might not know who our James Perse is or how he can afford to bed down in the Birds. See children, young Mister Perse was born into Los Angeles fashion royalty. His fatherm, Tommy Perse, is the man behind Maxfield, the super swank Melrose Avenue boo-teek that has been selling high priced and fashion forward duds to rich and famous folks since before the dawn of time. For those the children who think Los Angeles is a fashion wasteland, Your Mama suggests you haul your heiny to Maxfield and check out all the dee-voon tailored Dries Van Noton and gloriously avant Comme des Garçons garments that fly off the rack and into black shopping bags that get loaded into idling automobiles that cost as much as a damn house in Middle America.

Anyhoo, starting when he was just a baby-faced 22 years old, young Mister Perse followed his father into the rag trade selling pricey pared down basic pieces to celebrities and other folks with black Amex cards and money to burn. Although Your Mama is certain some of you will have all sorts of sassy and snarky things to say about people who plunk down $295 for a thermal lined hoody, we’re also quite sure that Mister Perse will pay you no mind because whether y’all think his relaxed fit boxer shorts are worth 28 bucks a pair or not, he’s managed without your financial assistance to successfully expanded his casual clothing lines into an small empire that includes 9 architecturally minimal boo-teeks stretching from the shimmering shores of Malee-boo to the casually glizty streets of East Hampton.

Property records show Mister Perse picked up his Oriole Drive property in May of 1998 for $875,000. Records on file with the County of Los Angeles show that the 2,235 square foot house includes 2 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms. However, listing information shows there are just 1 bedroom and 1.5 bathrooms. That’s right children, 1 bedroom and 1.5 bathrooms. Let’s just pause for a moment and try to get out mind around the staggering optimism and impressive real estate cajones it takes to list a one bedroom and 1.5 bathroom house for almost five million dollars in a luxury market that is, by all accounts, less than brisk.

The 1/3 acre property is properly gated and fully hedged for privacy and listing information reveals the wonderfully pared down pad features walls of floor to ceiling sliders that open every room to the out doors. The crisp, clean lined and barely furnished living room has a fireplace, several seating areas, shiny blond wood floors, and a wet bar. The living room leads directly into to the master bedroom at the rear of the house where there is a second fireplace, more floor to ceiling glass sliders opening to the pool deck, a large walk in closet and a bathroom with a shower large enough for Mister Perse to scrub down with a few friends should he desire.

The minimally designed kitchen with its white cabinets, black counter tops and blond wood breakfast bar is open to the dining room where Mister Perse has placed a picnic table painted a gleaming black. We know the children are going to skewer us for saying so, but Your Mama loves us a picnic table moved indoors to become dining room table.

The long, low and lean house wraps around the rear terrace where there is a simple rectangular swimming pool, spa and a good sized grassy area. Somewhere, according to listing information, is an outdoor shower. For those not familiar with the pleasures of showering outdoors, you are missing out on one of life’s great simple pleasures.

Mister Perse has admirably adhered to a strict palette of black, white, cement grey, grass green and blond wood in his minimally designed digs. While Your Mama goes weak in the knees over such decorative restraint, we fear that things have gotten a wee to minimal even for us. Perhaps all of Mister Perse’s personal effects have been removed from the premises, but we feel strongly this house would benefit greatly from some thought provoking art hanging on the expansive white walls and a few stacks of books and magazines tossed about would make it look like someone actually lives up in here as opposed to just occupying it.

Presumably, the asking price of Mister Perse’s property is partly justified by its stellar location at the white hot center of the Bird Streets. But given that there’s just one bedroom here, any new owner will need to be single, childless and/or prepared to spend another few hundred thousand adding additional bedrooms and bathrooms. Your Mama wishes Mister Perse all the luck in the world unloading this one because, we fear, he’s going to need all the luck he can get selling a one bedroom house at this price.

P.S. As noted by one of the children and despite the language in the listing description, this house was indeed did up and done up for Mister Perse by an architecture firm called Standard.

Post A Comment 61

Leave a Reply


Comments are moderated. They may be edited for clarity and reprinting in whole or in part in Variety publications.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

  1. Anonymous says:

    Reduced $1,000,000

    Just another $3,000,000 to go until its priced right.

  2. Anonymous says:

    i bet “mama” buys lots of james perse for her little closet

  3. Anonymous says:

    hey anon 5:30, GOOD REPORTING! Many Thanks.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Lucy – If by “on the water” you mean Malibu, the price would have a 1 in front of it.

  5. Lucy says:

    That’s a lot of dollars for a little bitty house. Which isn’t even on the water. And with a butt ugly bathroom.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Oh, and forget comparing this to Mel B’s house. It might as well be in a different state, when you compare the Birds to Mt. Olympus. In terms of “desire” and “status” and “what people will pay.” Mt. Olympus (if you can stand your well-heeled friends snickering at you), is actually one of the bargains left in the Hills. Due to the “snob” penalty. Where the Birds buys you “respect” and you pay for it.

  7. Anonymous says:

    I just saw the house at the open today. To clear some things up and add some.

    1) Zero view. From any room. At. All.

    2) Happens to be across the street from “Mr. Rourke’s” house. $20MM of happening.

    3) The house was re-done 11 years ago, when James bought it for just under a million. You can see the 10+ years of gentle wear and tear.

    4) All the fixtures that could have come from his stores clearly did. As did the furnishings. Do I see a “Joe Francis-style” “business expense as personal expense?” Perhaps. I can see “order me 4 more of the Schindler chairs when you’re doing the store on Melrose and ship the extras to my house. Same front door hardware, sliding doors, etc. Even much of the same landscaping species. Wonder how much of the renno. cost was offset that way.

    5) Finish levels WAY too low to support the price. Fiber board cabinets, mid tier tile, mid-tier fixtures.

    6) Deferred maint. on the actual house. Dry rot in garage roof at least (note bowing).

    7) Steep, steep driveway. Hurts “estate” feel.

    8) On a “good day” $3.7MM tops. Tops. On a regular day, $3.2 using street averages.

    9) Forget land value/tear-down. At $500 a foot to expand/built at the level of the hood and of the needs of the lot, LA city issues/codes, you can’t make the math work and still make a profit.

    That is all.

  8. Anonymous says:

    1:00 – Supposedly George Harrison rented a house on Blue Jay in the late 60s and the song was inspired by his time there.

  9. Georgica Pond says:

    actually, anon 12:58 PM, we have had a few $5 million one bedrooms in NYC. At least in LA it comes with land and a pool!
    Alas, on either shore, it is crazy!

  10. Anonymous says:

    Didn’t the Beatles do a song that mentioned the Bird Streets…..Blue Jay Way

    Jetliner city/ocean views from many of the Bird Streets….

  11. Anonymous says:

    $5 mil for a (1) bedroom house…

    Only in L.A.

  12. Anonymous says:

    This house was not designed by James Perse. It was designed by Standard, the architecture firm that designed his stores.


  13. Georgica Pond says:

    FYI children, we just had a delicious scandal here in The Hamptons. An S&M mortgage fraud!

    SOUTHAMPTON, N.Y. (AP) — Five people, including a former county legislator and a woman said to be a dominatrix, are facing charges they participated in a $50 million mortgage fraud scheme involving several dozen Hamptons properties over the past seven years.

  14. Anonymous says:

    Oh, my butt hurts from looking at these pictures. No where comfy to sit at all in the whole place.

  15. Anonymous says:

    sorry its late, I meant Jeff Hyland

  16. Anonymous says:

    Sally Forster Jones from Coldwell Banker


    Rick Hilton & Rick Hyland – Hilton & Hyland


  17. Anonymous says:

    Link to Spelling Sale please. Listing agent is?

  18. avg joe says:

    The spelling mansion is offically on sale

    asking price ?


  19. Max and Betina says:

    Way too much color.

  20. lil' gay boy says:

    Comparing this house to the previous posting (Mel B) is to see the difference between architecture & art.

    Too pricey by half, but, for those with a taste for this particular palette, this one’s at near move-in condition, while Mel B’s would have to be gutted, IMHO.

  21. Anonymous says:

    I live in California (bay area) and understand the price of homes here. But I still cannot wrap my brain around this price for a 1 bedroom home. It is a cool pad, but the price floors me.

  22. Buster Cherry says:

    Hollywood Hills, yet NO view. Like going to whore house only to have an expensive drink at the bar.

  23. I believe the devlinmodern link is Christina Aguilera’s bachelorette pad

  24. Anonymous says:

    Lush landscaping? Where?
    From the looks of it, Jimmy didn’t plan on staying for long. This place sucks more than his shitty, over-priced t-shirts, which you wash once and the collar curls and looks like shit. This place is worth 899K tops!

  25. Anonymous says:

    thanks for that link, anon 12:43. Those are some amazing homes. And I love the listing websites that you LA people get – the best of any I’ve seen.

  26. Anonymous says:

    I’m with you Anon 1:10, that house on Nightingale is amazing. Perhaps a bit over the top, and too big, but that deck, the views, wow.

  27. Anonymous says:

    this place looks more like a porn set than anything in mount olympus

  28. pch says:

    I like this house a lot. I’d have gone with a darker stain on the floors, and it’s nice to have at least one space for the occasional houseguest, but other than that it’s something I could move into without wanting many changes.

    This is just my opinion, not conjecture on a “correct” price, but I wouldn’t pay much more than $3 million.

  29. Anonymous says:

    whoever buys this place at whatever price they pay will either level it or expand significantly. its value in the land.

  30. Georgica Pond says:

    I think perhaps the confusion beagn after a posting was removed that appeared to be in Japanese. I think Mama may have removed it. Unfortunately, I only picked up a little Italian back in college. But he still pays my mortgage.

  31. Anonymous says:

    Personally, I loathe the blond / maple wood. The yellowish stain is so blah and cheap looking to me.

    As for furnishings, no IKEA wouldn’t have any of it. The bar stools I do recognize as Room and Board though. The rest is all high-end crap. Replace all the light blondish would with dark espresso stain and the house wouldn’t be half bad to me, although I wouldn’t pay any where near the asking price.

  32. Anonymous says:

    Oh. I missed the sarcasm, but do appreciate it as you explain it. So we’re sort of in the same boat there.

    Ikea? You’re kidding right? You may not like this furniture but I promise you it cost a lot of money.

  33. Anonymous says:

    i was being sarcastic and doing the reverse of what the children here do.

    one minor positive doesn’t mean everything is great

    just like some of the negatives don’t mean the sky is falling like some of mama’s offspring like to think.

  34. Anonymous says:


  35. Anonymous says:

    I simply MUST have the name of the decorator–

  36. Anonymous says:

    clearly that comment went way over your head anon 2:28

  37. Anonymous says:

    I’m not sure if I qualify as a doom and gloomer, but just because the stock market is up right now does not mean shit. Remember if feel 500 points in one day last week. The same could happen tomorrow or the next day. Maybe not, but I hardly think we’re out of the economic woods.

  38. Georgica Pond says:

    hello hippie canyon darling, we’re agreed. But SOMEWHAT LARGER is really understating it. In that price range I’ve seen up to 6 bedrooms. With pools. Remember we are talking about 1 bedroom, 1.5 baths. And if there was aview, I’m sure the realtor’s pics would have shown it. It’s that tired “designer/celebrity” provenance that jacks up these homes to science fiction prices. Well, how chic is it going to be when you start fighting over who’s using the TERLIT, as our dear mama says? This price is so unrealistic.

  39. Anonymous says:

    hows this for you doom and gloomers…

    stock market keeps going up, we are now positive YTD! someone say bottoming out? who knows!

  40. Anonymous says:

    Yes, there are Hippie, and this is one of them. But overall alot of homes in the Bird Streets are noted for amazing views.

  41. Hippie Canyon says:

    Plain, simple, of good quality and priced above average. Just like Ms.Perse’s clothing. But nearly $5M? There are more beautiful homes in this area, somewhat larger at that, for the same price. But, as we’ve seen in the past… there will be some AIG type swish onto the scene and buy this pad for his son/daughter. Bonus? What bonus? PS: There are many homes in the Birds that have little or no view unless you’ve climbed up onto the roof.

  42. luke220 says:

    Ellen did the picnic table thing years ago. It’s been done.

  43. Georgica Pond says:

    My fellow children, please do a search on trulia for Los Angeles between 3.5 and 5 million and at least 100 homes come up, most are at minimum 3 bedroom 3 bath and have pools. Bird Streets. Please. There’s even a modern pad with a pool on Chalon for less money than this tiny place. Of course let’s not argue Bird Streets versus Bel-Air. This fight we’re about to have, you size queens, is about square footage! This really made me go for the NERVE PILLS!

  44. Anonymous says:

    well there isnt a view from the house so its not at all a good representation of the Bird St, which most houses have amazing views

  45. Anonymous says:

    I am IN LOVE with the house at 9362 Nightingale Dr, I mean WOW! But $17,995,000 for 9k sq ft in this market? Come on! Ok… Maybe if it includes the hottie owner / designer Marc Canadell!

  46. Mama is quite right about showering outdoors. The little oceanfront shanty in North Carolina that was our vacation home for 4-5 years had a wonderful outdoor shower…certainly during the more temperate months no one ever used the tiny ones inside the house.
    As to that picnic table…one does need to be careful with those. Its a royal pain in the ass to get up and down if you’re packed in hip to hip…and I speak from experience in saying that you should only choose one made of the heaviest stock…a sturdy and big hipped auntie can launch a small child seated at the other end teeter-totter style across the dining room if she isnt careful.

  47. Anonymous says:

    Hey listen, I made a mistake! When I flipped back to take another look at the pixs, I mistakenly flipped to the mel b pixs. You happen to be right, I don’t live in LA., but you were really going out on a shaky limb to suggest that would affect my ability to figure out whether or not their was a view from this place.

  48. Anonymous says:

    This place makes Mel B’s house look like the deal of the century.

  49. Anonymous says:

    When are people in this area going to realize that the new market doesn’t support two-thousand damn dollars per square foot. It’s insane.

  50. Anonymous says:

    This home is disgustingly over-priced considering its either an extensive reno or tear down, with no real views. Yes its in the Bird Streets, but it appears to be one of the few homes in the nieghborhood that don’t have much of a view.

More Dirt News from Variety