SELLER: Taye Diggs and Idina Menzel
LOCATION: Studio City, CA
SIZE: 4,931 square feet, 6 bedrooms, 4 bathrooms
YOUR MAMA’S NOTES: Stage and screen actors Taye Diggs and Idina Menzel — or Adele Dazeem, as John Travolta called her at the Oscars this year — parted ways late last year after almost 20 years of bi-coastal coupledom, 10 of them as married people. So, it’s no surprise to Your Mama or any other property gossip that the estranged pair have put their Studio City, CA, residence up for sale, with an asking price of $2,995,000.
In the fall of 2009 the Diggs-Menzels produced a baby boy, and the following April, as per property records and reports from the time, they shelled out $2,090,000 for a 4,931-square-foot house tucked privately away at the tail end of a quiet cul-de-sac in the sleepy and affluent Fryman Canyon area.
A comparison of listing photos from the time of their purchase shows the erstwhile couple gave the place a cosmetic refresh, and current listing details show the two-story residence of no discernible architectural style was originally built in 1956 and is currently configured with half a dozen bedrooms and a quartet of updated if decoratively dismal bathrooms.
A tightly banistered and slightly curved staircase makes a dramatic statement in the double-height foyer. The espresso-toned wood floors in the foyer extend into the decent-sized if essentially and unfortunately windowless formal living room where the chunky chimney breast is uniformly slathered in what appears to be rectangular marble tiles. Unassuming modern art adorns the walls and a flat-screen television hangs above a firebox that’s, smartly, almost exactly size.
A second fireplace with the exact same tile treatment as in the living room grounds and warms the notably roomy formal dining room that opens to an amorphous side yard terrace through wood-framed French doors. Both the living and dining room have wide openings that lead in to a long and slender sunroom that runs along the back of the house with a vaulted exposed wood ceiling, a trio of glass sliders for direct backyard access, and enough floor space to accommodate a baby grand piano.
Despite the interesting, fan-shaped greenhouse window over the sink, Your Mama can’t imagine the kitchen would win any design awards with its snow-white, run-of-the-mill raised panel cabinetry but it’s amply proportioned, family friendly and well-equipped with an over-sized bi-level center island with four-stool snack counter, a built-in dining banquette, some sort of solid surface counter top material that Your Mama can’t quite make out, and a full suite of high-end appliances that include full height side-by-side fridge and freezer set up.
Those who find stairs an undesirable nuisance when trundling off to slumber will appreciate that the master suite (with its painfully dull attached bathroom) and three guest/family bedrooms are located on the main floor. There are two generous bedrooms and another monochromatic pale beige bathroom on the second floor. One bedroom has an entire wall of built-in cabinetry with enclosed storage and open book shelves and both bedrooms have glass door access to wrought iron railed Juliet balconies.
The back yard is flat and ringed by mature trees and high hedges that ensure the neighbors can’t watch as Mister Diggs and/or Miz Menzel slip nekkid into the swimming pool for a midnight swim. There’s an expensive-looking swing set/jungle gym/tree house structure with curving slide set in one corner of the yard and the swimming pool, bless its poor suffocating heart, is closely girdled by child safety fence. If Your Mama has said it once we’ve said it 47,000 times: We recognize the value of a fence around the pool for people with small children but, damn it, why do they have to be so ugly and intrusive?
Given that he currently stars in the detective drama “Murder in the First,” Your Mama imagines Mister Diggs will buy or rent another house in Los Angeles and being the accomplished Broadway babies they both are — they met in the mid-1990s as original cast member in “Rent” and she took home a Tony in 2004 for her lead role in “Wicked” — Mister Diggs and Miz Menzel also maintain a lofty residence in Manhattan’s Flatiron District.
Listing photos: The Oppenheim Group