SELLER: Vincent Kartheiser
LOCATION: Hollywood, CA
SIZE: 603 square feet, 1 bedroom, 1.5 bathrooms
YOUR MAMA’S NOTES: “Mad Men” star Vincent Kartheiser — he deftly portrays the waspy, perpetually dissatisfied and high-strung account executive Pete Campbell — is well-known in certain Hollywood circles for his unusual eschewal not only of the privileges and trappings of fame and wealth but also his somewhat odd reluctance to adopt conveniences that most Angelenos (and other) usually consider necessary. He admits he lived for a while without a functioning toilet — he used the neighbor’s — and, as of a few years ago, he didn’t own a car and often rode the city bus.
To his credit, the bus rider’s ever-more-rare semi-rejection of conspicuous consumption extends to his living circumstances and in the fall of 2004, as per property records, he paid $547,000 for a hilariously microscopic bungalow on a gritty street in the heart of Hollywood. Thanks to a thoughtful, late-night missive from Don Juanacharlar, it’s come to Your Mama’s attention that Mister Kartheiser — engaged for more than a year to actress Alexis Bledel — has put his completely renovated and creatively re-imagined micro-bungalow up for sale with an asking price of $808,000.
Listing details make hay of the fact that the high-fenced and gated residence was included in “Dwell” magazine’s “Small Spaces, Big Ideas” issue in November 2013. The article reveals that in 2010, after half a decade wedged in to a tight clump of closet-sized rooms, Mister Kartheiser wisely engaged the services of humorously named designer Funn Roberts who knocked out all the interior walls, opened up the ceiling to the rafters and otherwise transformed the 603-square-foot house into a loft-inspired, one-room “Japanese industrial” style space. That’s right, 603 square feet, not much bigger than a small studio apartment. There are plenty of people in Los Angeles — trust Your Mama on this, children —who have custom-built dog houses that are much bigger than 600 and three square feet. Anyways…
It’s but a few steps across a flagstone paved front yard to an entry porch-deck and custom-crafted steel and glass front door that opens directly into the living room end of the house’s lone and airy room. Opposite the seating area in one corner, a teak entertainment unit incorporates an awkwardly off-center gas fireplace. At the center of the bungalow, the expectedly wee kitchen has teak cabinetry with charcoal-colored counter tops of unknown material and a full suite of full-sized, medium-grade stainless steel appliances.
A magnificently melodramatic crimson theater curtain can be drawn to divide the main living space from the bedroom area where the bed is mounted to a pulley system that allows it to be easily lowered and raised as needed. When the bed is raised in the air, a rugged strip of redwood that serves as the Nakashima-esque headboard flips down to do double duty as a desk. As clever (if perhaps a bit precious) as the pulley-system bed may be, the tiny house’s coup de grace is unquestionably the multi-purpose internal volume that runs along the wall opposite the kitchen. Shoji screen-like steel and fiberglass panels slide to hide and expose a compact walk-in closet/dressing room, a (windowless) cubicle for the toilet and a separate, slate tiled space with step-down shower area, soaking tub and wall-mounted sink carved from a large stone.
A canopied and landscaped breezeway lounge with built-in fire pit runs between the house from a secondary pavilion — at one time a single car garage — where Mister Kartheiser somewhat curiously installed a bathhouse complete with steam room, dry sauna, laundry room, half bathroom, and a party-sized double-head shower area.
This property gossip confesses we don’t know what Mister Kartheiser and Miss Bledel real estate future holds but if Your Mama were the betting type — and we’re not — we’d wager the farm it won’t be the almost comically nondescript two bedroom and 2.5 townhouse-type condo near Westwood that property records Your Mama peeped show Miss Bledel scooped up in January 2012 for $470,000.