BUYER: Virginia Madsen
LOCATION: Los Angeles, CA
SIZE: 1,937 square feet, 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms
YOUR MAMA’S NOTES: In late May (2014) Your Mama told the children about how Virginia Madsen had her home in an affluent (if perfectly ordinary) gated development in Thousand Oaks, CA, up for sale for $1,088 million. Since then, the Oscar-nominated actress sold the mock-Med tract house for $1.02 million — a pocketbook punishing $331,000 less than she (over)paid for the place almost nine years ago—and, as we first learned from the long-legged blond at Trulia Luxe Living, forked over $1,185,000 for a new house deep and high in the hills of Hollywood.
Our research shows the two-story residence sits hard up on a street so slim on a hillside so steep it gives Your Mama the heebie-jeebies to just think about the extreme concentration required to safely navigate the lane in broad daylight, let alone during the late night and/or early morning hours. We happen to have some knowledge of that neck of the Hollywood Hills and trust Your Mama when we tell you two Fiat 500s let alone two big fat Range Rovers would have a difficult time getting past each other on the hallway-slender road right out in front of Miz Madsen’s new digs.
Recently updated — or “updated,” depending on one’s point of view, the existing house was built in 1953 according to digital listing details and provides three bedrooms and two bathrooms in 1,937 square feet. Given the plethora of new and “neutral” finishes on the interior spaces and because property records show the seller purchased the property in September 2013 for $930,000 and first listed it in January 2014 for $1,239,000, Your Mama is just going to make a wild stab that the refresh probably reflects the quick handiwork of a professional house flipper but, anyways.
It’s a full flight of sharply curved stone and/or brick steps up from the street to a multi-level flagstone and brick terrace that wraps around the front of the residence’s lower level and steps up the steep hillside at the rear. An itty-bitty entrance hall gives way on the right to a slightly larger if nearly useless sitting area/stair hall with arched corner fireplace and an oddball collection of windows topped by a long row of hippy-dippy stained glass transoms. A raised breakfast bar divides the squeezy dining area from the obtusely and acutely angled kitchen that’s fitted with black granite counter tops, hickory-toned cabinetry and high-grade stainless steel appliances.
The main living room, located on the upper level where it’s a damn mile and a flight of stairs from the refrigerator but absolutely maximizes the available view, has a high ceiling, ebony wood floors and a massive raised hearth fireplace sheathed floor to ceiling in Travertine-style porcelain tiles. One end of the stylishly voluminous rectangular room has a vast, bookcase-flanked window with an unobstructed canyon and city lights view. The other end steps up to a pair of wood-framed glass doors that slip sexily into the walls and open to a small deck. (Sorry, Charlies, we can’t bear to speak on the unspeakable, above-ground spa tub tucked over in the corner. We just can’t.)
One of the two guest/family bedrooms has mirrored closet doors of the exact variety that make this property gossip feel sick with self-conscious. The other has a kooky, custom-built storage contraption with built-in desk area that also incorporates a twin-sized Murphy bed, a feature that is equally magical and mortifying at the same time.
While reasonably sized with desirable, direct access to a private terrace, the master suite is a cockamamie collection of mismatched angles and difficult to decorate alcoves. The children will note that the all-but omnipresent angle situation is only exacerbated in the master bathroom, where the sink vanity and tub almost collide at the far end of the unconventionally shaped and cozily proportioned room. Your Mama really can’t see Fanny Fengshui giving that bathroom one of her subtle and hideously expensive head nods of approval before her minimum wage minions line the room in mirrors and install an ever-gurgling water feature.
A sinuous stairway that Your Mama can just tell aches in its soul to be Grand makes a curvaceous sweep up from the deck off the rear of the living room to an amorphous, brick-accented and tree-shaded concrete terrace with a sweeping yet somehow still less than thrilling over the rooftop mountain and sky view.
If Miz Madsen’s previous home in Thousand Oaks was an example of her personal taste in home day-core — and we think it was — this sassy-pants property gossip expects she’ll soon have a her preferred swam of faux paint experts and metal leafing specialists up in there working their wall treatment magic.