YOUR MAMA’S NOTES: Veteran film and television actor and budding director Rob Morrow has his contemporary residence in the decidedly low-key but most assuredly high-cost Rustic Canyon area of Santa Monica, CA, up for sale at $7.2 million. Property records and reports from the time suggest the Emmy and Golden globe nominee and his actress wife Debbon Ayer (“Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind”) purchased the then brand-spanking new, Melinda Gray-designed modern in February 2007 for $4.3 million. Mister Morrow, still probably best known for his early 1990s starring role as an urban sophisticate physician transferred to a remote Alaskan town on “Northern Exposure,” co-starred for half of a dozen seasons in the late Aughts on the math-fest mystery series “Numb3rs”and will appear next year as O.J. Simpson’s defense attorney Barry Scheck in the star-studded true crime bio-drama “American Crime Story.”
Set on a pie-shaped lot of more than one-third of an acre, the unusually trapezoidal-shaped residence, a jigsaw puzzle of wood, steel and glass, towers three stories high and — somewhat unusual for southern California — has a full basement. The L.A. County Tax Man pegs the size at 4,131-square-feet, a figure that may or may not be entirely accurate, and listing details suggest the house was originally designed with five bedrooms and four bathrooms although two guest/family bedrooms on the top floor have been combined and repurposed into an office/music studio for Mister Morrow. The townhouse-meets-loft-like residence orbits tightly around a soaring central atrium with a floating steel and wood staircase that makes a vertiginous, M.C. Escher-esque zig-zag up to the third floor. Radiant heated wood floors run throughout the interconnected ground floor living and entertaining areas that include a roomy, graphically wallpapered dining area, a living room with a big manly steel fireplace, and an open galley-style kitchen fitted with swanky imported Italian cabinetry and sleek stainless steel appliances. Generous banks of glass panels in both the dining and living areas disappear into the walls a hedged courtyard where a slightly elevated spa waterfalls into a long and remarkably slender swimming pool. A pair of guest/family bedrooms on the second floor are joined by a high-ceiled master bedroom that opens through glass sliders to a private balcony and includes a bathroom with lavender tile work that was, to be sure, a decoratively gutsy choice that looks unexpectedly great but will not likely appeal to everyone. In addition to Mister Morrow’s office, there’s a library loft on the third floor and down in the basement a state-of-the-art screening room with tiered lounge seating appears to do a rather vexatious double-duty as a fitness room where a number of exercise contraptions have been jammed up along the back wall. A staircase very similar to the one inside the house, zig-zags down the rear façade to a graveled patio with built-in concrete bench angled around a built-in fire pit.
Listing photos: Deasy Penner & Partners