BUYER: James Perse
LOCATION: Malibu, CA
SIZE: 3,962 square feet, 5 bedrooms, 4.5 bathrooms
YOUR MAMA’S NOTES: It was from ever-relentless real estate yenta Yolanda Yakketyyak that we first heard and property records do indeed confirm that L.A.-based clothing and furniture designer James Perse dropped $12.5 million for a Hamptons-style estate on Malibu’s celebrity-filled Point Dume. The seller, according to property records, was high-toned Beverly Hills-based classic car purveyor Irving Willems and listing details show the tastefully updated, pristinely maintained, and casually sumptuous Cape Cod-style residence, which last sold in 2002 for $1.495 million, sits behind gates on 1.02 liberally watered acres, was originally built in the late 1950s, rebuilt in 2005, and currently encompasses five bedrooms and 4.5 bathrooms in 3,962-square-feet plus a separate one-bedroom and one-bathroom guesthouse.
Double gates open to a boxwood-lined and classically Hamptonian pea gravel driveway that sweeps along the front of the cedar-shingled house and curls around to a hedge encircled motor court and attached four-car garage. Lustrous dark chocolate hardwood floors stand out against crisp white walls throughout the residence including in the cavernous, combination living/dining room that’s plenty large enough to accommodate a grand piano and features a vaulted ceiling, white brick fireplace, and several sets of French doors that open to a variety of lushly planted terraces and patios on both the front and rear sides of the house. All but completely open to the living/dining space through a double wide doorway, the adjoining kitchen is expensively and monochromatically fitted with white, statuary grade slab marble counter tops on snow-white Shaker-style cabinets along with the customary collection of high-end appliances that include a swanky, glass-fronted fridge that retails for eight grand or more. The super-sized center island includes and integrated snack counter while an informal dining space includes a wall-mounted television and opens through French doors to the manicured backyard and swimming pool. The upper floor master suite has a through-the-trees ocean view and a wood burning fireplace tucked somewhat uncomfortably under an angled section of the high vaulted and steeply pitched ceiling. There’s also a slender balcony with and over-the-backyard mountain view, what listing descriptions describe as a “vast closet,” and a marble bathroom with two sinks, radiant heated floors, and an over-sized, glass-fronted shower that incorporates a built-in bench and rather large window that allows for a bit of an ocean view.
A series of French doors open the back of the house to an L-shaped, pergola-shaded terrace that wraps around one end of a solar-heated swimming pool and spa to an al fresco cabana with dining and lounging areas, built-in grilling station, and fireplace set into a massive stone wall. Beyond the swimming pool, there’s a tennis court and a roomy, self-contained guesthouse — living room with fireplace, kitchen, bedroom and bathroom — that opens to a gravel terrace with built-in fire pit and cushioned banquette seating.
Over the last ten or fiften years the Point Dume area of Malibu has become increasingly popular with entertainment industry types with the means to afford it and some of the nabe’s current homeowners include kinky-haired saxophonist Kenny G; Oscar-winning actors Julia Roberts, Matthew McConaughey, and Gwyneth Paltrow; Red Hot Chili Pepper Chad Smith; actress Cheryl Hines and attorney/radio host/environmental activist Robert Kennedy Junior; and Oscar-winning cinematographer Lance Acord, to name just a few.
Avid high-end real estate watchers well know that Mister Perse needs another high-maintenance Malibu estate like he needs a hole in his head. In addition to his latest acquisition, his growing property portfolio includes at least two other multi-million dollar residences in the Point Dume area; In late 2010 he coughed up $16 million for a glassy, contemporary residence that he bought from “The X-Files” creator Chris Carter and borders Barbra Streisand’s three-residence compound and in July 2013 he paid Dave Matthews Band guitarist Stefan Lessard $6,690,000 for a minimalist-minded European-style farmhouse on nearly two-acres that was soon offered as a high-end rental at $25,000 per month and was listed for sale for a few months last year at $10.995 million. It’s our understanding that the luxury T-shirt titan and his missus, Beverly Hills born and bred Brandi Briskman Perse, also maintain a 26-acre equestrian compound in the extra-affluent Hidden Valley area near Thousand Oaks, CA, that was purchased in the fall of 2013 for $10.85 million from house flipping chat show host Ellen DeGeneres and her equine-oriented wife Portia di Rossi DeGeneres.
Listing photos: Coldwell Banker