SELLER: Ilene Chaiken
LOCATION: Reppert Court, Los Angeles, CA
SIZE: 3,500 square feet (approx.), 4 bedrooms, 5 bathrooms
DESCRIPTION: Architects own very private one of a kind home, set on almost an acre on a a quiet cul–de-sac this magical setting property comprises a collection of buildings including a guest house & two offices. Completely private it’s perfect for a celebrity or an artist who wants to work from home. The property comprises of 4/6 bedrooms (depending on how space is used) along w/ pool.
YOUR MAMAS NOTES: Back in the olden days, when Your Mama first picked up our chop sticks and moved east to New York City, we frequently palled around with a crew of arty-farty lesbian ladees who were all friendly and cozy with another crew of budding female filmmakers that included Kim Peirce (Boys Don’t Cry, Stop-Loss), Guinevere Turner (Go Fish, American Psycho) and Rose Troche (Go Fish). Besides all being ladees who like other ladees, these three woman have something else in common…they’ve all had a finger or two in The L Word pie. Miz Peirce directed at least one episode, Miz Turner directed and appeared in several episodes, and Miz Troche wrote, produced and directed a hefty number of episodes for the recently canceled program about a group of high drama gay, lesbian, bi-sexual and transgender folks living it up in West Hollywood, CA.
All this brings us to the creator of The L Word, a successful lezbeeuhn ladee named Ilene Chaiken, whom Your Mama does not know nor have we ever met. Miz Chaiken and her ladee-mate, an English born architect named Miggi Hood, have long owned a very private pad in the Hollywood Hills which they recently put up for sale at $2,495,000, a figure that was quickly lowered to it’s current asking price $2,195,000.
Property records show Mizzes Chaiken and Hood picked up their Reppert Court crib back in January of 1992 when they paid $650,000 for the near 1-acre property. Lawhd have mercy children, long gone are the glory days when a person could pick up property in a good part of Los Angeles for just six hundred and fifty thousand clams. Don’t misunderstand Your Mama, that’s still a staggering sum of money in most parts of the good ol‘ U.S. of A., but it ain’t nothing in LaLa Land and it’s certainly less then 1/3 of what it’s going to cost someone to buy this property today.
Anyhoo, the Chaiken/Hood house, which we see as a modernized farmhouse meets a Richard Gluckman acolyte meets a 20th century modern furniture store on Beverly Boo-lay-vard, is located at the tail end of a short and scrubby cul–de-sac where a long, curvy driveway rises through the un-landscaped property to a motor court where half a dozen Lezburus and Priuses can be comfortably accommodated. The unassuming facade opens to crisp, clean, pared down and warmly minimal interior spaces that include a large (if uncomfortably low-ceilinged) living room with a wood burning fireplace, honey colored wide-plank wood floors, floor to ceiling built-in book cases filled with actual books (imagine that?) and an eclectic but impressive collection of vintage furniture from the forties, fifties and sixties.
The living room is open to the very spare and deliciously all-white gallery-like dining room which, as far as Your Mama and the Dr. Cooter are concerned, is successfully saved from feeling overly stark and visually chilly by the large skylights, a second wood burning fireplace, a flag stone floor Your Mama is certain feels dee–voonly and softly abrasive on the bare foot, and a soo–blime honey colored wood and leather dining room set which we think was probably done by a fancy designer in the 1940s and probably cost more than most of the children’s automobiles.
While we loathe the oppressive beige tiles on the kitchen floor which would be much better suited to a restaurant kitchen and we’re more than a little surprised and disappointed about that frumpy beige slip-covered couch which looks like it was pushed up against the windows because it had no better place to be, we are are swooning for the wood ceiling that soars asymmetrically to a large skylight. Although we know few will feel the same way, we’re cool with (most of) the deconstructed industrial elements of the kitchen (i.e. the hulking Vulcan brand range and restaurant prep tables) because it reminds Your Mama of many happy summers spent on the East End of Long Island in a similarly voluminous and deconstructed kitchen space located in a warehouse building that was once the town laundry and which had been converted to a solar powered residence owned by a much loved gay gal pal we called Flower. Memories, like the corners of our mind…
But we digress again…In addition to the main house, which listing information indicates includes 4-6 bedrooms and 5 bathrooms, two outbuildings house office or studio space and a pool side guest house where we find a kitchenette and a separate sleeping area that opens to a narrow terrace that extends into the treetops. The free form swimming pool is surrounded by the same flag stone as is on the floor in the dining room and a covered porch runs along the back of the house making for a cool and shaded spot to sip gin and tonics and watch well built guests skinny dip in the pretty pool below.
Listing information also indicates the lesbian ladees would be willing to lease the property at $9,500 per month.