SELLER: Brandon Boyd
LOCATION: Venice, CA
SIZE: 3,500 square feet (approx.), 3 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms
YOUR MAMAS NOTES: Brandon Boyd—writer, artist and plaintively-voiced front man for mainstream rock band Incubus—may hail from the archetypal-suburban streets of Calabasas, CA but he’s long made his home in the nitty gritty beach community of Venice (CA) where in August 2011 he put his arty-farty if prohibitively pricey for most artists residence on the market with an optimistic $3,495,000 price tag. In early December, a few months after he dropped almost three million bucks to snatch up another house in Venice—more on that later—the rather becoming, sinewy slender and fearlessly tattooed Mister Boyd dropped the asking price of his boho beach side bedsit to it’s current figure of $3,195,000.
Listing information indicates the once-commercial two-story structure was built in 1905 and used as a hotel “sometime in the 1940s.” Your Mama was told or read somewhere—we can’t recall which—the building once operated as a bordello but we aren’t able to verify the veracity of such so we don’t recommend the children spread that bit about without a caveat. Anyhoo, property records and previous reports on the matter reveal Mister Boyd’s abode—situated a short block from the beach and, by Your Mama’s assessment, desirably unconventional—was briefly owned by two-time Golden Globe nominated actress Maria Bello (Prime Suspect, ER, A History of Violence, The Cooler) who owned the unorthodox domicile for only 13 months (or so) and sold it in November 2005 at a near quarter-million dollar profit to Mister Boyd for $2,715,000.
The exterior of the mint green structure belies little of the bohemian luxury inside the fully-renovated and upgraded concrete- and cork-floored crib that feature 3 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, airy 12-foot high pressed tin ceilings with articulated moldings, earthquake-retrofitted exposed brick walls and low-key but high-brow kitchen and bathrooms that resonate of a quasi-industrial upscale Parisian garret, if there is such a thing as a quasi-industrial upscale Parisian garret.
The residence sits hard up on the street with nary an inch of buffer between the sidewalk and the front door opens that directly into the spacious main living space. Mister Boyd (or his nice, gay or lady decorator) wisely installed some sort of curved screen between the front door and the base of the staircase. Not only does the ancient art of Feng Shui require such an interjection to keep the money from flowing right down the stairs and out the front door, it adds a much needed smidgen of visual concealment from anyone who may be walking along the street when the front door is opened.
The “formal” living room, not surprising littered with musical instruments and chock-a-block with art and other objects that ooze with Mister Boyd’s personal interests and fascinations, may suffer from a lack of clear glass windows—glass block was used on the exterior wall to maintain privacy but still bring natural light in to the room—but does benefits from a full wall of built in bookshelves filled with actual books and other ephemera that may or may not include some avian taxidermy. A clean-lined, custom-built floating steel staircase with chunky wood treads provides the necessary tension between the vintage nature of the original architecture and the kick-up your feet casual (if costly) and animal skin-draped day-core.
A towering pair of solid wood raised panel doors connect the living room to the ample, open plan combination dining room and kitchen kitted out in High Urban Loft style with simple, white Shaker-style cabinetry and commercial stainless steel appliances that include a restaurant-grade sink, super-size range with separate griddle, and a $10,000 glass-fronted Sub-Zero fridge/freezer that makes Your Mama sweat and swoon with unrequited appliance lust. Several sets of French doors connect to a narrow ground level courtyard tiled with Mexican pavers, hung with a myriad of cheap capiz shell chandeliers and furnished with a variety of wired things that include a vibrant, sunshine yellow cafe table and chairs.
Reclaimed warehouse-type windows line portions the upper level landing where the cork floors extend into the street-facing master suite complete with oddly off-center fireplace, exposed brick walls and pressed tin ceiling. Mister Boyd’s boo-dwar offers the style maven a boo-teek sized and naturally-lit closet/dressing room and a beauteous bathroom designed by “a famous local architect” according to listing information and finished with well-worn antique herringbone wood floors—like one might find in a quasi-industrial upscale Parisian garret—white subway tiles smartly grouted in a contrasting grey, twin sinks atop a Jean Prouvé-inspired base, and a fireplace with tile surround adjacent to a free-standing soaking tub set into a greenhouse-like nook with steel-framed frosted glass wall and ceiling.
Listing photographs show Mister Boyd used a large, sky-lit space at the upper rear of the residence as a den/office area and a separate detached addition at the back of the property encompasses a two-car garage that opens to an alleyway and a 640 square foot sound-proofed music studio/guest quarters wrapped in theatrical red curtains and conveniently equipped with a kitchenette.
An unadorned exterior staircase, the sort of thing one might expect to find tucked into an unseen section of an office building or civic structure, climbs up to a wood-decked roof top terrace with an elevated, pergola-shaded shelter perfect for lounging, napping and—for those so inclined—getting frisky outdoors. Tall corrugated metal fencing along the sides may look a bit harsh to those who prefer more traditionally residential materials—we happen to l.o.v.e. the utilitarian nature of the humble and undulating material—but does ensure privacy for anyone who might like to soak up the sun and/or have an open air lunch snack and beverage in their birthday suits. Listing information indicates the roof deck is plumbed for a spa—a feature that pleases our mate The Dr. Cooter to no end—and there’s a peek-a-boo view of the glimmering Pacific Ocean over the urban chaos of the surrounding roof tops and telephone wires.
We’re not sure why Mister Boyd would want to vacate this obviously much-treasured residence in Venice for another, slightly smaller (and much more polished) loft-like residence in Venice located just over a mile away, significantly farther from the beach and much closer to the busy Abbot Kinney shopping and dining district. But, if we’ve said it once we’ve said it 78 times too many, such are the sometimes inexplicable and frequently capricious real estate ways of the rich and famous.
listing photos: Abbot Kinney Real Estate