SELLER: Diane Keaton
LOCATION: Pacific Palisades, CA
SIZE: (approx.) 7,800 square feet, 6 bedrooms, 6 bathrooms
YOUR MAMA’S NOTES: Diane Keaton isn’t only an Oscar-winning actress and producer with an enviable career that spans an astonishing five decades, she’s also a savvy architecture buff, avocational home restorer, and high-end house flipper whose latest project in the laid-back but exceptionally prosperous Pacific Palisades area of Los Angeles is available at $6.995 million. For the record, the property was initially put up for sale on the open market but as of this morning no longer appears in the Multiple Listing Service though it remains active and available on the listing brokerage’s website. Miz Keaton, who produced and will co-star in the upcoming Christmas comedy “Love the Coopers” as well as co-star opposite Jude Law in the 2016 television mini-series “The Young Pope,” acquired the relatively unassuming if comfortably spacious and luxuriously appointed residence in June 2012 for $5.6 million and current online marketing materials show the grey shingled and vaguely Colonial-style mini-mansion, set on a .23-acre corner parcel in the El Medio Bluffs neighborhood, measures in at about 7,800 square feet with six bedrooms and six bathrooms over three floors.
A close but hardly forensic comparison between current listing photographs and those from the time of her purchase suggest Miz Keaton, a sartorial rule breaker with a long-standing and well-documented predilection for wide belts, gloves, and hats, made few if any significant alterations to the house. She did, however, make a number of cosmetic changes. Among other this-and-thats she painted the walls, swapped out light fixtures, darkened the stain on the wood countertop on the kitchen’s colossal center island, and painted strikingly humongous house numbers directly on the side of the house next to the front door. She also did up the day-core in a graphic and photogenic palette of mostly black and white along with a truckload or two of rustic, reclaimed hoozygoozies and gewgaws and a rather bizarre plethora of text-based signs and wall murals, some of which scream commands like “SMILE BECAUSE IT HAPPENS,” and “DON’T EAT!”
Glossy, dark brown wood floors run throughout the main floor living spaces that include: a double-height central foyer with gracefully curved staircase; adequate but hardly huge formal living and dining rooms, both with banks of glass doors that open to the wraparound front porch and the former with fireplace; a spacious eat-in kitchen decked out with all the customary and high-priced bell and whistles that ought to be found in a freshly refurbished seven million dollar house — think dual fridge/freezers and a griddle-equipped six-burner commercial-style range; and an adjoining family room with built-in wet bar and fireplace set between glass doors that lead to the backyard entertainment and recreation areas. There’s a guest bedroom and bathroom on the main floor plus three more en suite guest/family bedrooms on the upper floor, one with a girlishly campy, pale pink-hued claw-footed bathtub that only a princess loving toddler could or probably should be able to properly and fully appreciate. The master suite, also on the upper floor, is outfitted with a minimalist fireplace flanked by open bookshelves, a private terrace that overlooks the backyard, and a fitted walk-in closet while the master bathroom offers two sinks on either side of the soaking tub, an integrated make-up vanity, and separate shower space.
A sprawling, fully finished, and expensively outfitted basement level contains a temperature controlled walk-in wine cellar; fitness room; professional-grade theater with sumptuous sofa seating; and a large library/studio lined with floor-to-ceiling bookshelves and a wall of glass doors that open to a light well with corkscrew stairs that wind up to the backyard. The basement also includes a sixth en suite bedroom well suited for live-in domestic staff or less favored overnight house guests. A meandering, stone-tiled roof terrace provides wrap around, over-the-treetops mountain views and the backyard, while not particularly commodious, packs in a wrap-around veranda that overlooks a flat patch of grass, sizable stone terrace with outdoor fireplace and built-in barbecue, and a small swimming pool with inset spa backed by a long white wall emblazoned with rusting, three-dimensional lettering that somewhat surreally reads “CLARION,” an ancient trumpet or the loud and shrill sound made by said instrument. Frankly, as much as we can get behind a text-based decorative element, the poolside sign feels to this occasionally over-opinionated property gossip like too much of a “fun” thing that was arguably already done to its bitter end on the interior of the residence.
The Pacific Palisades residence was fairly recently built in 2009, per listing details, but the serial house flipper and property gossip column staple has in the past more typically gravitated toward much older and in many cases historic and/or architecturally significant homes that in a number of cases were sold to other high-profile showbizzers. In the spring of 2000 Miz Keaton unloaded a 9,000-plus-square-foot, 1920s Spanish in the Flats of Beverly Hills — it was once owned by movie industry pioneer Harry Cohn — for $6.45 million to uni-named pop icon Madonna; In 2005 she sold the delightfully eccentric, Lloyd Wright designed and Mayan temple inspired Samuel-Novarro House in Los Feliz — at one time or another owned or occupied by both Leonard Bernstein and Jerome Robbins — to Christina Ricci; And, in early 2007, she shelled out $8.1 million for an elegantly proportioned Ralph Flewelling-designed hacienda-style manse on a plum block in the Flats of Beverly Hills that she vigilantly restored, carefully updated, exuberantly decorated, had photographed for Architectural Digest, and sold for $10 million in September 2010 to Ryan Murphy, creator of a slew of iconic cult-hit television shows that include “Popular,” “Nip/Tuck,” “Glee,” and the not exactly ground breaking but smartly packaged and disturbingly addictive horror spoofs spoof “Scream Queens.”
Our research shows Miz Keaton’s frequently in flux property portfolio currently includes a pancake flat, .65 acre parcel on a discreet, little-known cul-de-sac near the mouth of Sullivan Canyon in Brentwood — acquired in August 2011 for $4.7 million — where she razed a modest house to make way for a for substantially larger, multi-winged brick mansion that we understand is approaching the end stages of construction.
Listing photos: The Agency