YOUR MAMA’S NOTES: Decorating dervishes and home improvement show hosts Nake Berkus and Jeremiah Brent have, we first heard from the PR gal at Trulia and property records confirm, splashed out $2.36 million for a 1920s Spanish Revival-ish residence perched on a steep hillside behind the renown and fabulous Chateau Marmont Hotel in Los Angeles. Mister Berkus became a household name a decade or so ago as Oprah Winfrey’s decorating and design guru and, in addition to a busy career as an interior designer for private clients and designing an eponymous line of home goods for Target, has hosted a couple of television shows including last year’s home improvement reality show “American Dream Builders” on NBC. Mister Brent, who appeared on “The Rachel Zoe Project” as one of the celebrity stylist’s assistants before he met and married Mister Berkus, maintains his own budding interior design business and will soon take over hosting duties on the Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN) show “Home Made Simple.”
The design duo’s new West Coast abode has four bedrooms and five bathrooms plus two “bonus areas,” one of them a detached space atop the street-level two car garage, in 3,643-square-feet of interior space that opens to what listing details describe as “7 unique outdoor areas.” The couple will most certainly give the property a decorative spit shine and cosmetic overhaul if not an extensive renovation and do up in the décor in the layered and casually sophisticated manner for which Mister Berkus is well-known and generously paid. No doubt, as is their inclination, we’ll all be treated to a look-see at the finished product in a glossy shelter publication. There are wood floors in the living room, which also has a fireplace and coved ceilings, as well as in the dining room that opens through French doors to dining deck that obliquely overlooks a swimming pool that, by this property gossips meaningless estimate, is uncomfortably shoehorned into the front corner of the property. Though we’d bet the proverbial farm it’ll all get ripped out and replaced with name-brand tiles, rare stone counter tops, and ludicrously expensive appliances, between the square, terra-cotta colored floor tiles and the dark grouted square white ceramic tile back splashes and counter tops that waterfall right over the ends of the boxcar-sized center island, the nicely proportioned but outdated kitchen is a gridded fantasia that visually echoes the geometric work of the innovative and influential Italian architecture firm Superstudio.
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The telegenic couple, who were married in May 2014 at a photogenic ceremony at The New York Public Library and have a baby daughter they frequently trot out for photo and video shoots, previously rented a sweet and funky John Elgin Woolf-designed residence in the Hollywood Hills — it was featured in Harper’s Bazaar — and they currently maintain a roomy residence in New York City’s Greenwich Village. In August 2013, less than a year after they coupled, a few months after their engagement, and less than a year before their nuptials, property records show Mister Berkus paid a total of $5.975 million for two contiguous apartments — a one-bedroom and one-bathroom and a two–bedroom and 2.5 bathrooms duplex penthouse with slender wrap around terrace — atop an elegant but low-key and much coveted apartment house just above Washington Square Park on lower Fifth Avenue. They combined the two units into one — the new poppas added a nursery and playroom for baby and carved out a huge walk-in closet/dressing room for themselves — and had the place photographed for the October 2015 issue of Architectural Digest.
Listing photos: Sotheby’s International Realty