YOUR MAMA’S NOTES: Fashion model turned arguably under-rated actress and filmmaker Lake Bell has her boho-chic mid-19th-century townhouse on a pretty, tree-lined block in Brooklyn’s historically affluent Clinton Hill neighborhood up for sale, as we first learned while we were away on vacation from the eagle-eyed celebrity real estate gossips at 6sqft.com, with an asking price of $3 million. Miz Bell and her husband, fine artist and tattoo artist to the stars Scott Campbell, have their fingers crossed they can just about double their money on the townhouse they acquired per property records in February 2013 for $1.55 million.
Online listings describe the four-story, legal two-family residence as a “Greek and Gothic Revival style townhouse” that’s customized in a “truly Brooklyn style” — whatever exactly that means — and show it currently configured as a single-family home with four or five bedrooms, 3.5 bathrooms, and two kitchens. A classic raised stoop entrance perfect for sitting out on sultry summer evenings opens to a wee but proper foyer and stair hall. A floor-through double parlor that functions as adjoining living and dining rooms features a carved marble fireplace, antique light fixtures, and ashy brown stained oak floors emblazoned with a custom stencil that more than just a little bit resembles a henna-style tattoo. The kitchen, puny by almost any standard, is open to the dining room and mixes historic and rustic elements such as distressed wood cabinets, butcher block counter tops and exposed brick walls with up-to-date stainless steel appliances, colorfully graphic tile flooring and snazzy super-sized soap stone farmhouse sink with decoratively on trend brass fixtures. A petite enclosed porch behind the kitchen provides convenient and much-needed pantry space as well as a powder room for guests, and direct access to the semi-shady, bi-level backyard.
Two conjoined bedrooms, each with a fireplace, share a roomy compartmentalized bathroom on the partially subterranean garden level that also provides generous storage and a sizable laundry room somewhat eccentrically tucked up into a vault underneath the front stoop and sidewalk. The spacious master suite consumes almost the entire third floor and incorporates an enviably proportioned closet/dressing room. The bathtub and sink are unconventionally and voyeuristically completely exposed to the bedroom area while an enclosed and more desirably private area contains the toilet and shower. A separate, small and closet-less room off the stair landing on the third floor probably works better as a home office, yoga studio or nursery than as a bedroom while the uppermost floor, an open, loft-like space easily converted to additional bedrooms, features a vaulted ceiling with slender wood beams and a couple of sky lights, exposed brick walls, wide plank wood floors that look like they might be original to the house, an extensive built-in entertainment unit, full bathroom, and a second kitchen every bit as large — or tiny, depending one one’s point of view — as the kitchen on the parlor floor.
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The Clinton Hill neighborhood, bordered by the historic Fort Green and nowadays trendily ultra-fashionable Williamsburg neighborhoods has long drawn a diverse assemblage of arty-farty and entertainment industry types who include or have included Walt Whitmen — he reportedly worked on his epic collection “Leaves of Grass” while briefly bunked in the 1850s at 99 Ryerson Street, actor/musician/activist Yasiin Bey, a.k.a. Mos Def, and actors Jeffrey Wright, Adrian Grenier and Rosie Perez.
The vocally able-bodied Miz Bell, who wrote, directed, produced and starred in the well received 2013 indie comedy “In a World…” about the dog-eat-dog voiceover biz, recently wrapped up a seven season run on the darkly satirical cable comedy program “Children’s Hospital” and lent her voice to the currently in theaters animated blockbuster “Secret Life of Pets.” She will soon star in “What’s The Point,” a star-studded ensemble comedy about the trials and tribulations of marriage that she also wrote and for which she’s listed as a producer.
Listing photos and floor plan: Brown Harris Stevens