BUYER: Katherine McPhee
LOCATION: Studio City, CA
SIZE: 3,527 square feet, 4 bedrooms, 4 bathrooms
YOUR MAMA’ NOTES: Although she’s yet to sell a smaller, stylishly appointed house in L.A.’s celeb-stacked Toluca Lake community — a bit more on that in a minute — “Scorpion” star Katherine McPhee already upgraded her residential circumstances with the $2,050,000 purchase of a 1930s Spanish-style residence in an unheralded cranny of the hills above Studio City near Universal Studios. Originally built for silent screen star Agnes Ayres, who appeared opposite Rudolph Valentino in “The Sheik,” the extensively remodeled and updated three-story residence has four bedrooms and four bathrooms in 3,527 square feet.
The front of the house is defined by a huge stone turret with a Gothic arch carved wood door that opens to a center hall foyer with an original, brick-colored magnesite tile floor. It’s a couple steps down to a comfortably large and airy living room with buttery, freshly refinished wood floors, a massive stone fireplace and a row of skylights in the vaulted, exposed wood beamed ceiling. A cozily petite adjoining den/library links the living room to the formal dining room that has an exposed wood ceiling and French doors to a large terrace for al fresco dining while the Craftsman-inspired galley-style kitchen features mossy green stone counter tops, up-to-date stainless steel appliances and a breakfast nook with built-in china storage cabinets. Just off the foyer there’s a bedroom wrapped in original wainscoting as well as a full bathroom that is also lined with antique wainscoting and upstairs, in addition to a sunroom, there are two spacious en suite bedrooms including the master bedroom that’s complete with a fireplace, slender private balcony and a sky-lit bathroom.
Several of the rooms at the rear of the residence overlook a private courtyard with a built-in barbecue area and an outdoor living room housed in an open-air pavilion with fireplace and intricate wrought iron filigree. The lowest floor incorporates a bedroom with exterior entrance and en suite bathroom plus a family room with fireplace, built-in entertainment unit, walk-in wet bar and glass doors that open to a motor court with two car garage. Beyond the motor court, which is accessed by a long, gated driveway that runs alongside the house, there’s a roomy, grassy and flat, tree-ringed yard that’s plenty large enough to accommodate a swimming pool.
For the last two years Miss McPhee, who rose to fame as the runner-up on the fifth season of “American Idol” and will star as real estate heir Robert Durst’s first wife Kathie in the upcoming TV bio-drama “The Lost Wife of Robert Durst,” has owned a 2,049-square-foot 1940s traditional residence in the affluent Toluca Lake community that she scooped up for $1.4 million from husband-wife actors and house flippers Corbin Bernson and Amanda Pays. The three-bedroom and two-bathroom residence came up for sale last month with a $1.549 million price tag that has since been sliced to $1.499 million.
Listing photos: The Agency