Silver screen heartthrob Jamie Dornan is looking to whip up an architecturally minded buyer for a sexy mid-century modern residence in the upper reaches of Los Angeles’s scenic and celeb-packed Nichols Canyon that’s now available at $3.195 million. The Northern Irish former fashion model and folk musician, best and perhaps forever known as handsome young billionaire and sexual psychopath Christian Grey in the critically excoriated yet spectacularly popular S/M-themed “Fifty Shades” film trilogy, purchased the property just over two years ago for $2.843 million from “Narnia” producer Vincent Sieber. The single-level, glass-walled residence, little if not at all altered during Dornan’s ownership, modestly measures in at 2,510-square-feet with three and potentially four bedrooms and 3.5 bathrooms.
Originally designed and built in 1959 by prolific mid-century architect Edward H. Fickett, the house was, per marketing materials provided by broker Jeff Kohl at The Agency, “re-conceptualized and expanded” in the mid-1960s by Val Powelson, a largely unsung modernist architect best remembered for his design of the Maranz House in Rancho Mirage, Calif., a daring, Atomic Age desert getaway built in 1960 for Leo Maranz, co-founder of the Tastee-Freez corporation.
Exterior walls clad in vertical wood planks and a cheekily perforated, Googie-style screening wall define the low-slung street façade while interior spaces orbit around an entirely glass-walled atrium that fills the house with natural light. An immense, double-sided stone fireplace divides the living room from a den where media equipment is hidden in a trio of cabinets cleverly cantilevered off a smooth-paneled wall and the adjoining dining space is seamlessly merged with the backyard through a long wall of telescopic floor-to-ceiling glass sliders. The somewhat unusually monochromatically seal grey galley-style kitchen is unquestionably expensively applianced and dramatically placed in front of a floor-to-ceiling glass slider but is also so unusually and audaciously compact there’s barely enough counter space to unpack take out Chinese food let alone prepare a proper meal.
Two of the guest bedrooms, one of them with an en suite bathroom, have direct access to private patios and a third potential guest bedroom is done up as an office with a streamlined built-in desk. Privately positioned at the rear of the residence with a room-wide sliding glass door that glides opens to a partly shaded terrace under a deep roof overhang, the master bedroom features a cinder block accent wall, custom built-ins and a crisply hygienic frosted glass and white penny-tiled bathroom.
Wrapped in horizontal wood-strip fencing that acts as a savvy directional counterpoint to the vertical wood cladding on the front of the house and entirely privatized by towering, verdantly cumulus cloud-like hedging, the backyard offers both sunny and shaded patios, a rectilinear swimming pool that reflects the home’s geometric simplicity and a multi-level deck and hot tub tucked up behind a picturesque pair of olive trees.
Dornan lives primarily in the U.K. where in 2015 it was reported he and his wife, actress and musician Amelia Warner, shelled out around £1.75 million for a five bedroom estate in the town of Chalford, Gloucestershire in the Cotswold area of south central England where, according to a 2016 article in Cosmopolitan, people have been known to make a creepy, obsessive and utterly bizarre “pilgrimage to his home town just so they can have sex” in the vicinity of a home owned by the actor who portrays Christian Grey.
Listing photos: The Agency