Married interior decorators and reality TV co-hosts Nate Berkus and Jeremiah Brent have their fastidiously updated and fashionably photogenic mansion in L.A.’s historic and historically hoity-toity Hancock Park neighborhood up for sale at $13.795 million. The telegenic couple, co-hosts of the aspirational home improvement and design series “Nate & Jeremiah by Design” on TLC, paid Emmy-winning “Friends” and “Grace and Frankie” creator, writer and executive producer Marta Kauffman $8.185 million in an off-market deal for the sumptuous spread just over two years ago. Prominently positioned on a slight rise amid lush, tropical gardens shaded by picturesque specimen trees, the 1928 Italianate, featured in the glossy pages of the December 2017 issue of Architectural Digest, measures in at 8,477 square feet with a total of six bedrooms and five full and two half bathrooms.
Renovated and restored in a careful, comprehensive manner meant to preserve what marketing materials call “its soul,” the residence seamlessly integrates an impressive array of modern-day luxuries and creature comforts such as a state-of-the-art smart home system, a grey water recycling apparatus to irrigate the gardens and a gas reserve and back-up generator for power outages. Original architectural detailing, such as an intricate coffered ceiling in the dining room, provides a baronial background for a casual yet still quite fussy, quintessentially Californian decorative scheme with chalky white walls and a relentlessly neutral color palette. Rustic and organic decorative elements are confidently mirrored in plush, sculptural upholstered pieces while super-luxe quality finishes and superior craftsmanship provide a stylized balance with a carefully considered array of obviously antique and/or faux-antiqued accents from a wide variety of time periods.
A central, double-height foyer features solemn, duotone grey marble floor tiles that date to the 17th-century and ample formal living and dining room are joined by a paneled library and a secondary, slightly less formal dining room. The lavishly appointed eat-in kitchen sports top-end everything including a sumptuous mix of both black and white marble countertops and the family room doubles as a screening room with electronically operated black out shades. Accessible by two separate staircases, four en suite guest bedrooms are joined on the upper level by a master suite complete with fireplace, private terrace, custom-fitted double walk-in closet and snazzy bath with hand-painted wall murals, two vintage-style pedestal sinks and an over-sized shower lined in eye-catchingly book-matched, Rorschach-worthy slabs of evocatively veined black and white marble.
A long driveway passes under an iron-gated porte-cochère as it makes its way to the rear of the property where, in addition to a three-car garage, a detached structure contains a staff or guest suite and an art studio. The back of the house opens to a slim courtyard with koi pond and a vast terrace of unusual brown and white checkerboard tiles that extends out and around a swimming pool and spa conveniently equipped with an automatic cover and shaded by a 200-year-old oak tree. A dining loggia has an outdoor fireplace, a small patch of lawn provides a bit of room for kids to run and dogs to piddle and, beyond the pool, an open-air pavilion is anchored by a second outdoor fireplace and lined with cushioned built-in bench seating.
Berkus and Brent are property gossip column regulars who have bought, renovated, decorated and sold several multi-million dollar homes in both Los Angeles and New York City. In 2013 Berkus shelled out $5.97 million for two separate but contiguous apartments atop one of New York’s plumiest apartment houses along lower Fifth Avenue that he combined into one duplex penthouse and sold in June 2016 for $9.8 million to French financier and jewelry designer Charlie de Viel Castel. Berkus still owns an itty-bitty one-bedroom apartment in a handsome Greenwich Village brownstone he scooped up in 2014 for $685,000 and in the fall of 2015, the couple paid $2.36 million for a 1920s Spanish Revival just behind the Chateau Marmont Hotel above L.A.’s Sunset Strip that they quickly gussied up and listed in the fall of 2016 at almost $3 million and sold within months for $2.855 million.
listing photos: Coldwell Banker