Saturday, September 7, 2013

Nate Berkus's Pedigreed West Coast Rental Goes Up for Sale

SELLER: Sean MacPherson
MOST RECENT RENTERS: Nate Berkus and Jeremiah Brent
LOCATION: Los Angeles, CA
PRICE: $2,950,000
SIZE: 2,148 square feet, 2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: Media savvy designer/decorator Nate Berkus and his man-friend/fiancĂ©e, much younger and far less successful fellow designer/decorator Jeremiah Brent, loved their architecturally pedigreed rental residence in the Hollywood Hills so much—you'll recall that Mister Brent confessed in the August 2013 issue of Harper's Bazaar that he "burst into tears" the first time he toured the house—that they opted not to buy the John Elgin Woolf-designed house and it's back up for sale with an asking price of $2,950,000.

The jewel box of a house is currently owned by Malibu-bred and New York-based boutique hotelier du jour Sean MacPherson—and his mother, Janet—who purchased the pedigreed pad, as per property records, in late 1995 for $415,000.

Current listing details show the 2,148 square foot single story mini-villa was built in 1939, sits on a generous, half acre-plus at the sylvan end of a short cul-de-sac, and has two bedrooms and two bathrooms including an oval-shaped master bathroom. The green and black kitchen has a wacky but wonderful mint-green vintage 1950s range and the bi-winged living room has marble inlaid parquet floors and a curved glass window divided by a marble mantled fireplace. Outdoor living spaces include trellis-shaded red brick terraces next to the pool, a sunbathing deck set just above the pool, and an open air pavilion with built-in bench seating and canyon views.

Some of the nearby neighbors include artist David Hockney, Tonight Show bandleader Ricky Minor (who lives in Katey Sagal's old house), and oil and gas scion Andrew Getty.

We claim no inside knowledge into the Misters Berkus and Brents' future real estate plans on the Left Coast but we do know—as was previously reported by a whole bunch of other property gossips—that in July (2013) Mister Berkus sold a terraced duplex penthouse in a walk-up co-operative building just off lower Fifth Avenue in New York City's Greenwich Village for $4,950,000* and a couple weeks later spent an even-steven five million dollars for another terraced duplex penthouse coop just a few blocks away in a elevator-equipped doorman building (above) that was designed by the venerated Emory Roth and built in 1922 by pre-war property developers Bing & Bing right on lower Fifth Avenue.**

Listing details show the six room duplex has two proper bedrooms and a third, awkwardly L-shaped room that would be downright indecent to actually call or utilize as a bedroom. There are 2.5 bathrooms, two fireplaces, and two fairly narrow terraces, one of which wraps around two sides of the upper level living, dining and kitchen areas.

Interior finishes at the time of Mister Berkus's purchase include original chevron pattern wood floors, lots of multi-pane sash windows and doors, miles and miles heavy duty moldings, a mural-walled formal dining room, and a law-library-ish center-island kitchen worked over with dark brown cabinets and chocolate brown granite counter tops. Presumably Misters Berkus and Brent will sprinkle their decorative fairy dust over ever square foot of the apartment and have it photographed for glossy posterity (and shameless self promotion) for one of the better fashion or shelter publications.

UPDATE (9/9/13): Thanks to one of the children, it's come to Your Mama's attention that in addition to the duplex penthouse on lower Fifth Avenue for which he coughed up five million big ones, Mister Berkus spent another $975,000 in an off-market deal to acquire the one bedroom apartment directly below. It's probably pretty safe to assume Mister Berkus plans to triplex the two apartments, right?

*Mister Berkus paid $3,350,000 for the spacious, 3,000 square foot spread in 2011, so even though he probably spend a pretty penny doing the place up, we'd guess he walked away with a substantial amount of moolah. The buyers were internet art auction entrepreneur Andrew Gilkes and fashion designer Misha Nonoo.

**For what it's worth and just in case anyone might care, Mister Brent's name does not appear on the public deeds and documents Your Mama perused.

photos (Los Angeles): Douglas Friedman for Harper's Bazaar
last two exterior listing photos (Los Angeles): The Agency
listing photos and floor plan (New York): Core

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