Recently married “Glee” star Darren Criss, legally hitched to longtime girlfriend Mia Sweir in mid-February, has celebrated his upwardly mobile career with the slightly more than $3 million purchase of a family-sized home in a celeb-packed neighborhood in the leafy, low-key foothills above Hollywood. All but invisible behind an huge hedge and fortified behind imposing gates, the extensively renovated, mansard-roofed residence doesn’t adhere to any discernible architectural vernacular — let’s call it a transitional contemporary — and measures in at almost 4,700 square feet with three ample bedrooms and 3.5 bathrooms.
Pared back interior spaces with over-sized windows and lustrous, blonde wood floors are stripped of extraneous details and chock-a-block with a bevy of high-tech creature comforts that include a comprehensive home automation system, automatic window coverings and extensive sound and security systems throughout the home and grounds. Double front doors set into a shallow, double-height portico open to a foyer where a gravity-defying open-tread staircase curves up to the bedrooms. The sprawling, loft-like open plan living/dining space offers several lounging and dining areas, a fireplace flanked by open bookshelves and a cozy reading nook nestled into a turreted alcove lined with windows that provide a panoramic view of a faux-grassed area of the yard.
Fitted with snazzy Italian cabinetry and premium-grade German appliances, the sleek and unexpectedly gigantic, L-shaped kitchen is open to a cozy TV lounge with fireplace. And, nipped behind the kitchen in what appears to have once been the garage, there’s a laundry room, a mirror-walled fitness room and a petite home theater complete with tiered seating and projection system. Upstairs, there are two guest bedrooms, one with a custom-fitted walk-in closet and both with master suite-worthy bathrooms, plus a commodious homeowners retreat with a roomy sitting area and a gas fireplace set into an angled wall. Two walk-in closets, a spa-style bathroom and a huge private terrace complete the suite.
Carved into the hillside behind the house, a slender, tree-shaded yard meanders around the back of the house and incorporates a children’s play area with an elaborate play structure, an awning-shaded dining area with built-in banquette seating and an outdoor kitchen and grilling station. A covered and curtained patio for shady dining and lounging overlooks a swimming pool and spa.
The historic canyon neighborhood has long attracted showbiz types and a few of the many past and present residents in nearby vicinity include Danny Masterson and Bijou Phillips, Jeremy Sisto, Brad Pitt, Aubrey Plaza and Colin Hanks.
Criss’s new house is a considerable size upgrade from the modestly proportioned and stylishly updated, not quite 1,700-square-foot 1950’s bungalow in the Los Feliz neighborhood he scooped up for $1.2 million in 2012, the apex of his golden-voiced step-ball-chain through “Glee” and the year after People magazine named him one of their “Sexiest Men Alive.” Hidden behind a high hedge and custom-crafted gates, the property has three bedrooms, a couple of bathrooms and a classic, kidney-shaped swimming pool surrounded by tropical plantings and a leafy wall of bamboo.
Since “Glee” wrapped up in 2015, Criss’s mounting credits include the animated series “Transformers: Robots in Disguise” and an Emmy and Golden Globe winning turn in “The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story.” He popped up on the silver screen in this year’s war film “Midway,” which received mixed reviews but raked in more than $113 million in worldwide box office receipts. And, next up for the busy-as-a-beaver song and dance man is Ryan Murphy’s Netflix series “Hollywood,” which he will also executive produce, and the satirical musical comedy “Royalties,” a Quibi series he will star in, write songs for and executive produce.