The still somewhat new-fangled concept of L.A. as a tech hub has beget soaring real estate prices in areas surrounding the so-called Silicon Beach where Google, Facebook, Hulu and many more tech giants have slick new office space. And even in neighborhoods as far out as Westchester, where this contemporary house is located. Though the property is miles from the beach, it’s still close enough for a quick commute and commanded a hefty $2.1 million sale price on the open market last year.
The new owner, however, is not a tech worker bee but rather Academy Award-nominated, always-busy actor Djimon Hounsou. The Benin-born showbiz veteran got his start modeling in Janet Jackson and Madonna music videos but has since transitioned to film acting and become widely acclaimed for his roles in epic dramas — “Amistad,” “Gladiator,” “In America,” and “Blood Diamond” among them — and for his parts in Marvel and DC thrillers like “Guardians of the Galaxy,” “Aquaman,” “Shazam!” and “Captain Marvel.” (On the more personal front, he’s also widely known for his highly-publicized longterm relationship with ex-partner Kimora Lee Simmons.)
Completed in 1990, the distinctly ’80s-look modern structure underwent a contemporary remodel in recent years. Although the exterior remains mostly unchanged — it’s still a blocky, vaguely forbidding-looking sort of house — the interior is now light, bright, and has all the current amenities that wealthy buyers have come to expect. There’s an eat-in kitchen with chic custom cabinetry and top-of-the-line appliances, maple hardwood floors and a double-height living room with fireplace.
A walled and gated front courtyard is shaded by leafy evergreens and provides a quiet nook for alfresco dining. Out back, the multi-level house has a vast array of decks and terraces with plenty of space for outdoor entertaining. The remainder of the yard is low-maintenance and limited to a few privacy hedges and some creeping ivy plants.
The main floor master suite is spacious and features a sitting area, private terrace and a definitely un-renovated bathroom that looks straight from the ’80s with its tile floors and countertops and a vintage glass block wall that is now back en vogue, apparently.
But perhaps the property’s best feature are the low, wideset views its hillside perch affords. The westward vistas drink in both L.A.’s spectacular sunsets and the thick fog that often rolls out from the ocean in the early mornings, and provides a bird’s-eye view of the low-rise buildings that house many tech juggernauts.