It wasn’t so long ago that Venice was considered a real rough-and-tumble location. (We refer to the seaside neighborhood of LA, not the sinking town in Italy, of course.)
Although parts of the district remain somewhat gritty, the trendy (and high-priced) Abbott Kinney shopping strip has brought sweeping gentrification to the neighborhood. And that rapid gentrification has beget skyrocketing real estate prices, the likes of which have left Yolanda pretty damn slack-jawed.
Seriously, the pricetags here are enough to put many houses in Pacific Palisades, Brentwood, or even the A-list town itself (Beverly Hills) to shame.
For example, take this non-oceanfront, non-canal-front property we shall discuss today. Last sold this June (2016), it transferred for a whopping $4,640,000. That’s flying close to $5 million! Think that isn’t crazy? The .12-acre lot is positively puny! And the house is but 2,817-square-feet! That means the buyer paid more than $1,600 per square foot! Come on now. That’s big, BIG money.
Anyway, the fat cat buyer is shielded behind a corporate cloak calling itself “Brillow Pad LLC”, so kudos on the creative name. Naturally, Yolanda just had to know who it was and it wasn’t long before we discovered that the proud new owner is a famous young English actress named Emilia Clarke.
Miss Clarke — who just turned 30 this year — stars on that wildly successful TV show called Game of Thrones. Yolanda has never seen that show, of course, but even we — residing under a boulder as we are — have most certainly heard of it. It’s pretty much the biggest thing on TV, after all.
We’ve heard there are lots of swear words and violence and nudity in the show, which makes us wonder why we’ve never bothered to watch it. Goodness, it sounds like just the ticket for Yolanda!
Since 2011, Miss Clarke has portrayed the role of prominent character Daenerys Targaryen, a name that is unnecessarily hard to spell and pronounce. Good grief, lassie. Anyway, Miss Clarke has won numerous awards for her performance and last year she was even named by Esquire magazine as their “Sexiest Woman Alive“.
Yeah yeah, Miss Clarke, you may have been the queen bee last year. But you’d better watch your back. Yolanda is coming for that crown in 2016. Wait, it’s already 2016. Did they already choose a different sexiest woman? (Is it too late to audition?)
But let’s quit digressin’ check out the very rich young Miss Clarke’s new house.
Appropriately named the “Milwood Residence” (after the street on which it sits), the architectural modern box was designed by Culver City-based architects Abramson Teiger and completed in 2009 for the previous owners, two non-celebrity gentlemen.
Naturally, the property is securely walled and gated for Her Ladyship’s utmost privacy. It’s a bit of a necessity in Venice. Despite the rapid gentrification, rough edges remain and the throngs of tourists can prove a wee bit unnerving.
For a sub-3,000-square-foot house, the living/dining room combo is really quite massive. Bookshelves (real bookshelves!) filled with books (real books!) line the wall and reach nearly to the tippy-top of the vaulted ceiling. At the end of the room — which spans the entire length of the house — there’s a supersized wall of glass and beyond, a smallish stone terrace surrounded by 80-year-old olive trees.
And check out those lavender loveseats/couches. Yolanda has never considered purchasing a lavender loveseat (or couch or whatever) but the shade is really rather fetching. If Barney gets a tan, he’d better watch his back. Yolanda will sic poachers on him. No lie.
An unusual soapstone material covers the countertops in the open-concept kitchen. The cabinetry looks exotic, although Yolanda is not exactly sure if indeed it is.
The yard is understandably compact — the property’s footprint is barely 5,000 square feet, after all — but it manages to not feel (or at least appear) cramped. A covered outdoor lounge has built-in modern light fixtures and a lap lane pool runs runs up next to a leafy hedge for maximum privacy.
Back indoors, the family rooms connects to the kitchen and sports views of the courtyard. An epically-long wall of wooden cupboards makes for plenty of storage and also provides plenty of space for the beginning contemporary art collector.
The master bedroom has glossy ebonized hardwood floors and overlooks the pool and petite yard below. A bit unexpected is the master bath’s built-in carpeting (bathroom carpet in a modern house?! Heavens no!). The walk-in closet has plenty of room for crowns, gowns, birthday suits, and whatever else Miss Clarke wears on Game of Thrones.
(Note: what Yolanda initially thought was carpet in the master bathroom is — upon closer inspection — actually some sort of mosaic tile. Thanks to commenter Mark for pointing this out. We blame the red, red wine.)
Her Royal Highness’s bachelorette pad has a total of just two bedrooms and three full baths. Here’s the guest bedroom suite.
Let it be known that Venice is not Yolanda’s particular cup of residential tea. It’s a bit too crowded, a bit too tourist-y, a bit too far from our favorite LA haunts. But had we $5 million to spend on a house in the area, Miss Clarke’s palace would be near the top of our list. Really, that bookcase sealed the deal. Swoon.
And don’t be begrudgin’ Her Highness an expensive castle in Venice, either. It’s not easy wearing the crown. Knowing that any day some young punk of a screenwriter can just write out your character without warning. Not only must you then suffer a cheesy beheading on cable TV, but then the massively overweight producer tells you your contract suddenly don’t include residuals! And you go from living in the big Bel Air mansion to that Valley Village studio apartment. It burns!
Trust us. Yolanda knows. But it’s all a part of The Plan, right?
“Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done…”
Photographs: Luke Gibson Photography
Selling agent: Jennifer Hughes, Bulldog Realtors Inc.
Emilia Clarke’s agent: Juliette Hohnen, Douglas Elliman