Though the deal went down on the down low several months ago, word has only now begun to slide down the celebrity real estate beanstalk, initially via New York Post, that unmarried lovebirds Dakota Johnson and Chris Martin, romantically coupled for a bit more than three years, are shacking up together in a Malibu home that they picked up for $12.5 million. The gated and extensively fortified spread was previously owned by Ryan Kavanaugh, legally beleaguered founder and former CEO of Relativity Media.
After it was on and off the market over a period of three years at declining prices that pegged as high as $10.68 million and dropped as low as the gimmicky (but apparently effective) final ask of $8,888,888 million, Kavanaugh sold the slightly more than one-acre estate in June of 2019 for $8.1 million to an investor who gave it an expeditious, contemporary-minded cosmetic gussy up spearheaded by Saffron Case Homes before it was returned to the market in November 2019 with an aggressive asking price of $14 million. With no immediate takers, the Nantucket-inspired traditional briefly popped up as a rental in 2020 with a sky-high price of $50,000 per month.
At the heart of the 5,300-and-some-square-foot home, a double-height combination living and dining room features a newly minimalized fireplace between towering stacks of firewood storage cubbies. A large pass-through between the dining space and kitchen keeps things relaxed and informal, though there are hidden panels that can be slid closed for more formal meals.
The chef-accommodating high-end kitchen’s walk-in pantry was refreshed with copper counters, open shelving and all-new navy-blue cabinetry, while the fireplace in the adjoining family room was smartly simplified and a U-shaped built-in dining banquette, with a picture-perfect over-the-hedgerow ocean view, was added to a window-lined nook in the adjoining family room. A libray/home office includes built-in shelving, and a separate, somewhat petite screening room was smartly updated with acres of painted shiplap on the walls and ceiling
The main house’s five bedrooms and 5.5 bathrooms include a homeowner’s suite with airy vaulted ceiling, private ocean-view terrace and refreshed marble bathroom, while the pool house offers a ground-floor lounge and kitchen plus a pool bath as well as a second-floor ocean-view bedroom and bathroom with outside entrance.
Designed for casual entertaining and peaceful relaxation, the backyard includes a stone patio with outdoor fireplace and a newly pergola-shaded built-in grilling area. Rough-cut stonework around the swimming pool and spa were replaced with much more modern white tiles. Beyond the pool, a wide stretch of lawn slopes gently down towards a thick hedge trimmed at the exact height necessary to block out the rooftop of the neighboring home but still allow for a broad view over the ocean.
The estate was listed with Mike Cunningham and Glen Steele at Pinnacle Estate Properties, while Martin and Johnson were repped by Lily Harfouche at Compass.
The traditional meets beachside contemporary is a departure from Johnson’s home just above the Sunset Strip, a meticulously preserved and updated mid-1940s residence designed by influential if little-heralded midcentury architect Carl Maston that she scooped up in 2016 in an off-market deal valued at a bit more than $3.5 million. The “Fifty Shades of Grey” star, daughter of Melanie Griffith and Don Johnson and an investor and co-creative director of the sexual wellness brand Maude, opened the doors to her fashionably appointed retreat last year to Architecture Digest.
As for Martin, the Coldplay frontman (and ex-husband of Goop guru Gwyneth Paltrow, with whom he has a couple of creatively named children) has been a longtime resident of Malibu who owns at least three other Point Dume properties. Since 2014 he’s owned a funky and fabulous 1970s tour-de-force designed by renegade architect John Lautner, and not quite two years ago he shelled out almost $5.5 million for a modestly sized but stylishly renovated 1960s ranch-style home. Though he briefly had it on the market last year at $5.45 million, Martin also currently owns the 6.5-acre Malibu Playhouse property, a 99-seat theater complex that was purchased almost three years ago for $4.45 million.