Though he isn’t exactly a household name here in the states, English TV and radio presenter Richard Bacon has long been a big deal across the pond, where he once hosted the popular BBC kids’ television program “Blue Peter” and Planet 24’s “The Big Breakfast” morning show. Until about two years ago, the familiar BBC radio co-host also helmed Nat Geo’s “Explorer” series.
Last month, Bacon inked a deal with Universal to produce and develop unscripted television content. And hard on the heels of that contract, he’s sealed the $5.3 million purchase of a lovely estate in prime Los Angeles, where he and wife Rachel McFarland have been based for some time. Tucked into the coveted Bird Streets neighborhood, the house lies in the portion of the Hollywood Hills that’s set directly above the iconic Sunset Strip.
The new abode is a bit of an unconventional find for the area. While many Bird Streets homes are ultra-contemporary in style and boast thrilling, jetliner views of the L.A. basin, the Bacon estate is a 1930s Mediterranean-style throwback compound with plenty of land but no city lights views. It’s also situated a bit off the beaten path, on a relatively quiet side street shaded by mature trees.
From outside, the coral-colored exterior walls appealingly contrast with cobalt blue shutters and trim. The landscaping successfully evokes that of a villa on the Italian Riviera, with drought-tolerant grasses and gnarled olive trees. There’s a stone fountain surrounded by a crunchy pea gravel garden, and a stone terrace just off the main house contains an alfresco dining area and built-in BBQ center.
The front door opens into a proper foyer visually anchored by a beautiful hardwood staircase and flanked by a sunken, fireplace-equipped drawing room and dining room. There’s also a library that opens directly onto the aforementioned stone patio.
A gourmet kitchen sporting mint green cabinets and stone countertops is also loaded with high-end stainless appliances and connects to an adjoining breakfast area that’s separated from the more formal dining room, outfitted with a dedicated fireplace and wet bar, by a foldaway wall of wooden doors. Also connected to the kitchen is a butler’s pantry with china storage and wine refrigerator, plus additional countertop space for catering large events.
Other main floor spaces include an office, a laundry room, and a bedroom with ensuite bath that’s ideal for overnight guests or a live-in nanny or housekeeper.
The entire second level is dedicated to the home’s three family bedrooms, including the large master suite, which takes up more than half of the floor and includes a private terrace overlooking the backyard, large bath with dual vanities and soaking tub, and dual dressing rooms. The other two bedrooms both offer ensuite baths slathered in colorful tile.
For a house in the Hollywood Hills, the .34-acre, mostly flat lot is massive. A grassy backyard lawn runs beside the detached guesthouse, to the very rear of the property, and between the guesthouse and main house lies a large stone patio encircling an elegantly rectangular swimming pool.