Once a secluded valley that supplied water to nearby farms and hillside grazing for livestock, Laurel Canyon began being developed by real estate investors in the 1910s. From the get-go, the rustic enclave seemed to have a special magnetic pull for artsy types, counting renowned film stars (Clara Bow, Ramon Navarro, Marlon Brando), musicians (Joni Mitchell, Jim Morrison), authors (Noel Coward), and painters (Erté) among its inhabitants at one time or another. A century later, that’s still the case, though it appears the bucolic neighborhood will soon be losing one of its current creative denizens, German artist Sophie Wahlquist.
A painter and ceramist heralded in Frieze magazine’s “10 Emerging Artists to Watch at Frieze Los Angeles” round-up this past December, Wahlquist has lived with her family in a 1930s home in the Wonderland tract since 2018. Located on a narrow cul-de-sac street, the Spanish-style residence was one of many produced in the neighborhoods of Hollywood Heights, Beachwood Canyon, and Laurel Canyon by noted designer-builder Albert Beach Crist.
Nested into its hillside lot, the 2,614-square-foot home has four bedrooms and three bathrooms, including a newly added primary suite with chartreuse-tiled bath. Other modifications, such as ceramic sconces made by Wahlquist and walls painted with primitive trompe l’oeil scenery, are of a more cosmetic nature, agreeably coexisting with period details that include hardwood floors, stenciled wood, archways, casement windows, wrought-ironwork, a brick fireplace, and decorative tile.
Along with the living room, dining room, and kitchen, the home’s upper level features an expansive deck and dining patio in the back and a private balcony on the side, while the lower level boasts a wrap-around deck and built-in benches. A set of stone steps leads to the rest of the verdant backyard, which is split between a flat section of terraced grass and the sloped (but meticulously groomed) landscape below that contains lemon, grapefruit, lime, apricot, mandarin, and olive trees.
Sold five years ago for $1.635 million, the colorful property is now asking $2.5 million. Brittany Morrison of Deasy Penner Podley has the listing.