When it comes to this polarizing English farmhouse-style ranch originally designed in 1949 by noted Los Angeles architect Robert Byrd, the general consensus is you either adore its quirkily endearing qualities — think a shockingly vintage kitchen with an original pass-through window, a faux brick hearth and Dutch door — or, well, you’re simply not a fan of the funky, decidedly outdated spread.
If you err on the love it rather than leave it side, however, you’re in luck. For the first time in nearly two decades, the Westwood home is on the market, asking a cool $2 million. And it’s got a celebrity-adjacent pedigree, too — the property was last occupied by Peter Falk’s first wife, Alyce Caroline Mayo, who lived there until her 2016 death. (Records reveal Mayo bought the house in 2004 for $1.6 million, and the property is now owned by Jackie Falk, one of the “Columbo” star’s two adopted daughters.)
Best known for designing the Cielo Drive, Benedict Canyon home where Sharon Tate was murdered by members of the Manson family, plus Frank Zappa’s rock ’n’ roll treehouse in Laurel Canyon, Byrd is said to have woven a signature “birdhouse element” into many of his residential creations; though it’s not clear if a birdhouse nests anywhere at this particular structure, it definitely retains many of his other rustic trademarks throughout its 2,575 square feet of living space.
First and foremost, there’s lots of wood — a veritable forest of it in the pitched and beamed ceilings, peg-and-plank floors, moldings, rough-sawn walls, doors, trim, paneling, and built-in seating and shelves. All of that wood is paired with an abundance of exposed brickwork, cross-hatched windows and another of Byrd’s trademarks: a wealth of indoor-outdoor living spaces.
The three-bedroom, three-bathroom house is fronted by a sidewalk abutted by a white picket fence, a brick driveway and an attached two-car garage with direct entry. A front door encased in a wrought-iron entry enclosure opens into a foyer, which connects to a junior living room/library. From there, a spacious living room with beamed ceilings and a charming brick fireplace comes into play, complete with French doors that open to a sizable brick patio, and backyard dotted with fountains and gardens.
A formal dining room with a built-in banquette and pair of buffets is next to a country-style kitchen that has updated stainless appliances, but appears mostly original otherwise — call it a modern farmhouse, emphasis on the farm. The kitchen also boldly flaunts a coral-colored ceiling and walls, for quite the controversial visual spectacle.
All the home’s bedrooms and bathrooms are found in a private wing opposite the living area, including a primary suite boasting a sitting area, and a large bathroom equipped with a spa tub/shower topped by a stained-glass window, dry sauna and mirrored closet.
The listing is held by James Hancock of Coldwell Banker Realty.