William Wallace Reid never achieved the same level of acting success as his parents — silent film stars Dorothy Davenport and Wallace Reid, both popular players at Universal Pictures during the 1910s — but he did wind up with quite a flair for the dramatic, a flair he funneled into architecture. Reid designed this striking midcentury modern for himself and his wife in 1953. Decades later, the petite property was acquired by its current owners — a Russian film industry couple who used it as a summertime pied-à-terre. Now it’s returned to the market, asking nearly $3.2 million.
“The house is a work of art, and a testament to details and style embracing the original post-and-beam design and vision of architect William Wallace Reid and his wife Paula,” says listing agent Frank Langen of Deasy Penner Podley. “The current owners stayed true to the original, complementing its soul with the comforts of the 21st century.”
Found on a lot atop the brow of a canyon, and straddling the border between Santa Monica and Pacific Palisades, the structure is fronted by walls and a wooden gate. Beyond the gate, a covered and stone-lined walkway passes by a rubber tree before emptying out at the house. Packing in two bedrooms and two bathrooms in just a little more than 1,200 square feet of single-level living space, the intimately stylish interiors are punctuated throughout by exposed-beam ceilings, blonde hardwood floors and skylights. Floor-to-ceiling walls of glass frame canyon and treetop vistas, and an indoor-outdoor lifestyle is front and center.
Among the highlights: a spacious living room with a marble-clad fireplace and glass sliders that open to an outdoor lounge area, a fireside dining area abutting the sleek kitchen, and a primary bedroom suite with a walk-in shower and brass soaking tub.
Especially standing out is the private and serene backyard, which holds a tree-shaded wood deck with built-in seating, an al fresco dining patio sporting a pizza oven and built-in barbecue, and a freestanding infrared sauna. An added perk: The compact residence comes fully furnished, and includes Desai Architect-drafted plans for a potential garage and guest house.