Once upon a time — or just recently, actually — in the Wonderland Park enclave of Laurel Canyon, Tinseltown screenwriter/director J Mackye Gruber (“Final Destination 2,” “The Butterfly Effect”) placed his eye-catching English Tudor-style lair on the market for $1.75 million, hoping to more than double his money on the storybook property he purchased back in ’04 for a mere $837,000.
Tucked away on a petite .17-acre land parcel amid terraced landscaping, the home’s architecture sports a façade adorned with decorative half-timber framing in white oak and carved fascia boards, all of it topped by a slate roof with wood embellishments crafted from 15th-century English oak beams.
And the interiors aren’t too shabby, either — there are windows supposedly culled directly from British novelist Jane Austen’s study, and a number of other curious finds throughout. Built in 1929, the three-bed, two-bath home offers about 1,800 square feet of living space arranged very vertically — there are four levels within the towering structure. Inside the wooden front door, there’s an entryway adorned with a Zen-inducing pebble garden, plus a cozy window seat nook.
“This is an iconic, one-of-a-kind house that exudes warmth and creativity,” says Wolf Amer, who is co-listing the residence with Jon Grauman, both of The Agency. “I feel this is a special house for a single person, empty nesters, or a couple who are artists, who appreciate its quirky charm and desire a peaceful setting to work at home.”
Other highlights include a wood-beamed living room with a fireplace and stone surround dating to the early 19th century, and a mantle hewn from a 15th-century English oak beam rescued from a royal hunting lodge, along with a kitchen outfitted with a black, vintage O’keefe & Merritt “Town and Country” stove with six burners (one of only 100 manufactured in this style, according to Amer.)
Also standing out: an upstairs dining room marked by those aforementioned windows said to have come from Austen’s study, plus a fireplace bedecked with a Derbyshire stone surround, and a light-filled primary bedroom suite with cathedral ceiling, which adjoins a loft with spacious balcony and terrace overlooking the canyon.
Outdoors, the backyard is small but nicely upgraded with several spots ideal for relaxing and dining, and it also holds a separate one-room “dollhouse.” Wrapping it all up: a one-car garage bolstered by ornate double doors and a long driveway for up to seven additional cars.