YOUR MAMAS NOTES: During the 2008-2009 renovation of a hillside house in the upscale Oaks section of Los Angeles’ Los Feliz neighborhood, house flipper turned reality tee-vee star cum interior decorator Jeff Lewis installed a new deck that crossed the property line between his house and the one next door owned by Scotch-born Extra and Ugly Betty actress Ashley Jensen and her Brit-born thespian hubby Terence Beesley.
While blond Miz Jensen and bald Mister Beesley may not be the most householdy of names in Tinseltown, real estate watchers in Los Angeles are very well acquainted with the ex-pat pair due to their public wrangle and tangle with the occasionally confrontational Mister Lewis who has, let’s just say, a well-honed flair for the dramatic.
Mister Lewis claimed the border crossing was a mistake; Miz Jensen had a hissy fit and said it was intentional. (Who does something like that intentionally?) He offered her ten grand for an easement to the encroachment and she, on the advice of “experts,” demanded $100,000. He got huffy–we just love it when Mister Lewis gets huffy–and counter-offered $30,000 to make it all go away. She filed a restraining order against him.
Natch, he issued a press release that cast him as the victim in the decking debacle and claimed he “never threatened either of them with physical harm, nor was I abusive or verbally threatening to either of them.” Mister Lewis went on to somewhat surprisingly state he had “never even met Ms. Jensen.”
In April 2009 the Hatfields and the McCoys found their way to a resolution that had Mister Lewis pay Miz Jensen and Mister Beesley $30,000 for the offending and offensive encroachment. Mister Lewis issued another high-lariously cat-clawed statement that said, “I’m happy Ms. Jensen has returned to Earth, removed the restraining order, and insisted we settle our boundary dispute for my original offer of $30,000.” Not one to miss an opportunity to pound the final nail into the coffin–or, depending on one’s point of view, to beat a dead horse–Mister Lewis’ statement went on to state, no doubt with some tongue in cheek, “She reported she’s done this in an effort to be ‘neighborly.’ Unfortunately, that ship set sail six months before the three ring circus and the $50,000 in combined attorneys’ fees,” he said. “I look forward to the next neighborhood barbecue.”
Anyhoo, at the time of the deck dispute Mister Lewis had his city-view home on the market with an asking price well in excess of three million clams. He had a devil of a time unloading the white elephant that eventually sold in October 2010–about 2.5 years after it first appeared on the open market–for $2,325,000. No doubt Mister Beesley and Miz Jensen were ecstatic when Mister Lewis decamped the Oaks for a rental residence in West Hollywood. (Mister Lewis has since bought a house in Los Feliz where he plans, according to what he said on the most recent season of Flipping Out, to settle down and raise babies with his exceedingly well groomed and much younger man-beau/business associate Gage Edward.)
Whatever glee they may have felt by Mister Lewis’ exit at stage left appears to have been short lived since Miz Jensen and Mister Beesley put their own house, a two-story mid-century modern on .47 acres, on the open market in February 2011 with an asking price of $1,999,000. By August the price tag had dropped to $1,775,000 and yesterday it tumbled to $1,589,000.
Listing information shows Miz Jensen and Mister Beesley snatched the property up for $1,650,000 in May 2007, the tail end of the inflated peak of the real estate bubble that has since burst. A few quick flicks of the well-worn beads of Your Mama’s bejeweled abacus indicates that even with an unlikely full price sale Miz Jensen and Mister Beesley are looking at a $61,000 loss not counting renovation and carrying costs, legal fees, and real estate commissions.
Listing information shows the house, located up a shared private drive near the tail end of a gated street, has 3 bedrooms and 2.5 bathrooms in 2,512 square feet of interior space. A narrow entrance hall joins the front door to the open plan main living/dining room that centers on a massive stacked stone fireplace in the living area. The airy living area has seal grey stone tile floors, a vaulted ceiling, and glittery city and sunset views through a wall of west-facing floor-to-ceiling glass panels and sliding doors.
The formal dining area connects to the eat-in kitchen colorfully outfitted with blood red lacquered cabinets, charcoal grey counter tops of indeterminate material, and a bevy of stainless steel appliances that include a built-in coffee and espresso machine. A four-stool snack counter separates the kitchen from the family room area (with fireplace) and the glassed-in breakfast area with vaulted ceiling that spills out to a narrow balcony through a wide bank of sliding glass doors.
The main floor master connects to the terrace that surrounds the swimming pool though a wall of windows and sliding doors and includes a double-sinked facility with glass enclosed shower cubby. A floating staircase in the main living area climbs to the second level where two additional bedrooms with pitched ceilings and stone tile floors share a second single double-sinked bathroom with separate soaking tub and shower.
In addition to the courtyard at then entry, the slender balconies that run along the back of the house, and the concrete terrace that wraps around three sides of the infinity-edged swimming pool with inset sap there’s a tree-shaded gravel pathway that connects to a gently curved, pergola-shaded deck with canyon and city views.
Your Mama would like the children to note that listing photos shown here are from when the property was first put on the market in early 2011 with Sotheby’s. Current listing information with Prudential California shows a more pared down, possibly partly staged, and certainly less than perfect day-core. Make of that what you will.
Several online reports indicate that in addition to their no longer wanted Los Angeles home, Miz Jensen and Mister Beesley also own a flat in the swanky Holland Park area in West London as well as a little house in Italy’s Umbria region.
listing photos: Sotheby’s International Realty