SELLER: Breckin Meyer and Deborah Kaplan
LOCATION: Beverly Hills, CA
SIZE: 4,888 square feet, 5 bedrooms, 6 bedrooms
YOUR MAMAS NOTES: It has come to our attention via our nightly online meander through new real estate listings that three time Emmy nominated actor/writer/producer Breckin Meyer and screenwriter Deborah Kaplan have put their family home in Beverly Hills, CA on the market for $2,995,000.
Brought up on the mean streets of the Platinum Triangle where he went to elementary school with Drew Barrymore and attended high school at the world famous Beverly Hills High School, Mister Meyer has been shaking his Show Business money maker since he was a teenager when he appeared in a number of commercials and popped up in a handful of t.v. programs including The Wonder Years and L.A. Law. The nineties brought a handful of short-lived sit-coms (The Jackie Thomas Show, The Home Court), a few forgettable t.v. movies, and a small role in the 1995 sleeper hit comedy movie Clueless. Mister Meyer spent the first decade of the Aughts providing a variety of character voices for the animated sitcom The King of the Hill and the better part of the last decade writing and pulling dozens of voices on the long- and still-running stop motion animation series Robot Chicken. In addition to Robot Chicken Mister Meyer also currently co-stars in the crime-comedy series Franklin & Bash with former child star Mark-Paul Gosselaar.
Miz Kaplan’s professional credits include mostly goofy comedy movies like A Very Brady Sequel, The Flintstones in Viva Rock Vegas, Josie and the Pussycats—which she also directed, and a little holiday-time cinematic ditty called Surviving Christmas. She’s listed as a screenwriter for the the upcoming Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus starring Oscar winning cop-sasser Reese Witherspoon.
They aren’t exactly Brad and Angelina in the punishing hierarchy of Hollywood but, make no mistake, they are carrying members of the young Tinseltown establishment. Alas, the sale of their vibrantly dressed residence in the Bev Hills Post Office probably has something to do with their decision last year to go their own ways.
Property records show Mister Breckin and Miz Kaplan bought the property in September 2003 for $1,875,000. Thanks to the always informative Brenda Blabsitall the property was formerly owned by Joan Collins during her Dynasty years and before she hightailed it up to a low-slung Buff and Hensman-designed dwelling bove Coldwater Canyon that was later owned by Jerry Herman, Max Mutchnick, Ellen Degeneres and now Ryan Seacrest.
High hedged and double gated on a typically narrow canyon road deep and high the mountains above Beverly Hills and the Sunset Strip, the architecturally pastiche-d, prairie house-ish center hall traditional abode sits on a rustic stone plinth with stucco and clapboard siding. Listing details show the somewhat low-slung two story house was originally built in 1936, anchors a one-third acre parcel that slopes steeply at its eastern back, and contains a total of five bedrooms and six bathrooms in 4,888 square feet of fully renovated, updated and upgraded interior space.
The quirky decorative tone for the public rooms of the Meyer-Kaplan micro-manse* is set—as it should be—right inside the front door in the elegantly proportioned entrance hall where the erstwhile couple or their lady or nice-gay decorator flanked a Chinoiserie-style bamboo console catch-all with an acoustic guitar and a bongo drum. We know that Mister Meyer is musically inclined and has played in a number of punk and rock bands over the years but an acoustic guitar and a bongo drum right inside the front door just seems a little to, well, aggressive to Your Mama but who cares, right?
The almost unrestrained whimsy hinted at in the foyer really takes hold into the spacious formal living room where one seating area with a fanciful oculus faces a fireplace and fearlessly marries a bevy of idiosyncratic furnishings such as a Moroccan pouf, a deer antler chandelier; a green ceramic elephant stool, a vintage-looking woven basket that looks African or maybe Native American, and a pair of tufted wing back chairs swaddled in what appears to be but may or may not be white leather. All that and a brazenly graphic David Hicksian-patterned rug in dark brown and eggshell white. It’s a lot, but it’s feasty for for the eyes even if it crosses your personal decorative boundaries. The other end of the room has two chunky yet sleek and masculine armchairs covered in delicious looking caramel colored leather that stand in tense, contemporary opposition to a decidedly campy, zebra stripe upholstered Louis the Something style settee. Two walls of of wood-framed glass doors expose the room to light and the backyard.
The decorative excitement flowers into its full high-camp fruit in the adjoining dining room that has an exposed wood ceiling that is both peaked and dramatically high. A second wacky-cool oculus sits off-center in a wall muraled or otherwise papered with a tree pattern that skews to an Asian vibe. Atop the massive carved stone mantelpiece of the off-center fireplace stands—your eyeballs do not deceive thee, children—a fully feathered stuffed peacock. Who knew anyone besides Your Mama’s Step Momma and Big Daddy had a full-on taxidermy peacock on display up in their house? But we digress…
Things get a little more stylistically ordinary and even outdated in the center island eat-in kitchen that’s expensively outfitted with high grade commercial-style appliances but still slathered in (passé) black granite counter tops and ringed by pale, raised panel wood cabinets that don’t quite extend to the ceiling but do have (disturbingly) elaborate cornices. It’s not, by far, the cookery of Your Mama and The Dr. Cooter’s domestic dreams, but it’s a workable size for renovation and we do appreciate all the children’s artwork framed and hung salon-style in the breakfast area.
For better and/or worse, cooler and less kitchy decorative heads prevailed in the family room, a generously sized space with an all earth tone palette, a massive micro-suede sectional sofa, a pair of Mad Men-era arm chairs in cocoa brown leather, and a big ol’ built in wet bar long enough to accommodate three fat-assed booze hounds in a trio of upholstered and padded bar stools with stable backrests.
The reasonably roomy second floor master bedroom has a private deck that overlooks the backyard and, although barely decorated at all, is all done in a variety of shades of mushroom, khaki, camel, and biscuit. The attached bathroom is spacious and (almost) all marble with a glass enclosed steam shower and separate soaking tub. The walk-in closet is, as per listing details “fabulous.”
The lower level of the back of the house opens up to outdoor leisure and entertaining spaces that include some flagstone terracing that extends underfoot into a large shaded porch nestled into the slope under the master bedroom deck. The terraces give way to a small but flat patch of grass where, somehow, the Meyer-Kaplans managed to refrain from erecting an embarrassingly expensive jungle gym for their young daughter.
One of those grim but necessary child safety fences awkwardly divides the aforementioned areas of the backyard from the swimming pool that is ringed by flagstone terracing. On the far side of the pool, a pergola shaded dining pavilion looks nice for al fresco dining even it is a long way from the kitchen and a long and shallow, east facing loggia that’s punctuated by two more street-facing oculi creates a welcomed swathe of poolside shade in the scorch of typical southern California summertime afternoons.
We don’t know where either of this former couple have gone or will go but divorce ain’t easy and we wish them a smooth road…for the children’s sake, you know? Anyways…
*For our purposes, today, we estimate and designate the size range of a micro-manse at about 3,500-6,000 square feet. Anything above 6,000 square feet but under about 9,000 square feet is a mini-mansion and anything in excess of 10,000 square feet is just a plain ol’ mansion.
listing photos: Teles Properties