SELLER: Christina Ricci
LOCATION: Los Feliz, Los Angeles, CA
SIZE: 1,891 square feet, 2 bedrooms, 1.75 bathrooms
DESCRIPTION: Sophisticated traditional. Recent renovations further improved w/ custom finishes & detailing. Property features master suite w/ formidable dressing rm (office/nursery), chef’s kitchen w/ top top-of-the-line appliances, ample den, newer skylights, gorgeous pool + spa, ample access to outdoor spaces, all on a generous 12,000 sqft parcel. Updated systems and many more amenities.
YOUR MAMAS NOTES: Although Christina Ricci and her former fiance Owen Benjamin have reportedly gone their separate ways, it would appear that all those real estate rumors from back in March of 2009 about the art house actress house hunting in the Silver Lake section of Los Angeles must have some truth to them because she recently listed her current home in the celeb-friendly Oaks neighborhood in Los Feliz for $1,250,000.
Itty-bitty Miss Ricci got her start in Tinseltown at a very young age, appearing in Mermaids with La Cher and later in the Addams Family film franchise. She went on to quirky and often dark roles in movies like The Ice Storm, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, and The Opposite of Sex. Her more recent professional activities include a few turns on the boob-toob (Saving Grace), an unfortunate role in the major flop Speed Racer and a role in New York, I Love You opposite Orlando Bloom.
Property records show that Miss Ricci purchased her residence on Red Oak Drive in December of 2005 for $1,505,000. Unfortunately for her this was just about the very apex of the now popped southern California real estate bubble. It only takes a few flicks of the well worn beads on Your Mama’s beloved and bejeweled abacus to see that even if Miss Ricci and her real estate peeps manage to get a full price sale–which is certainly possible but unlikely in this era of bargain hunters and bottom feeders–she’s looking at a stomach churning $255,000 loss. And that’s on top of whatever fat fees and charges she’ll be required to pay the real estate folks for their time and efforts.
Listing information shows the modest, Mellenthin-style ranch house measures 1,891 square feet and includes 2 bedrooms and 1.75 poopers. Presumably, only about 4 of the children know what a Mellenthin style house is so let Your Mama provide a wee bit of schooling on the matter. Starting in the 1930s, the Mellenthin Company built hundreds of homes in Los Angeles, mainly in the Sherman Oaks and Valley Village areas of the San Fernando Valley. Mellenthin homes are characterized by by a vague and idealized rusticity, small front porches, diamond paned windows and pine paneled kitchens. They are, some might argue, the architectural epitome of the real estate dreams of a typical 1950s suburban Los Angeles nuclear family: hard working daddy, stay at home mommy, a couple of kids, a Lassie and two boat-sized cars in the driveway. Some people love Mellenthins for their nostalgic charm and others write them off as uninspired tract houses with difficult to clean windows and cramped, country style kitchens.
Anyhoo, Miss Ricci’s house may or may not be a Mellenthin House–and more than likely it is not–but it does bear some of the Mellenthin hallmarks including a low-rise hip roof, a teeny-tiny front porch and large diamond paned windows. The traditional exterior belies the in interior spaces which have been given a modern make-over with ashy, chocolate brown wood floors, boldly printed wallpaper in several of the rooms and more damn animal skin rugs than Your Mama cares to count. Miss Ricci’s formal living room has a lovely wood burning fireplace and has been furnished in a casually eclectic hipster with some money manner with a sharp lined, deep sea foam green sofa, an upright piano for Saturday night sing-a-longs, an organically shaped glass coffee table, a dramatically long mid-century modern credenza and a glittery and glammy tubular chandelier.
Beyond the dining room, which orbits around a gorgeous and lavishly glossy Parsons style table sitting atop a deep cocoa colored animal skin rug, is a cozy, skylight lit den/family room. The children will note that the mantel and surround of the corner fireplace is pleasingly identical to the one in the living room. This kind of uniformity appeals to and soothes the constant chaos that infects Your Mama’s mind. Furnished sparingly with little more than a beige sofa with a chaise kick out, a wee coffee table and a wall mounted flat screen television. Listen chickens, these wall mounted tee-vees that every Tom, Dick and Sally have nowadays can be a bit difficult to successfully incorporate into day-core unless the rooms entire focus is devoted to the damn tee-vee. However, here Your Mama thinks Miss Ricci–or her nice, gay decorator–has managed to minimized the tee-vee by making it appear to be part of a mis-matched collection and differently sized artworks. We’re certain some of you neatniks will whine and complain about the cable box and all the exposed wire on the floor below the television. However, a far bigger concern for Your Mama is the lack of a rug. We happen to think something like this from Angela Adams might go beautifully in the Miss Ricci’s den/family room, but our suggestion is really neither here not there since she’s soon moving on to a new house.
A galley kitchen connects the dining room and the breakfast room where Miss Ricci has placed an Isamu Noguchi Cyclone table surrounded with four Eames Eiffel Tower wire base chairs. Gold and brown flecked granite counter tops sit on flat fronted white cabinets. The kitchen is outfitted with the sort of high grade, stainless steel appliances one can expect in a million dollar house, but those beige tile floors set on a 45-degree angle have got to go.
The modestly sized house has a surprisingly massive, three-room master bedroom with a sitting area, bedroom and one of the more decadent dressing rooms Your Mama has seen in a long time. The blood red dressing room, furnished with rose colored couch, a mammoth mirror propped up in one corner and another damn animal skin rug, is a shoe fetishist’s wet dream. One entire wall has been fitted with custom, floor to ceiling shelves where Miss Ricci keeps and displays her extensive and enviable footwear collection. Given the graphic nature of the master bedroom’s black and blood red wallpaper treatment, the master bathroom is surprisingly, uhm, let’s be nice and say neutral. Twin pedestal sinks with small round mirrors flank the large window which allows for proper ventilation, and a sky-lit walk-in shower is constructed of frameless glass panels and sand colored stone tile.
A large covered terrace on the back of the house, accessible through the kitchen, the family room and Miss Ricci’s dee–voon dressing room looks out on the swimming pool and spa which have been tiled in different colors. To be honest chickens, it would never have occurred to Your Mama to have the pool and spa reflect different colors but we rather love it. We also love the lights strung across the pool, a decorative outdoor lighting drama that we’ve always liked.
The bummer about this house, clearly, is that there are just two bedrooms which will undoubtedly turn off a lot of potential buyers. Even still, if Your Mama had to predict, we’d guess this house will get snatched up quick by a young, childless couple or a couple of queens who will pee their pants with glee when they see the dressing room. We shall see.
Not only is this not the first house Miss Ricci has owned in the star-studded Oaks neighborhood in Los Feliz–she owned a house up on Park Oak Drive which she sold in 2004–it’s also not the first time she’s taken a significant financial hit on a house in the Oaks. In June of 2006 the diminutive indie-film favorite sold the speck-tac-u-ler Lloyd Wright-designed Samuel-Novarro House on Verde Oak Drive for about $150,000 less than she paid for it just a year earlier in June of 2005. Here’s hoping that Miss Ricci does better on her next real estate transaction.
The Oaks is also home to a number of other big name Hollywood types including musician Adam Levine and Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie. It’s also home to Flipping Out‘s Jeff Lewis who occupies a house he was hoping to flip for a major profit but failed to do so due to the collapsing real estate market.