YOUR MAMAS NOTES: Frankly, children, we’d rather bathe in pig snot and jump into a vat of glass shards up than watch any of those daytime dramas that bedevil the boob toob but that doesn’t keep us from an honest to goodness respect for the tenacity and fortitude of all the hard-working soap story denizens. They may not always be the best actors in Tinseltown but they are undoubtedly the beavers of the entertainment industry who churn out show after show, day after day, week after week, year after year. Sitcom stars, bless their pampered hearts, get a whole week to prepare and rehearse but soapers get a new script every damn day.
Even non-soap opera watchers like Your Mama know a thing or two about the daytime dramas. We know that always-a-bridesmaid-never-a-bride Susan Lucci no longer has a job and we know that one of the longest running soaps is The Days of our Lives. For about the last 10,000 years one of the primary story lines on The Day of Our Lives was the saga of the romantic perils and triumphs between a gal named Hope and man named Bo, played by the bearded beau-hunky and hairy-chested soap stud Peter Reckell.
Mister Reckell and his Missus, singer/songwriter Kelly Moneymaker of Exposé fame, have a serious thing for the green. It’s been reported elsewhere that he drives an electric car and often bikes many miles to and from work. He and the Missus have one child and have publicly stated they will sire just one biological child due to justifiable concerns about over population of the earth.
In early 2003 Mister Reckell and Miz Moneymaker paid $1,140,000 for a Los Angeles, CA property at the tail end of a cul–de-sac promontory high in the mountains between Brentwood and Encino. The couple reportedly had the existing house taken apart and shipped to Mexico where it was utilized in some way or another by Habitat for Humanity. Listen cinnamon sticks, we believe the Reckell-Moneymaker’s globe-hearting hearts are sincere and we think Habitat for Humanity is an amazing organization but we’re can’t fathom why the Reckell-Moneymakers and/or the peeps at Habitat for Humanity opted for the hassle, expense and significant resources required to ship the house all the way to Mexico when surely there was a need for a house in the Los Angeles area.
Strange that, perhaps, but anyhoo, the well-heeled tree huggers replaced the old house with a brand new, high-minded, Asian-infused, eco-chic residence outfitted with every luxury and chock-full of up-to-date eco-friendly materials and technologies. Marketing materials for the property show the house includes e-glass windows with mechanical shades for automatic modulation of heat loss and gain, certified sustainable bamboo floors and cabinets, a high-tech security system with high-def/low-profile cameras, a grey water system, recycled terrazzo flooring with radiant heat, formaldehyde-free MDF cabinets–breathe, breathe, breathe–recycled denim insulation, roof-mounted photovoltaic system, rain chains and French drains and even an air purge system to rid the attached two car garage of auto exhaust fumes. Yes, hunnies, this is a luxury loving eco-warrior’s real estate wet dream.
The Los Angeles County Tax Man shows the thoughtful two story residence measures 3,445 square feet and listing information indicates there are a total of four bedrooms and four bathrooms. Mister Reckell and Miz Moneymaker first put their eco-contemporary crib on the market in April 2010 with an asking price of $6,499,000. The price tag has since fallen precipitously to its current $4,990,000.
A walled, gated and xeriscaped courtyard with koi pond creates a tranquil transition from the street to the entrance hall where a sheet of water drips meditatively down one of the walls and the koi pond in the courtyard extends deep into the house under a walkable glass floor.
The entrance hall leads to the entertaining and dining area with (gas) fireplace, hemp chandelier and two-walls of floor-to-ceiling sliding windows that eliminate the visual distinction between indoors and out. The sleek but organic and psychologically warm gourmet kitchen has top-grade appliances, a center island with concrete counter top and trough-style sink, a sterile stainless steel counter top and back splash on either side of the Wolf brand range and a wall of meticulously milled bamboo cabinetry. A built-in pizza oven has a shiny stainless steel orifice and a spacious walk-in pantry with full-sized Sub-Zero freezer was built with formaldehyde free material.
In addition to a gas fireplace with stone accents and a bamboo entertainment cabinet with DVD drawers, the high-tech media room thrills audio- and videophiles with surround sound, 64-inch high-def television, iPod dock, a monster power amp and customized remote control that works all the gadgets and gewgaws. A glass bridge connects the media room to a rooftop herb garden. Your Mama loves an herb garden but, honestly, we’re lazy and it seems like a lot of effort to climb a bunch of stairs and navigate a transparent bridge just to get a damn leaf of basil or sprig of rosemary.
The Reckell-Moneymakers, who clearly have a decorative affinity for all all things carved, antique and Asian, have lined the walls of their walk-in wine cave with booze racks and fashioned an unusual and not entirely sensible wine tasting banquette from a carved antique Chinese lounge-thing. The house was custom-designed for a musician–that would be Miz Moneymaker–and includes a recording studio with engineering room and recording booth built for optimal sound-proofing with a floating floor, recycled denim and organic cotton insulation and hemp wall panels.
The large but not extravagantly-sized dwelling contains two family bedrooms, a guest suite with murphy bed and built-in bamboo cabinets and a cushy master suite where a 17th-century East Indian temple was structurally incorporated to frame the sliding glass doors that open to a private terrace with hot tub and rugged view of the Santa Monica Mountains. Just because the home’s inhabitants are fiercely committed enviro-protecting types does not mean they’re the stereotypical Birkenstock-wearing chain-themselves-to a tree in a dirty tie-dyed smock outfit sort of hippies. No sir, this house is for the deep-pocketed earth-mommas and daddies with compost heaps who a drive a late model Prius to $5,000 a plate save-the-environment charity dinners on a semi-regular basis.
As such, the master suite offers its enviro-protecting inhabitants dual walk-in closets with boutique-like displays for shoes and accessories crafted with formaldehyde free materials, and a recycled glass tile lined bathroom with trough sink that sits on a floating bamboo cabinet, party-sized shower with steam and a Japanese-style soaking tub with river rock tile floor. The Reckell-Moneymakers and their team of smart architects wisely installed a laundry chute in the master bedroom, an oft overlooked convenience with which Your Mama wishes our own house was blessed.
The mostly flat back yard–which has a surprising and suspicious-looking amount of very green lawn presumably watered via the grey water system–includes a variety of terraces and an ipe wood deck that hides a rainwater storage tank. An ozone-filtered and glass tile-lined swimming pool heated by a one-of-a-kind fence fashioned from eco-resin and solar panels is fitted with an electronic child- and pet-saving pool cover that can be walked upon. Somewhere back there is a meditation fountain where water gurgles magically up through a salt-block pillar, whatever that is. The eco-couple’s near fetish for carved antique Asian things takes flight in the backyard where they’ve installed a 16th-century East Indian temple with a living roof and use as a spiritually-minded entertainment pavilion with divine and dramatic views from downtown to the Pacific Ocean.
Your Mama has no idea why the Reckell-Moneymakers want to sell their obviously costly and much labored over environmentally sensitive home but whatever the reason(s) we imagine they’ll next park their electric car and put up their hemp-sandaled feet in an equally progressive piece of eco-chic architecture.
Now children, before y’all start to pick this beehawtch apart like it was a piece of pork to be pulled, try to remember that a hyper self-conscious and overtly p.c. residence like this, no matter what you think of its contemporary architecture and design, is a far superior residential structure to erect to withstand inevitable future energy deprivations than all those steroidal pseudo-Tuscan and quasi-Mediterranean mcmansions that so many wealthy people in southern California seem to prefer and build. Just a thought.
listing photos: The Sunset Team