SELLER: Randy Barbato
LOCATION: Los Angeles, CA
SIZE: 2,512 square feet, 3 bedrooms, 2.5 bathrooms (plus guest house)
YOUR MAMAS NOTES: It was only a few weeks ago alterna-super-producer Fenton Bailey put a $1,649,000 price tag on his historic and nicely provenanced Arts and Crafts bungalow in the Hollywood Heights area of Los Angeles, CA, built in the early 1920s by Hollywood’s first art director Wilfred Buckland.
This week Mister Bailey’s long-time b.f.f. and producing partner at World of Wonder Productions Randy Barbato pushed his own historic 1925 Spanish style hillside mini-compound on the market, also and in what may or may not be a coincidence, with a $1,649,000 price tag.
The Emmy-nominated Misters Barbato and Bailey co-founded and co-operate one of the finest and funkiest production houses in Tinseltown that creates and produces a long list of reality television shows and documentary-type movies both mainstream and somewhat subversive. They are the people responsible for boob-toob fare such as Million Dollar Listing, Becoming Chaz (and Being Chaz), RuPaul’s Drag Race, and silver screen things like Party Monster, and the ever-popular, unexpectedly touching and simply lashtacular The Eyes of Tammy Faye.
Property records show handsome Mister Barbato, who like and with Mister Bailey sprang forth in a hail of rainbow sprinkles from the bowels of NYU and the decadent downtown Manhattan underground club scene in the mid-1980s, purchased his discreetly situated, masculine edged, and glamour-tinged hillside house above Hollywood in May 2003 for $1,113,500.
Current listing information indicates the two-story main house, perched privately well above the tail end of a sleepy cul-de-sac (with easy freeway access) in the Hollywood Dell ‘hood, encompasses a relatively modest 2,512 square feet with 3 bedrooms and 2.5 bathrooms. A wee but voluminous detached guest suite, atop the street-level garage and divided from the main house by a narrow brick courtyard, offers an additional living/sleeping space and one more three-quarter pooper.
A short corridor off the living room connects to the main entertainment terrace at the rear of the house and provides for a welcomed modicum of privacy for a pin thin but decadently done powder pooper with luscious carved marble sink and small carpet in front of the crapper woven with one of pop art star Andy Warhol’s famous soup can paintings, in this instance tomato rice flavor.
A shallow but wide pointed arch joins the living room the just about square dining room where Mister Barbato (or his decorator A.J. Bernard or maybe some other nice-gay or lady decorator) wisely installed a massive circular dining room table. The ceiling is coved, the floors laid with shiny pavers set at a 45-degree angle to the room, and a wide row of French doors that open to the slim courtyard that separates the main house from the detached guest suite with laundry facilities.
The 45-degree angle shiny paver tiles extend into and through the generous eat-in kitchen daring makes use of both sleek modern cabinetry and old-timey country kitchen type cabinetry unified with a pale, cement-colored grey paint. The appliances are high-grade and stainless steel, hefty rough-hewn wood beams cross the ceiling in rapid succession, a bistro-ish vertical stripe curtain charmingly hides a section of the lower cabinets near the sink and dishwasher–we’d imagine the refuse and recycling bins are in there–and a vintage work table with vintage lab stool runs down the center of the room for food prep and service, snack and/or booze ingestion, and cozy kitchen confidentials with pals.
An archway in the kitchen, which can be closed off with curtains instead of doors, leads into the intimately scaled family room with gleaming paver tiles on the floor, heavy and rough-hewn beams across the ceiling, a comfy looking velvet upholstered and down-filled sofa, a wall-mounted flat screen tee-vee, and French doors that open, rather dangerously for anyone boozed up or otherwise intoxicated, to a narrow strip of brick terrace that girdles the plunge-sized swimming pool.
A tight, enclosed staircase curls up from the dining room to an architecturally dramatic landing (not pictured here) where two impressively sized guest/family bedrooms (above, lower left and right) share a fully-renovated bathroom Jack-and-Jill style bathroom. Listing photos suggest Mister Barbato utilizes one of the guest/family bedrooms as a home office/library (above, lower right) as it’s lined with bookshelves, filled with contemporary art and objet, and furnished with a plaid curtains, a distressed leather club chair, and a desk that looks too damn tiny to do anything besides sit at and talk on the phone.
The sufficient but hardly huge master suite (above, top left and right) offers Mister Barbato a manly (or “manly”) but elegant retreat for slumber and love making that includes magnificent mahogany floor-to-ceiling built-in wardrobes with an integrated dresser and gorjus arched French doors that link to a private terrace with an over the tree tops canyon view. The attached bathroom (above, top right) is average sized but remodeled on an above average manner with a masculine mix of modern details (frameless glass shower enclosure) with the vibe of a vintage haberdashery or upscale barber shop (dark wood paneling).
Listing information and online marketing materials state Mister Barbato has put somewhere around $400,000 into upgrades and renovations that include but are not limited to renovation of master bedroom and both upstairs bathrooms (as well as the detached guest suite crapper), the restoration and re-tiling of various patios and terraces, and the smart addition of an adjoining parcel of land that brings the total property size to approximately three-fifths of an acre (25,197 square feet as per listing information).
Outdoor lounging and entertaining areas are many in the thickly and thoughtfully landscaped backyard areas comprised of copious courtyards, numerous patios, and various pathways that zig zag up, down and around the terraced hillside that rises steeply from the back of the house. The gardens and terraces are, by our humble and meaningless opinion, impeccable. We wouldn’t change a single drought tolerant anything. We are however, concerned about the squeezy plunge pool. We do love a plunge pool–we are most definitely not a size queen when it comes to cement ponds–so the two- or maybe three-person pool isn’t an issue at all. However, anyone who knows Your Mama knows we do love us a big bottle of booze so, natch, it’s the balance beam thin strip of terrace that surrounds the pool that has us most concerned. We’d surely be loathe to spend the time and energy to walk around and through the house to get from the living room to the back terrace but the reality is we don’t have the best equilibrium when sauced up on the hooch and, too, we do so hate to get wet when we’re drunk. ‘Tis a quandary for sure but thankfully we’re not in the market for a new house.
Anyhoo, the detached guest suite (above), which y’all will recall sits above the street level garage and across a small courtyard from the main house, includes a bedroom area with vaulted ceiling and a wall of quasi-rugged reclaimed wood paneling and arched windows with cul-de-sac view. There’s also a truly tiny closet, a tight but well-equipped three-quarter bathroom, laundry facilities, and a tight corkscrew stair that winds down to the garage. Only a gossamer curtain separates the sleeping area from the laundry area and the spiral staircase (over which hangs various yard care implements such as a rake), which means unless the curtain is drawn you’re sleeping in the garden shed/laundry room, a fancy laundry room/garden shed but a laundry/garden shed room none-the-less. Our imperious and sometimes openly hostile house gurl Svetlana would have a conniption over the set up. Beehawtcha will sleep in a room adjacent to the laundry room but she will not, under any circumstances except drunkenness, sleep in the laundry room.
One presumes both Mister Barbato and Bailey plan to move on to bigger and better digs in Los Angeles but we haven’t any inside intel as to where they plan to lay their heads and host holiday parties next. Bueller? Bueller? Anyone? Bueller?
listing photos: Sotheby’s International Realty