That he sold a New York City condo earlier this year for almost $600,000 less than the not quite $6 million he paid almost six years ago didn’t seem to deter or affect “How I Met Your Mother” creator and showrunner Carter Bays’ ability to shell out more than $6.8 million, according to a well-sourced snitch, for a multi-acre estate all the way across the country in L.A.’s discreet and affluent La Cañada Flintridge suburb, roughly 20 miles north of downtown and home to NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory.
Though nearly 2.5-times the size of his former five-bedroom and 5.5-bathroom Big Apple digs, Bays’ new, slightly more than 8,000-square-foot West Coast manse has fewer bedrooms, just four, and fewer bathrooms, just four-and-a-half. Completed in 1928 and designed by renowned Pasadena architect Myron Hunt, who famously designed the Rose Bowl stadium, the decidedly traditional red brick Colonial strikes a commanding presence at the head of a horseshoe drive. Surrounded by manicured lawns on just over two thickly wooded acres that ensure sylvan seclusion, the estate offers both grand-scale living and relaxed, family-friendly luxury.
A curved floating staircase makes a sumptuous statement in the classic center hall foyer where gleaming, quarter-sawn oak floorboards pass though arched doorways to generous formal living and dining rooms, both with full-height French doors and stone fireplaces with carved wood mantelpieces. In the chef-accommodating kitchen, there are delicately veined marble counters on bespoke furniture-grade wood cabinets and, in addition to a huge, restored vintage range, an expensive array of up-to-date name-brand appliances that include double ovens, a built-in espresso maker and a couple of warming drawers.
Beyond the kitchen, a cavernous, light-filled and vaguely clover-shaped family room and informal dining area features intricate mosaic floor tiling, a wet bar set against wall of windows and a simple brick fireplace. A smaller, separate adjacent room means adults and youngsters can comfortably watch their own television programs, and a spiral staircase that curls up in to an elongated cupola lined with 30-pane clerestory windows provides a conspicuous back-door entrance through the walk-in closet to one of the two lavishly appointed second-floor master suites.
Plenty large enough to host a debutante cotillion or a charity gala, sprawling multi-level red brick and flagstone paved terraces are shaded by the languid limbs of ancient oaks. Formal with a touch of folly, the lush and expansive gardens include sculpted plantings, thick lawns and, for no practical reason, a turfed stone bridge over stone-lined koi pond. A tree-shaded outdoor kitchen and built-in grill facilitate casual al fresco dining, while the swimming pool and spa occupy a sunny clearing outside the family room. It’s a long walk down a wooded hillside path to a secluded and lighted tennis court, and a detached four-car garage is topped by a gigantic multi-purpose room under a vaulted ceiling with six dormer windows.
Bays’ former Manhattan home, a two-unit combination on the 14th floor of a handsome doorman-serviced building on the Upper West Side, measures in at about 3,300 square feet with ample formal living and dining rooms along with a crisply tailored fully up-to-date top-of-the-line kitchen open over a snack bar to a cozily proportioned family room.
A longtime writer on “Late Show with David Letterman” before he created the tremendously popular and lucratively syndicated “How I Met Your Mother” sitcom, which ran for more than 200 episodes between 2005 and 2014 and for which he received seven Emmy nominations, Bays and his wife, Denise Cox Bays, also maintain a bucolic spread in pastorally fancy-pants Bedford Hills, New York. However, they hope to relieve themselves of the casually ritzy high-maintenance property: It came for sale earlier this year at $3.95 million, not much more than the $3.9 million they paid in late 2017 for the more-than-9,300-square-foot, many-gabled East Coast traditional that’s hidden from the road at the end of a long, gated drive on more than six gorgeously private acres with a swimming pool and tennis court.