Guillermo del Toro Goes Gothic in Santa Monica and Hollywood

location: Santa Monica, West Hollywood and Los Angeles, Calif.
price: $6.9 million (total)
size: Two houses, one condo

Academy Award-winning filmmaker Guillermo del Toro (“The Shape of Water,” “The Devil’s Backbone,” “Pan’s Labyrinth”) is expanding his notorious Bleak House residence into a collection of several properties, it would appear. Over the last year, the horror film auteur has acquired three additional Los Angeles homes, one in the seaside city of Santa Monica and two closer to mid-city L.A., not far from downtown Hollywood.

The most expensive house, and del Toro’s most recent purchase, is his $4.5 million Santa Monica residence. Located on a charming, tree-lined street, the neoclassical Gothic Tudor was actually built in 1984 but architecturally harks back to a much earlier era, with its soaring, castle-like turrets and hardwood-filled interiors, all chunky exposed beams and glossy floors.

Within the 5,600 sq. ft. home’s hand-carved front door is a modern kitchen with a center island and stainless appliances, a fireplace-equipped living room and formal dining room. Upstairs is a center skylight with intricate wrought iron detailing and leaded glass. The master suite offers a vaulted ceiling, a spa-style bath with a built-in soaking tub and spacious walk-in closet. The .2-acre lot also features a very private backyard completely enveloped on all sides by towering hedges. Tucked into the far rear of the property is a newer, dark-bottomed swimming pool.

Over in mid-city L.A., del Toro recently completed the $1.4 million purchase of a vine-covered 1920s cottage, also with details that recall Gothic Tudors of yore. The teal-colored house is virtually invisible from the street front, thanks to a towering hedge and a hand-carved gate. Behind that, a grassy courtyard leads to the residence, which has mostly been overrun by a riotous cacophony of flowering bougainvillea.

The 2,000 sq. ft. abode has arched windows, barrel-vaulted ceilings, hardwood floors and a surprisingly large cook’s kitchen. The rather dingy master bath — slathered in cobalt blue tiles — needs cosmetic updates, but otherwise the property appears well-kept. Out back, there’s an awning-shaded patio, a grassy lawn and detached two-car garage.

del Toro’s third L.A. purchase was the $941,000 he shelled to acquire a petite condo in prime West Hollywood. Tucked away within a secure complex, the 1,400 sq. ft. bachelor pad offers just one bedroom, though the airy spread makes up for it with soaring ceilings in the public rooms, two sumptuous marble baths, an eat-in kitchen with stainless appliances and a monochromatic, all-white color scheme that lends the place a distinctly Miami Vice feel.

Since his professional movie career began in 1993 — with the cult classic “Cronos” — del Toro’s films have been heralded for their unique intermix of fairy tales and horror. The Mexican-American writer/director/producer is currently looking forward to “Nightmare Alley,” his upcoming film adaptation of the William Lindsay Gresham novel that stars Bradley Cooper, Cate Blanchett, Willem Dafoe and Rooney Mara.

Christopher Damon and Joyce Rey of Coldwell Banker held the Santa Monica listing; Kinsley Wolanski and Jessica Stocker of Keller Williams held the listing on the Hollywood house; Brittany Monforte and Paul Lester of The Agency held the condo listing. Dave White of Sotheby’s International Realty repped del Toro on all three transactions.


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