Thursday, June 23, 2011
Aussie Rocker Chris Cester Lists L.A. Pad
SELLER: Chris Cester
LOCATION: Los Angeles, CA
SIZE: 3 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms
YOUR MAMAS NOTES: A few minutes spent looking at some of the more modest new listings in Los Angeles, CA the other day turned up a bewitching but far from flawless little house in the hilly and historic Whitely Heights 'hood. A quick stab and jab around the property records reveals the Spanish-style casa is owned by Australian musician/drummer Chris Cester of the hard rock band Jet. Mister Cester, in his early 30's and a new father, has his humble house in the Hollywood Hills on the market with an asking price of $1,135,000.
Your Mama understands that many Americans will not know Jet's music–think AC/DC mixed with The Rolling Stones and spiced with a loud whisper of Nirvana–nor will they recognize Mister Cester's name. However Mister Cester (and his band mates) are certainly well known Down Under for their slim hips, (faux-)dirty good looks and rock star style antics.
Our entirely unscientific research on the interweb shows that Jet's first album (Get Born, 2003) was a success while their two subsequent albums (Shine On, 2005; Shaka Rock, 2008) have not performed quite as well from a commercial point of view. For reasons to which we're not privy, Mister Cester relocated to Los Angeles sometime around 2004 or '05. Since setting down roots stateside he's written a number of original songs used in films (Drillbit Taylor, Spider-Man 3) and television programs (Chuck, CSI: NY).
Property records reveal that Mister Cester acquired his California crib, originally built in 1937, in May 2005 when he paid $1,010,000 for the quirky but fetching house that occupies a tiny triangle-shaped lot tucked into the tail end of a quiet cul-de-sac just above the most touristy stretch of Hollywood near Grauman's Chinese Theater and the Hollywood Wax Museum.
The house is so close to the still-a-bit-gritty heart of Hollywood that should a person be so inclined to walk–and true to cliché almost no one in L.A. is inclined to walk anywhere–its a short stroll to the Hollywood Walk of Fame and all the many velvet rope lounges (Hyde), glitzy restaurants (Katsuya), souvenir shops and stripper-ware stores that line Hollywood Boulevard. Should any of the children ever be in need for a 7-inch Lucite mule with a heart-shaped diamante detail on the heel, Hollywood Boulevard between Highland and Vine is the best place to go. Believe it or not there are scads and scores of stores where you can find a blood red patent leather peep-toe thigh-high on this stretch of Hollywood Boulevard. Trust. Just ask distressingly over-processed mother-of-three Shauna Sand who even wears her pole-worthy ankle-breakers to the damn beach.
Anyhoo, the Los Angeles County Tax Man shows Mister Cester's residence in Whitley Heights has only one floor, measures 1,414 square feet and includes just one bedroom and 1 bathroom. It seems that some improvements/additions have been made to the interior spaces since listing current information indicates there are three bedrooms and two small but glammy bathrooms in an unknown number of square feet. Listing information also states that there's a "beautifully built out basement pool table + size rm.," whatever that means.
The cozy–meaning petite–living room has original wood floors, crown moldings, windows that stretch almost all the way to the floor and a brick fireplace awkwardly tucked into a corner of the room where it's rendered all but pointless. We're not sure why the original architect or a subsequent owner didn't have the fireplace repositioned at a 45-degree angle. Any moe-ron with a vague sense of spatial relationships can plainly see that turn the firebox to face the room and make it a focal point–dontcha just hate that word?–rather than an unsightly architectural wart.
Mister Cester and his baby momma–whomever she may be–did up their historic house with a fearless and funky, 1940s Hollywood glamor-tinged day-core. In the living room a butch antler chandelier gets casually juxtaposed against and double-wide lounge chair with over-scale but still dainty paisley print, a 1970s shag rug, and a pair of flamboyant gilded rococo mirrors, one so large it just leans up on the wall and keeps the ugly little fireplace in the corner company. We just love those deep- and loose-pile shag rugs. They're so porn den and cocaine that they'll always have a place on the universal decorative mood board. However, when we consider the nonsense and bacteria that gets trapped in them–think dog butt and the loogie you dragged in from the sidewalk–we say, "Nay." The ugly icing on that cake is our imperious house gurl Svetlana who drops to the floor in a high-pitched convulsive rebellion when we so much as hint at bringing an impossible to keep clean '70s style shag rug into our house.
The dado-encircled dining room, just big enough for an intimate dinner party, has wood floors and what looks to Your Mama like a dee-voon blue Venetian glass chandelier. The dining table, a kooky concoction comprised of a thick glass table top that sits on two squat fluted columns, is surrounded by upholstered chairs that include a pair of wing back captain's chairs upholstered in a nearly weird toile-like fish-print pattern that we love like the dickens. It would work perfectly as a duvet in Your Mama and the Dr. Cooter's vaguely nautical master bedroom.
The adjoining kitchen, downright closet-sized compared to the sorts of colossal cookeries that get installed in most upscale homes nowadays, retains the home's original 1930s ambiance with a black and white tile floor laid on a 45-degree angle, an old-skool O'keefe & Merritt range and built in corner china cabinets in the compact but cute breakfast nook that has huge windows on three sides.
Outdoor areas include a walled dining/lounging courtyard at the rear of the house and at the front a multi-level deck with built in seating was carefully built around the thick trunk of what may or may not be a messy messy messy rubber tree. Jeezis, Mother of God rubber trees are the worst. Don't any of you environmentalist get all bossy now because Your Mama loves a goddam tree just as much as the next tree hugger. We just don't like rubber trees. They grow like a weed, require constant lacing and they constantly drop a gooey substance that pretty much renders any thing underneath it filthy and sticky. We digress...A spiral staircase climbs up from the deck to somewhere–we don't know where it leads–and a flat backyard large enough to sink a swimming pool is walled and ringed with trees and shrubs that appear to provide some if not complete privacy. Parking can get competitive in these compact nooks and crannies in the Hollywood Hills so it's good to note that the house includes a two-car attached garage plus additional (and shaded) off-street parking for two more autos under a vine-entwined pergola at the far end of the yard.
Other famous but relatively low-profile peeps who own homes in pretty Whitley Heights include film and music video director (and Tinseltown scion) Roman Coppola, heavenly actress Busy Philipps (Cougartown), comedienne Caroline Rhea and hospital drama denizen Ellen Pompeo (Grey's Anatomy).
listing photos: Rodeo Realty