Wednesday, September 14, 2011

New Spouse and New House for Matt Groening




BUYER: Matt Groening
LOCATION: Santa Monica, CA
PRICE: $11,650,000
SIZE: 5 bedrooms, 7.5 bathrooms

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: Sometime in the spring of 2011 it was revealed that 11-time Emmy-winning cartoonist/writer/producer Matt Groening–that's pronounced Gray-ning, thank you very much–planned to hitch his marital wagon to his considerably younger Argentinian artist gal pal Agustina Picasso. We're not sure when or where the ceremony occurred but Your Mama was told last week by a well-informed informant we'll call Tonya Tipsusoff that Mister Groening and Señorita Picasso did indeed marry, so mazel tov to them.

Mister Groening is, we're sure all the children already know, the much lauded creator of the animated series The Simpsons and Futurama. The Simpsons, about to start its 23rd season, is the longest running American sitcom, animated program and prime time scripted television series ever to hit the boob-toob. In 2007 a not very creatively named feature length film called The Simpsons Movie was released and grossed well over half a billion bucks worldwide. No matter what one may think of Mister Groening's comedic point of view that weaves juvenile toilet humor with pointed and sometimes scathing social commentary, he is without question Tinseltown royalty who will receive star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame next year. Mavel tov again!

Anyhoo, as is often the case with rich and/or famous folks, a new spouse for Mister Groening meant a new house for the long-time Malibu (CA) resident and his new wife. According to Tonya Tipsusoff–and confirmed by our deep throat celebrity real estate source Lucy Spillerguts– in mid-August (2011) the newlyweds acquired an historic hacienda on one of the most exclusive and priciest streets in Santa Monica, CA; Property records show the May-December couple coughed up $11,650,000 for the completely updated and upgraded compound.

The walled, gated, totally renovated, and formidably secured resort-like spread occupies a corner lot that encompasses more than half an acre of prime property just a few short blocks from the beach. Alas, the route to the beach–by foot and/or by car–turns out to be far from direct and requires a slightly more circuitous and time-consuming route than a bird can fly.

The deluxe but low-key compound contains a low-slung single story main house that wraps around a courtyard and a chunky two-story guest house at the rear of the property that hides a narrow motor court and covered/garaged parking for six cars. The main house was originally designed by swankety-swank architect Robert D. Farquhar in 1910. It has since been extensively remodeled and greatly expanded.

The impressively and expensively educated Mister Farquhar–he attended Phillips Exeter, Harvard, MIT and the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris–is responsible for a number of high-profile buildings and residences around Los Angeles including Beverly Hills High School, the Canfield-Moreno Estate in Silver Lake, and Owlwood, the legendary 40-room Holmby Hills mansion owned over the years by showbiz luminaries like Joseph Schenck, Sonny and Cher, and Tony Curtis.

Listing information does not indicate square footage but the L.A. County Tax Man shows the main house measures just 2,778 square feet. Of course we don't know a pig from a blanket but based on the images included with listing information and marketing materials that figure seems on the low side. Whatever the case, listing information does specify that Mister and New Missus Groening's mini-estate in Santa Monica includes a total of 5 bedrooms and 7.5 bathrooms divided between the main and guest houses.

Privacy is provided via a tall wall and high hedge that girdles the corner property. A break in the hedge reveals a set swinging gates and a wonderfully forbidding stone wall that marks the main entrance. Since the best views of the Pacific Ocean are from the front of the house, someone wisely transformed the front yard from a typical pretty-pretty-impress-the-guests type of space to a fully functional lounging and entertainment area with a large circular stone terrace and another broad stone terrace that stretches out from the front of the house.

The front door opens directly into the formal living room appointed with gray-toned hardwood floors, over-sized moldings, and the first of many fireplaces. A property entry would have been more gracious but who is Your Mama to bicker with an architect like Mister Farquhar? A wide doorway opens the living room to a sizable sitting area of little practical use that in turn opens the public rooms of the u-shaped house to a central courtyard terrace with outdoor fireplace and built-in barbecue station

The formal dining room–separated from the living room by folding French doors and lit by a pair of capiz shell chandeliers that may or may not be Verner Panton originals or custom commissions by capiz shell chandelier queen Gwen Carlton–connects to the family and service wing of the house that includes a family friendly, open-plan sitting room with massive stone fireplace, breakfast area, and designer-done center island kitchen loaded with all the finest appliances and hoozy-goozies that can and should be expected in the cookery of ten-plus million dollar house.

On the opposite side of the house, adjacent to the formal living room, an intimately-scaled wood floored den/family room offers another fireplace–this one with broad marble hearth–and connects the home's main living areas to the more private quarters that include three family bedrooms plus a master suite complete with private sitting room warmed by yet another fireplace.

A detached two-story guest house at the rear of the property generously expands the living space and includes, as per listing information, a living room, kitchen, bedroom, and fitness room/Pilates studio on the ground floor and a billiards room/man cave, multiple balconies, and a state-of-the-art home theater with deluxe seating for at least 10 people on the second level. The guest house contain a total of two bathrooms according to listing information.

Outside, in addition to the central courtyard living area, there are various other patios and terraces, several fire pits, a patch of grass perfect for pooches and other domestic critters, and a very long and very narrow swimming pool and spa.

Your Mama has no intel about whether Mister and New Missus Groening will occupy the house full time or split their time between Santa Monica and his house in Malibu. We don't find any obvious evidence that Mister Groening owns any other property in Los Angeles (or anywhere else) but that does not mean, mind y'all, the man doesn't possess a portfolio full of high-priced properties. It just means we're not aware of any other homes he may own. Got it?

Now then, we got to skee-daddle because its the Dr. Cooter's birthday and we have a cake to bake and a piñata to stuff full of peanut butter candy treats.

listing photos: Sotheby's International Realty / Brentwood