Beachwood-land

2934 N. Beachwood Drive – Hollywood Hills – Los Angeles $1,349,000

The Hollywood Hills have always been somewhat of an icon of unattainability. You can see the Hills depicted in the films, in photographs, even from the seat of your car, but its difficult to place yourself in one of the enclaves within the enclave (be it the Bird streets, Beachwood Canyon, or the gaudier Mt. Olympus). And thats not simply because its expensive. There’s something mysterious about the landscape – huge houses plotted amongst wild verdure (where else in the world do deer and Maseratis intersect?) – made all the stranger by the different figurative roads leading in. The idea of the artist’s retreat usually invokes the image of an uninsulated cabin, the porch sticky with fallen pine needles, at the end of a rough road. In the Hollywood Hills an artist’s retreats may have a helipad.

To add to the storybook setting the foothills of Beachwood Canyon host this multi-arched stone-built wall with a nearly-antique plaque reading “HOLLYWOODLAND” (as you probably know, the first iteration of “Hollywood” coined in the 1920′s).  It all contributes to the idea that your concept of the Hollywood Hills exists as much in your mind and imagination as it does in reality. Established in 1923 (per the sign), Hollywoodland is hardly the first-generation, everlasting American outpost that the mossy stone, reminiscent of the old-world European cities, would lead you to believe it is.

Like many if the neighborhood’s private types this house on Beachwood Canyon is full of light once you crack its shrouded facade. A post and beam architectural scheme crowns the living room, which serves as a hub of the house, and sliding double doors expand the living space into the outdoors. The full bar and spotlighting mark another trait shared between these Hollywood homes and their inhabitants: functional beauty.

The fireplace and built in shelving make this den one trip to the bookstore short of a study. Also breached through a double collapsing door, the transitions through the rooms are dramatic. The crown molding is the design highlight of the den, remade and repainted over the years.

The master bedroom is the largest of the 4 in the house and features original hardwood flooring and an en-suite master bathroom. Its larger than it appears in photos, with room enough for your or your dream life.

A 5th room trades a closet for a fireplace and is currently employed as an office – a cozy cutaway in a house mostly comprised of wide open spaces. The brick fireplace and red shutters are an overt but well-executed match.

A multi-leveled back yard features a minimalist back patio, allowing the dense landscape to set the outdoor scene. The house itself fades easily into the background, as the hills’ expanse swallows the 2,607 square foot footprint.

We featured this property because of the price, where, in this dreamscape, the $1.5m price tag is relatively down to earth.