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Aaron Zelman Gives It Another Go Above Beachwood Canyon

SELLER: Aaron Zelman
LOCATION: Los Angeles, CA
PRICE: $1,699,000
SIZE: 2,946 square feet, 4 bedrooms, 3.5 bathrooms

YOUR MAMA'S NOTES: Accomplished television screenwriter Aaron Zelman paid actress Mary Stuart Masterson $1,504,000 in July 2005 for her 1926 Spanish casa above Beachwood Canyon and the Hollywood Reservoir. Nine years, a handful of crime-drama series ("Criminal Minds," "The Killing," "Resurrection"), and one Emmy nomination later -- for "Damages in 2007, Mister Zelman and his (seemingly retired) actress wife, Cynthia Lamontagne ("Forgetting Sarah Marshall," "That 70s Show") have listed their two-plus story residence in the Hollywood Hills on the market with an asking price of $1,699,000.

This is hardly the first time Mister and Missus Zelman have attempted to sell 2,946-square-foot house that listing details show has four bedrooms and 3.5 bathrooms. The double-lot hillside property was briefly listed in the late fall of 2008 with a $1,999,999 asking price and then again the following fall until mid-summer of 2010, first at $1,999,999 and later at $1,799,999.

Like many if not most homes in the Hollywood Hills, the mullet-style house sits hard up on the winding street. Set behind a high and gated wall the house appears from the street as a low-slung single story dwelling with a front-facing two-car garage and a rather theatrical turreted entry. The house drops one full floor plus another itty-bitty partial one below the uppermost entry level, hence the term mullet-style, in case that non-conforming architectural term wasn't familiar to any of the children.

The house retains much of is original historic je ne sais quoi and original details, particularly on the exterior and such as the multi-colored hexagonal floor tiles in the foyer. Unfortunately, it appears to Your Mama's admittedly gin-soaked eyes that the tiles one the staircase risers may have been swapped out for something far less sensational or authentic. There are, however, original mahogany floors in the spacious step-down living room that has a grid of ruggedly hewn beams on the high ceiling. A fireplace anchors one side of the room while French doors open to a slim, wrought iron railed balcony that wraps around the end of the living room and has an up-close and direct if oblique view of the Hollywood Sign.

A compact dining room -- also with oblique sign view -- connects to the updated and upgraded kitchen with mottled tan stone tile floors, white Shaker-style cabinetry and a large center work island with butcher block counter top. We totally get why the wall between the original butler's pantry and the kitchen was removed -- to accommodate an in-kitchen informal dining space -- and we can get behind both the historically appropriate tile backsplash behind the commercial-style range and the turquoise-colored paint on the inside of the glass-fronted upper cabinets even though the latter is, arguably, a bit "country" for a vintage Spanish in the Hollywood Hills.

A compact room off the entry with saffron walls -- listing details generously call it a "media room" -- has a built-in entertainment unit on one wall and, on the opposite, an angled, daybed/sofa-lounge thing-a-ma-bobber with rusty-crimson upholstery and a few hundred pillows instead of a proper backrest.

All four of the bedrooms are located on the lower level. Two guest/family bedrooms share a Jack 'n' Jill bathroom slathered in turquoise tile work that, quite honestly, children, looks better the more we look at it. A third, en suite bedroom is probably best suited as a staff or guest suite as it's accessible by secondary stairway in the kitchen or, even less elegantly, by passing clear through one of the other bedrooms. Behind what one might easily mistake for a closet door in the third bedroom is a third staircase that descends to a small, flexi-use room that, despite its inconvenient and glute-busting accessibility, might make a nice writing room, yoga studio or sleeping porch.

The red-toned mahogany flooring inexplicably and, in our utterly meaningless opinion -- ill-advisedly switches to a semi-gloss ebony in the master bedroom that also has a walk-in closet and a modern minded bathroom with concrete floor, glassed-in steam shower, separate tub and olive green glass tiles on the walls. The wood framed windows and the pedestal sink are nice but had this property gossip been in charge of this renovation we would likey have gone for something more in this decorative vein…

Accessed either through the flexi-use room below the staff/guest suite or by an exterior stair off the lower level stair hall, a partly pergola-shaded and tile-paved terrace has a tinkling (and appropriate) tiled wall fountain, a built-in barbecue set up and more oblique views of the Hollywood Sign. The outdoor living space was once, as per listing details, published in "InStyle" magazine.

Listing photos: Coldwell Banker

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