Thursday, October 1, 2009

Meg Ryan Chops the Price and Re-Lists Her Bel Air Manse

SELLER: Meg Ryan
LOCATION: Stradella Road, Bel Air, CA
PRICE: $14,200,000
SIZE: 6,877 square feet, 6 bedrooms, 7 bathrooms
DESCRIPTION: Museum quality restoration of a classic Spanish estate sited on promontory w/ wide open city & ocean vus across layers of greenery. Wful arch, resort like grounds & complete pvcy. Stenciled & painted wood clgs, tiles, ironwork, rich wd flrs, drs & windows, arches, etc. French drs thruout open to loggia, dining pavil, expansive lawn & pl. Stunning kit, generous LR & DR, sep bar rm, 2 fam rms & screen rm. 6 BR+7 BA, incl fab mstr. Complete gst hse.

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: It's no secret within the celebrity real estate world that ack-turuss Meg Ryan has been trying to sell her Bel Air mansion for a long, long time. Eighteen months ago a couple of large living Marys Your Mama knows went for a look see when the Stradella Road residence was still being shopped around as a "pocket" listing. The Marys swooned for the property and told us it was, "a real God damn movie star house," but they were simply unwilling to part with the $19,500,000 (or so) she wanted for the place at that time. Then, in November of 2008 the house hit the open market at $19,500,000 but quickly vanished. Even though deep pocketed a-listers like David and Victoria Beckham and Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner toured the estate there were, apparently, no serious biters. So once again Miz Ryan has officially listed her supremely sited Spanish style estate with a new real estate agent and a much reduced asking price of $14,200,000. And children, hold on to your britches because unlike poor Miz Ryan's fucked up trout pout, the house is flaw-less. Okay, not totally flaw-less, but pretty close to perfect.

Although the bubbly and blond Miz Ryan appeared in Top Gun in 1986, it wasn't until a few years laters, when she rather convincingly simulated climax in When Harry Met Sally..., that she landed at the tippy-top of the Tinseltown heap. Miz Ryan later married actor Dennis Quaid with whom she had a stormy relationship that begat one child and went on to become the one of the highest grossing romantic comedy queens with her sweet roles in saccharine films like Sleepless in Seattle, French Kiss, City of Angels and the super-schmaltzy You've Got Mail. Her career hit the skids in the early 2000s after a couple of clunkers like Hanging Up and Kate and Leopold.

Property records reveal that Miz Ryan purchased her comely casa in October of 2000 for $8,500,085 from hip-hop music mogul Mark Cerami. According to listing information, the house was built in 1931 and measures a surprisingly modest 6,877 square feet. The meticulously restored and multi-winged manse includes 6 bedrooms and 7 poopers including a fully detached guest house out by the swimming pool.

A long gated drive leads to a 3 car garage and motor court. Although listing information indicates the motor court can accommodate 5-8 cars, our Marys tell us it is unfortunately too small to turn a limo which means a bad driver could very well take out some of the landscaping while backing up in a hurry because you couldn't decide on a damn dress and are late for the Oscars. A covered passage connects the motor court to an interior courtyard that leads to the arched front door which opens to a wide, wood floored entrance and stair hall which acts as the primary traffic axis for the house. Miz Ryan and her team of nice, gay decorators wisely used the entrance hall to set the simple but sumptuous stylistic scene for the entire house with warm, white-washed walls–probably hand applied plaster with a wax finish iffin we had to guess, an antique rug/doormat and a couple of dark wood (and probably pedigreed) chairs and benches where guest can drop their designer handbags on the way in.

The generously sized but still intimately scaled living room has milk chocolate colored wood floors, a coffered wood ceiling of the same color, an imposing fireplace with stone surround, and a wall of French doors that open to a loggia overlooking the back lawn and the city lights in the distance. The room has been lots of over-sized, tufted ottomans mixed with some Mission style furniture and a baby grand piano that maybe Miz Ryan plays and maybe she doesn't. All Your Mama's booze hound babies will appreciate the separate, paneled bar room located at the far end of the living room.

Across from the front door and through a pair of archways that mirror the arch of the front door is the dining room anchored by a large blue Oriental rug, warmed by a fireplace with a tile surround and intricate wrought iron screen and lit through a trio of French doors that line a gently curving wall that pushes out into the a grassy green lawn area that overlooks the free form swimming pool. To the left of the entrance are some of the less formal rooms which include a commodious kitchen with a long of framed photos propped up on open shelves, and a breakfast room fitted into a large bay window with built in bookshelves, and a round, Asian style table lit by a simple, red Chinese paper and wood lantern, an obvious homage to the Chinese baby Miz Ryan adopted a few years ago and named Daisy.

At the corner of the house that sits between the dining room and breakfast room is one of the home's two family rooms, this one with a steely blue velvet sectional sofa, another Mission style rocker, a painting that Diane Keaton would kill for and a half dozen ceramic vases standing up in the corner like naughty children. Shooting off the family room is a long narrow dining terrace shaded by an antique, wood beamed peaked roof. With an applauded and too little seen decorative restraint, Miz Ryan–or one of her nice, gay decorators–has quite simply furnished the outdoor room with a rough hewn picnic table perfect for a breezy summer dinner.

Listing information indicates the a guest house contains a private pooper as do each of the guest bedrooms–which we like for obvious reasons, that the master bedroom lacks a proper dressing room–which is criminal for a house of this magnitude, and that the screening room, located atop the garage, is accessible only by separate entrance–which we don't like.

Not being privvy to Miz Ryan's private thoughts, we can't be sure why the ladee would choose to sell her stunner of a house but that $5,300,000 price chop would indicate she's finally getting serious about unloading what has been a bit of a real estate albatross around her stick-like neck.

Nearby neighbors include louche fashion stud/queen Tom Ford who lives next door in a fabulously restored Richard Neutra designed house, writer and executive producer Darren Star who created such television tour de forces as Melrose Place, Beverly Hills 90210–the original and the sad re-makes, The $treet and Sex and the City to name just a few, and billionaire biznessman David H. Murdock who among other assets owns the Hawaiian island of Lanai.

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