Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Chris Meloni Heads Wests, Lands in Beverly Hills

WHO: Chris Meloni and Sherman Williams-Meloni
LOCATION: Beverly Hills, CA
PRICE: around 20 grand a month
SIZE: 6,000 square feet, 4 bedrooms, 6 bathrooms

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: Last week Your Mama let it slip that still physically—ahem—strapping 51-year old actor Chris Meloni (True Blood, Law & Order: SVU, Oz) and his decorator wife Sherman Williams-Meloni had flipped their recently acquired 8,600+ square foot New Canaan, CT, county estate back on the market with a $4,750,000 price tag. We've subsequently heard word that Mister Meloni e famiglia have—probably temporarily—decamped CT and NYC for a spacious, Old Hollywood mini-compound situated in the so-called Flats of Beverly Hills, CA.

Just how much moolah the Meloni's fork over to their landlord each month we really can't say because we don't have a clue. Your Mama's research did turn up digital evidence the property was listed on the open market as recently as early April (2013) with an asking price of $19,500. We also have no idea if they rented the residence with its fantasia of furnishings and decorative objet or if they'll schlep in a flatbed of the sort of more contemporary furniture previous press reports on their homes would indicate.

The main house, a sprawling 1929 Spanish villa, was designed by Ralph Flewelling according to online marketing materials that also say the house's first occupants were silent screen stars Wallace Beery and Gloria Swanson. However, it appears the legendary Tinseltowners divorced in 1919, long before this house was even a glint in the architect's eye. Anyhoo...

Listing information goes on show the two story main house has an impressive foyer and stair hall and nearby powder room that is absolutely one of the most extraordinary Your Mama has ever had the good fortune on which to lay our boozy eyes. It's vivid, outlandish and gently worn to a patinated perfection. The mirrored console is gorgeous and glammy and the orange velvet upholstered ceiling is, well, insane. One might think the icing on the decorative cake might be the crystal chandelier or the shell encrusted mirror over the (blessedly) ordinary pedestal sink. Both are spectacular. It is, however, the orange velvet curtain panels and cushioned orange velvet bench that really makes the backs of Your Mama's knees sweat. Who, children, would not appreciate—nay, love a soft and luxurious spot to sit and take a breather after a long and ugly post-dinner/pre-dessert tangle with your host's guest commode? Enough of the scatological poppycock....

The approximately 6,000 square foot main house has three bedroom suites upstairs, including a deluxe master with a lavishly restored vintage bathroom that gives the slightly unnerving impression Gloria Swanson herself might just breeze in at any moment for an eyebrow touch up. There's a fourth bedroom downstairs suitable for use by a live-in domestic or for use as an office, yoga parlor, inversion chamber or any number of other things. Additional living quarters are provided in one—and possibly two—separate guest houses.

An airy, tunnel-like barrel-vaulted loggia and numerous trellis- and striped awning-shaded terraces around the house provide extensive, foliage enshrouded outdoor living, dining and lounging areas. The terraces connect to a flat, luxuriantly landscaped back yard where Your Mama spies a couple of fountains, several flagstone terraces and sitting areas including one with a built in cushioned banquette, a small patch of flat lawn just big enough for a couple of small pooches, and a rectangular green-bottom swimming pool and attached spa.

Property records show the home is owned by Grover Dale, a Tony-winning and Emmy-nominated septuagenarian actor, dancer, choreographer and theater director whose professional salad days were the 1970s and '80s. In the late sixties and early '70s Mister Dale was—allegedly—actor Anthony Perkins man-friend but he eventually married and begat a Showbiz son, actor James Badge Dale.

listing photos: Michael McNamara for Coldwell Banker Beverly Hills North

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